Movie Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Director: Jon Watts

Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr. Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau

IMDb: 8.2 of 12,000+

Rotten Tomatoes: 93% (7.6/10)

Plot:

Peter Parker has returned home from the events of Captain America: Civil War. He now awaits his next big mission from Tony Stark. Meanwhile, some local villains stir up trouble in his neighborhood with some dangerous new weapons.  It is up to him to balance a social life in high school, pleasing the desires of Tony Stark, and understanding the full spectrum of his amazing talents and responsibilities.

Opening Thoughts:

Time for another Spider-Man film. The sixth one I’ve seen in fifteen years and let me tell you, it is getting tiresome to keep having Peter Parker rebooted.  I mean, can he at least get out of high school already?  Tony Stark is in this film, I hope he doesn’t overshadow Spider-Man, but he is a reason I’m seeing it opening night.  As for Michael Keaton, the guy is a great actor. Can he make The Vulture work? I sure would love to see a great Spider-Man movie. Let this one last a while. Please!

What I Didn’t Like:

Despite some people’s worries, one will be relieved that Iron Man does not overtake this film.  While I was happy to see Tony Stark and company in this film, I was fine with his limited role in the movie, but Stark seemed a bit lazy this time around.  He wasn’t as sharp as previous films. Maybe it was because he was working as a mentor to the young Peter Parker.  I would have liked to keep Stark as a limited role in the film, but give him more of that quick wit we love from him.

A couple of times during the film, the action moves so quickly that it momentarily distorts and or confuses.  You quickly regain your grasp, but it was slightly jarring a couple of times in the film. That could be altered.

What I Did Like:

I always look for good writing because that makes or breaks a film with me.  I believe a good Spider-Man movie has comedy, a sense of maturation (coming of age story), good social foundations, and a solid villain.  These may seem basic, but a lot of films fail.  Spider-Man: Homecoming is not one of these films.

Tom Holland works well in this role as Peter Parker. He looks the part of a young, nerdy guy, but also has the physique of Spider-Man. He has a stage presence that is far beyond most other young actors. Thrust into the spotlight in such a huge role, he nails it in his first major Spider-Man film.

Spider-Man/Peter Parker in this film is very clever and they show this talent throughout the film. He reacts quickly in the time of need, makes last minute alterations, and learns on the fly. Spider-Man is funny, always cracking jokes and mocking the baddies (even the big villain).

I love that the Spider-Man we start with in this film is not the one we finish with. He grows as a superhero and as a human being to be more. This movie impressed me with the character growth. (Can’t go into detail because spoilers.)

I was unsure how Vulture would work as a villain. He is an obscure villain and you could go a dangerously campy way with him.  Keaton playing the Vulture gave the villain gravitas. A fleshed-out villain with a sense of purpose.  It is too often I see a film show me a villain doing bad things for the sake of doing bad things, because he is a bad guy.  The Vulture has a foundation to work from and it is very fitting given the Spider-Man universe. You may not approve of what he does, but at least you know where he is coming from. He has conviction.

The secondary characters are excellent in this film. They all get moments to shine be it a humorous scene, a heavy moment with Parker, or pushing the plot forward.  What this film did better than any other Spider-Man film was make everyone surrounding Peter Parker into a likable or interesting character. I want to see more of all of them in future films.  There is also a lot of situational humor and references to Spider-Man lore new and old.

The action is sizzling when it happens.  While the film focuses a lot on character development and social interaction. When the action does happen, it is quick, well visualized, and on par if not above most other Marvel films.

One of my complaints with other Marvel films is that they don’t feel as connected as they should.  Serious moments in Marvel history have happened, but were often sidelined or not even mentioned. This movie altered that completely.  The events of previous films are important in the development of the present story. Even better, the amount of little details and references connected to all other Spider-Man and Marvel films is extraordinary. I could watch this film ten times and still not find all these nuggets. (Good luck to the men and women who will take on that task.)

This movie made me excited for Spider-Man movies again. Something I never thought would happen again.  I’m hopeful that this movie will be so successful that Sony and Marvel will realize the best thing for all parties is to stay inclusive and work together to create a bigger and brighter superhero future.  Because whether you accept it or not, the Superhero movie genre is a bubble and it one day will burst. However, by putting out energetic and fresh new content like this Spider-man film, they can stretch that bubble for all it is worth.

Conclusion:

Spiderman: Homecoming impressed me with its energy and depth in a way I didn’t think possible after five previous films since 2002.  The cast is excellent, the humor hits all the right marks, an interesting villain, and the action exciting.  Easily the best Spider-Man film ever created and I’m glad I went to see it.

 

The Ladder

Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)

Iron Man (2008)

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

Spiderman 2 (2004)

Iron Man 3 (2013)

Spider-Man (2002)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Captain America (2011) 

Iron Man 2 (2010)

The Amazing Spider Man 2 (2014)

 

Spider-man 3 (2007)

 

 

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