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Tom Holland VERSUS Andrew Garfield

VO: Richard Bush
Written by Richard Bush It's the showdown of superheroes. The Spider-Man stand-off we've all been waiting for. A Peter Parker punch-up packed with marvellous Marvel moments. But which web-slinger wins out? Judging each on their action-packed portrayals and on-screen origins stories, it's tough to pick one or the other - but someone's got to do it! Will Tom trump Andrew on the mean streets of New York? Or has Garfield got the edge on Holland's high-school Avenger? Join WatchMojo UK as we decide which Brit actor plays Spidey best!
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Transcript

Tom Holland Vs Andrew Garfield

With great power comes great responsibility. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and for today’s installment of versus, we have Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield going head-to-head to find out who is best at portraying everyone’s favourite wall-crawler, Spider-Man.

Round 1: Origins

In an approach that delighted some and enraged others, Tom Holland’s portrayal of the web-slinger skips the origins guff and gets straight to the fun stuff. Essentially, the only real backstory Holland’s Spidey gets is a brief mention of a spider biting him and of his deceased Uncle Ben.

Garfield’s Spider-Man on the other hand draws on Spidey’s source material to a much greater extent, although it reimagines large aspects of it, such as the spider bite sequence, Uncle Ben’s murder and his superspy parents.

He may deviate from the source material a fair bit, but a lot of diehard fans will appreciate the nods to the comics - so Garfield wins this round.

Winner: Holland 0 / Garfield 1

Round 2: Portrayal of Peter Parker


He may be able to benchpress a car, but when encountering things like sneaking round his aunt, talking to genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist Tony Stark, and trying to get a girlfriend, Holland does what any adolescent would do - stutters, sweats and panics. And being a textbook nerd case, that’s exactly how Peter Parker would act.

In the much cooler corner however is Garfield’s portrayal. If you hadn’t read Spider-Man on the poster, you could be fooled into thinking this Peter Parker is a classic high-school love interest. He’s a smooth talker, stands up to bullies and effortlessly gets the girl. He even rides a bloody skateboard.

Sorry, but that’s not what Parker is about. Holland, this one goes to you.

Winner: Holland 1 / Garfield 1

Round 3: Portrayal of Spider-Man


As nerdy as Parker is, there’s a certain fun-loving gravitas that goes with putting on the red and blue mask. Holland’s time in the suit saw him make light of every bad situation, spit out excellently-timed one liners and yet maintain his “wow did that just happen” teenage personality.

Not so different is Garfield, who delivered just as much cheeky chappy-ness, with hilariously entertaining fist fights and scenes where he plain torments the criminals before knocking them down.

But as great as both performances are, Holland wins this one by a nose due to his slightly more panicky, realistic portrayal. Plus his suit is all kinds of awesome.

Winner: Holland 2 / Garfield 1

Round 4: Character Motivations


With no revenge-fuelled backstory, Holland’s spidey is pretty much free to enjoy his powers. His only key motivation, apart from saving innocent lives in cool YouTube videos, is impressing Tony Stark by taking down a group of criminals who are using alien weaponry, so he can finally become a proper Avenger.

In contrast, due to Garfield’s origins, there’s a certain matter of finding Uncle Ben’s killer that has to be settled first, with some action featuring a revenge-drunk Spidey beating aimlessly on bad guys. There’s also the matter of a certain giant lizard terrorising the city.

They both face their villains, but Garfield’s origin-motivated antics means he claims this round.

Winner: Holland 2 / Garfield 2

Round 5: Chemistry and Relationships


Being a teenager, there’s a lot of relationships for Holland’s Peter Parker to juggle. As well as his best friend, Tony Stark and his aunt, there’s also his love interest Liz. The encounters between these two are brimming with awkward, teenage tension - something we can no doubt all relate to. And the reluctance to tell her he is Spider-Man conveys a heartfelt “love me for who I am” vibe.

On the other hand is Garfield, who hits it off with Gwen Stacey almost instantaneously and before you know it they’re kissing, lovingly rubbing their noses together and - oh, she knows he’s Spider-Man, like almost right away.

For hormonal relatability, realism and a truer portrayal of comic book spidey, this final round goes to Holland.

Winner: Holland 3 / Garfield 2

Verdict

With a score of 3 to 2, Holland is today’s winner. Garfield may have got elements of the Parker and Spidey personality down, and have a loose origin to go with it, but he fails to offer certain core personality traits synonymous with the super teen of the comics - something Holland's got down to a tee.

Did our verdict irritate your Spidey sense? Be sure to debate in the comments section and don’t forget to subscribe to WatchMojo UK.
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