It still boggles the mind that there are that many people that figure that Tobey Maguire is still the best Spider-Man out there, but in reality those that are willing to stay loyal to him are to be commended in part for not just giving up on him when the franchise moved on to Andrew Garfield and then Tom Holland. At the time he was who we had as far as the wallcrawler went since he was the perfect choice and was seen as the kind of guy that would serve as the hero in a great capacity. Even when Garfield came around it was a bit hard to really move on since he didn’t really fit the role as well as Maguire did. But taking a look at one of his screen tests as Tom Chatalbash of Screenrant shows it does look like he was testing for a martial arts movie more than a Spider-Man movie considering that Spider-Man usually doesn’t just walk up to a group of bad guys while remaining concealed in the shadows. That’s obviously a part of what screen tests are for though, to find out what works and how an actor can perform before setting them loose on camera. The thing about this however is that a lot of actors tend to appear at least a little nervous or not quite as forceful in their approach during a screen test as it would appear that a few of them are still feeling things out. Willem Dafoe however appears as the kind of guy that’s just going to go ahead and give what he’s got since obviously he’s the kind of guy that can perform under pressure or when he’s completely relaxed.
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies were, I’ll admit, a little more fulfilling up until the third one came along, since it made a lot of promises that it didn’t really follow through on. The character of Sandman was actually quite well done since Thomas Haden Church filled out the role quite nicely. The dialogue could have been a little better, and even his origin could have been a little more sensible, but all in all the effects and his acting were pretty sound. Venom on the other hand was kind of a huge disappointment since to start with it’s really tough to take Topher Grace as a powerful character, and it’s also a bad representation of the black-clad villain since the character could have looked a lot better. Of course, with CGI being what it was at that point the figure we were given to watch wasn’t the worst he could have been, but it still wasn’t great. Plus, the idea of sticking Sandman and Venom together was kind of an odd pairing but it did kind of work since they both had a bone to pick with the webslinger at that point. A fourth movie was supposed to follow not long after but given the response to the third movie it wasn’t hard to think why Raimi had to back off a bit. By the time a need for another Spider-Man movie had come around though he was off the project and Andrew Garfield had replaced Maguire. This is where a lot of people had something to say since Garfield was probably the least liked of the three men that have taken on the role, and his villains were a little lacking in audience approval.
The Lizard wasn’t too bad, but overall he wasn’t one of the most impressive enemies, and Electro was kind of interesting really, but the Green Goblin was kind of a walking nightmare, and not in the good sense, while the representation of Rhino was just…well, yeah. Fans of the Spider-Man comics have been hoping for years for faithful adaptations on the big screen and for the most part Maguire’s movies made this happen since the Green Goblin might have been a bit over the top, but he was still as true to form as he could while remaining practical since a skin-tight suit and mask wouldn’t have made a lot of sense in the modern era, while the armor and helmet he wore, along with the glider, were much easier on the eyes and sensibilities of the audience. Alex Wyse of CBR has his own opinion on Spider-Man villains. That brings to mind Doctor Octopus and the Vulture as well, since both characters received massive upgrades which were kind of needed since an older bald man in a feathered suit would look a bit silly and Doc Ock would have looked kind of ridiculous in a skin-tight suit with his big old grandpa glasses from back in the day. So really, Maguire had some of the best villains and an interesting look to his version of Spider-Man, but after a while he did start to fade just a bit, while Garfield never really got started. Holland on the other hand is still doing great, so the Spider-Man legacy is in good hands.