Spider-Man’s 10 Most Impressive Displays Of Power In The Tobey Maguire Movies

Throughout Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Tobey Maguire’s iteration of Peter Parker displays several moments of true power.

Given that there have now been three different live-action Spider-Man actors, online discourse often centers around which portrays the best version of the character. While some have had more movie appearances than others, all three Spider-Man actors provided fantastic performances and films in their own right, making it increasingly difficult to rank the Spider-Man movies.

When watching all Spider-Man movies in order, however, the first prominent live-action actor was none other than Tobey Maguire. Maguire played Spider-Man in three movies directed by Sam Raimi in 2002, 2004, and 2007 respectively. Maguire then reprised his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, leading to calls for upcoming Spider-Man movies to include a rebooted Spider-Man 4. One reason for this was the power Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man has always exemplified, be it emotional strength or physical. With that said, here are the strongest displays of power from Maguire’s Spider-Man found in Raimi’s original trilogy.

10Saving Mary Jane While Battling Green Goblin

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man fighting Green Goblin.

While certainly not an overwhelmingly impressive display of power, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man saving Mary Jane Watson while battling the Green Goblin for the first time was impressive. The first time Spider-Man and Green Goblin clash in Raimi’s Spider-Man comes during an Oscorp fair that Peter Parker is present at for the Daily Bugle. Despite not showing one specific feat of strength, Spider-Man fights off Goblin, saves MJ who is trapped on a crumbling balcony, saves a young boy from Goblin’s destruction, and routes Norman Osborn to fight another day.

9Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker Catching The Tray Full Of Food

Spider-Man (2002)


Not all displays of power in Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man movies represent physical strength, with Peter catching the tray of food in 2002’s Spider-Man proving this. The scene in question has since become iconic, especially given that Peter catching MJ, the tray, and all the food on top of it was done practically by Tobey Maguire in over 100 takes. The scene perfectly encapsulates one of Spider-Man’s true powers, his lightning-quick reflexes. Without this power, Spider-Man would not be half the hero he is, making this display of reflexes one of the more powerful moments of Maguire’s Spider-Man outings.

8Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Saving Gwen Stacy

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy screaming as Peter saves her in Spider-Man 3

More so than the previous two movies, Spider-Man 3 includes several scenes of Spider-Man’s aerial abilities. One of these moments involves Spider-Man saving Gwen Stacy after the building the latter is in is destroyed by a wayward crane. This sequence ranks among one of Maguire’s Spider-Man’s most powerful displays due to the number of skills he uses throughout. Not only does Spider-Man have to use his webs to accelerate enough to reach Gwen, but he does so while using his Spider-Sense to navigate falling concrete and the crane that caused the accident before catching Gwen in the nick of time and swinging to safety.

7Spider-Man Defeating Sandman

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Spider-Man scrapes Sandman’s head against a train in Spider-Man 3 Black Suit Spider-Man Spider-Man 3 Spider-Man 3 what happened Sandman dead Spider-Man in black suit in Spider-Man 3. The Sandman demonstrates his super powers in Spider-Man 3

Given Spider-Man’s benevolent nature as a character, rarely do Raimi’s Spider-Man films highlight his more ruthless, aggressive side. However, Spider-Man 3 does exactly this through the Symbiote attaching to Peter, making him a much more merciless version of the character seen in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. No scene exemplifies this more than the second action sequence between Spider-Man and Sandman in which the former thinks he has defeated the latter for good, therefore getting revenge for his Uncle Ben’s murder.

The fight sequence takes place in the subway beneath New York’s streets and features Spider-Man at his most angry, with the scene highlighting how Peter stops pulling his punches. This leads to several incredibly powerful moments by Maguire’s Spider-Man, including using a train to shave away Flint Marko’s sand-based head, a punch that breaks through a metal drain, and the power to rip open a metal pipe filled with water to ultimately defeat Sandman. Given that the first fight between the two in the film resulted in Peter’s defeat, this second fight scene and the ease with which Peter defeats Marko showcases the former’s power.

6Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Finally Defeating Green Goblin

Spider-Man (2002)

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man shooting webs at Green Goblin in 2002's Spider-Man

Throughout 2002’s Spider-Man, Green Goblin and Peter Parker clash at various points. In most of these scenes, Goblin holds the upper hand while Peter struggles to gain superiority over his enemy, including the first half of the final fight. However, after Goblin threatens MJ midway through the confrontation, Peter rises up and defeats Goblin in an incredible show of power. From holding off Goblin’s weaponry to pulling down brick walls on top of his enemy and showing his reflexes in dodging the Goblin Glider, Spider-Man ultimately triumphing over Norman Osborn in spite of recent defeats throughout the film is one of the trilogy’s greatest shows of strength.

5Maguire’s Spider-Man Lifted Two Motorcycles Above His Head

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Black suit Spider-Man lifting two motorcycles above his head in an image for the Daily Bugle in Spider-Man 3

While the Spider-Man trilogy showcases a lot of Peter’s strongest moments in full focus, one of his more impressive feats of power is highlighted in a fleeting moment during Spider-Man 3. During the infamous Bully Maguire sequence, Peter is shown presenting pictures of Black Suit Spider-Man to J. Jonah Jameson for the Daily Bugle. In one of the pictures, Spider-Man is shown holding two motorcycles above his head in what is one of the more overt shows of pure strength the character has throughout all three films.

4Maguire’s Spider-Man Removing The Symbiote

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Tobey Maguire screaming while pulling the Symbiote off him in Spider-Man 3
Black Suit Spider-Man brooding atop a church spire in Spider-Man 3Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man struggling to remove the symbiote in Spider-Man 3

Continuing the trend of Spider-Man 3 showcasing Peter’s power, the scene in which Spider-Man removes the Symbiote from his body is one of the trilogy’s most impressive displays of strength. The Symbiote’s bond to a host is an incredibly powerful force, one not easily removed even with the alien’s weakness of sound. Despite the advantage of the bell in the church tower, Peter ripping the Symbiote from his body with his bare hands is an incredibly powerful scene, both in terms of the emotional arc of the movie and in terms of Spider-Man’s hardiness.

3Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Stopping MJ From Being Crushed

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man lifting a section of debris to protect MJ in Spider-Man 2

Moving into the top three on this list, Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man begins employing feats that are much more straightforwardly defined as powerful. The third most powerful moment of these comes in the climax of Spider-Man 2. At the end of the film, Doctor Octopus kidnaps Mary Jane to stop her from calling the police and ruining his plans. Spider-Man naturally arrives to save her and begins fighting off Doc Ock in the process. As Octavius’ reactor grows more and more unstable, the building around the three characters begins crumbling.

At one point, MJ is stuck beneath a huge section of the building as it begins falling on top of her. Spider-Man rushes to her aid, lifting an entire chunk of bricks, mortar, and metal above his head to stop MJ from being crushed. This is one of the most prominent, most impressive displays of power Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man shows across all three movies, something only bettered by two other similar instances.

2Maguire’s Spider-Man Saving MJ & The Cable Car

Spider-Man (2002)

Tobey Maguir as Spider-Man saving Kirsten Dunst's MJ while holding a cable car in 2002's Spider-Man

The silver medal on this list is awarded to Spider-Man saving both MJ and a cable car full of people in 2002’s Spider-Man. Goblin forces Peter to choose between which to save, with the ever-inspiring hero attempting to do both. This results in an incredible scene in which Peter is simultaneously holding onto a cable car full of people with only one hand while Mary Jane holds onto him and Goblin is antagonizing him. The strength it would take the lift the cable car at all is amazing, without the added pressure of MJ clinging onto him and Goblin endlessly tormenting Spider-Man.

1Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man Stopping The Runaway Train

Spider-Man 2 (2002)

Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man stopping the train in Spider-Man 2Spider-Man facing off against Doc Ock atop a train in Spider-Man 2The train passengers looking at Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man in Spider-Man 2Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man being carried by train passengers in Spider-Man 2Spider-Man stopping a train in Spider-Man 2

Despite these many incredibly impressive displays of power from Maguire’s Spider-Man across the three films, undoubtedly the most awe-inspiring – and possibly the most iconic – is Spider-Man stopping the train in Spider-Man 2. The film’s best action sequence comes as Doc Ock and Spider-Man fight atop a moving New York train. Midway through the battle, Ock sabotages the train, causing it to gain speed as it heads to the end of the tracks. This causes Peter to make multiple attempts at stopping the train from pushing his feet against the tracks to using his webs to slow its momentum.

Eventually, Spider-Man shoots multiple webs on either side of the train, combines them into two ropes for each hand and pulls them with all his might. The feat is easily the most physically intensive display of power shown by Maguire’s Spider-Man in the trilogy, as exemplified by his suit ripping from the strain and his brief loss of consciousness after. These obvious signs of fatigue are not shown at any other point in Maguire’s Spider-Man trilogy, nor any other iteration of the hero for that matter, proving above all that stopping the runaway train in Spider-Man 2 is the most impressive display of power in the entire trilogy.

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