The lawyers at Sony and Marvel
join forces and release its third Spider-Man reboot since 2002. This time its Tom Holland in a MCU stamped stand-alone film, Spider-Man: Homecoming. But he’s not alone, Tony Stark makes several cameo appearances as his mentor and tutor. Will this be “Amazing” or better?
The trailers before the movie
Star Wars The Last Jedi, Valerian, War for the Planet of the Apes, Thor: Ragnarok
Seen in 2-D on opening weekend. This is better read if you watched the movie (Possible spoilers ahead).
After the events in Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker waits for another opportunity to be the super hero. Taken under the wings of Tony Stark and his henchman, Happy Hogan, Peter waits patiently for another assignment that doesn’t seem to come. Meanwhile, alien technology has fallen into the hands of a blue-collar American who plots profit around government bureaucrats and Stark Industries. Between fighting crime and an awkward high school life, Peter has adjusts to the many challenges takes comes in and out of his hero suit.
Apprehensive at first, the deluge of Marvel and DC films and Marvel and DC trailers, had given me super hero fatigue. I didn’t want to see another corporate money-grab. After all, this is Hollywood’s third attempt to engineer a blockbuster profit following the disappointment of Spider-Man 3 and the “Amazing” duology. However, the positive reviews flowed in. Granted, anything stamped “Marvel” gets a handicap.
True to word of mouth, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a lighthearted film more comedy than a fantasy super-hero film. It’s as much as a teenage Peter Parker movie as his alter-ego, Spider-Man. While Iron Man stole the spotlight from Captain America in Civil War, he doesn’t do that here.
It may not satisfy hardcore “Spidey” fans. The fact we’re two reboots away from the Tobey McGuire era is going to make some very sore. Tom Holland’s first solo film isn’t an origin film, nor mentions Uncle Ben, or has Peter Parker doing anything resembling photography. And he doesn’t work for the Daily Bugle. Aunt May isn’t old and helpless. Flash Thompson isn’t an athlete and M.J. doesn’t stand for Mary Jane anymore. Spider-Man doesn’t save the world in another classic Marvel generic-doomsday-device-run-by-faceless-enemies. Instead, he saves the day. Homecoming manages to tell a story about a teenager who just wants to do good without the haughty self-importance of Spider-Man 3 or the dour, emo-driven rendition from the “Amazing” pair. (For I am in the minority as I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man films)
My favorite part of the film is the casting of Micheal Keaton as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture. Keaton knows what it takes to act in a super-hero movie. As The Vulture, he plays the blue-collar worker oppressed by big government and bigger corporations. Finding new ways to provide wealth to his family, he chooses a path financing low-level criminals with over-the-top, alien tech. The Vulture is a villain that has more depth than usual compared to other MCU villains. It is because the stakes aren’t so high that we can tell a story about two opponents more effectively. Before the film mires into senseless CGI, the height of the film comes when Peter and Toomes have a conversation in Toome’s car. They’re more drama out of their clash of egos and respective motivations than what follows the next 30 minutes.
What made it good?
Low key, no world-destroying doomsday device, unexpected comedic tone, having Iron Man and other surprising references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe without feeling shoe-horned in. And Micheal Keaton.
What could have been better?
Lackluster, CGI festival as a finale. Could have had a little more of story about Adrian Toomes and a world of unintended consequences with the Avengers in it.