“Spider-Man big screen adaptation take 3” *claps clapperboard
Sony is giving the Spider-Man franchise another go with another semi reboot of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man with the help of Marvel Studios. This time around, Spider-Man has been embedded into the MCU a.k.a Marvel Cinematic Universe. With his brief and scene stealing cameo in Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) was introduced and kicked off the start of his involvement into one day becoming an avenger. Up till now, his franchise only has him swinging into crime solving solo, never receiving any assistance with his heroism and now fans get to see him team up with other marvel heroes where he belonged.
Usually you don’t mess with the original (Spider-Man 2002) and I will also go on record that I enjoyed Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker a lot (The Amazing Spider-Man 2012) so was it really necessary to start over again? No, not really. I understand the success of the first reboot underwhelmed but I was looking forward with where they were going with it. This movie got so much right this time around and here’s why…
This movie wasn’t an origin story. I think by now anyone who is a fan knows exactly how Peter Parker gets his Spidey senses. If it turns out you don’t, it’s okay. He gets bitten by a radioactive spider. Done!! Of course, there is more to his story as to why he became a superhero and all but it’s it not needed for this movie. However, this movie still has him progressing into the hero he is meant to be. The story can be described as a coming of age story in certain ways. Spider-Man: Homecoming supposedly takes place several months after the events of Civil War where we see Peter Parker juggle the responsibilities of high school and also getting more acquainted with his powers and figuring out his place in the superhero world as the newest hero. The moment where he decides to make a difference, which is the death of his Uncle, is briefly mentioned but the film is trusting us to know all of that to save screen time to forward the story. I think this was a smart move as most fans are aware of the character and his origin.
Another thing they got right was their choice for a villain and threat. High School was enough to make you stressed out as it is. With that being said, the big bad and the obstacle blended the two very well. Having to make choices between just being a teen or growing up faster than he is supposed to and be that hero he is destined to be become. Michael Keaton is back playing yet another bird once again in the comic book world. Keaton cannot just shake off those bird characters can he. This time around it’s a vulture, who is a very familiar foe for Spider-Man in the comics. Keaton represents the man who will do anything for his family and also feels that the rich continues to get rich while the poor just keeps getting poorer and he is tired of it. Pulling off small jobs in his area along with Bokeem Woodbine going by the name Shocker provides a very big adversary for Peter in the stage he is currently in with his status as a hero. This also brings up a good point I also want to make is the tone of the movie.
The character changes in race did no harm to the story and what do you know, still manage to make a whole lot of dough.
It is very different from the rest of the MCU. This movie reminds me a lot of Ant-Man in a way that this movie sort of stands alone as its own film and story even though it will have an impact in future films. While the other movies are so large in its mark in the MCU. The threat, the action, the villains, the big showdowns are all done in epic proportions, Spider-Man: Homecoming is just dealing with one problem that is happening in one neighborhood. It’s sort of like a side quest to the big picture. Which doesn’t take away from the story it actually makes it better. It stands out, its unique with making it more about his self-discovery vs. having to save the world from something. In the process, we learned so much more about this version of Peter Parker as well.
The humor is something to really acknowledge in this feature as well. Since we all know that he is Spider-man and that he has these powers for a while we expect him to be a pro at thwarting his adversaries. HA! Fat chance. There were so many times that his geeky, nerd persona, took shape even with the suit on. A couple of blunders here and there kept him relatable and human in my opinion and I liked that about that type of humor. The other thing is that some of the humor was in the form of some of the small missions he would accomplish trying to build up his street cred as a full-fledge hero like The Avengers. Even helping a woman who is asking for directions was no task too small for Peter. It showed he had a heart but it was also funny that his moral code and use of his powers doesn’t keep him from being a gentleman.
The supporting cast provided a bit of humor as well. Aunt May was a delight to see as she played the caring loving Aunt to Peter but how naïve she was in regards to how hot she is in this movie was fun to look at. This is the first in my memory they have made this character so young, so they kind of ran with it and pointed out that Peter has a smoking hot Aunt. Sadly, we didn’t see more interactions with her and Tony Stark but maybe that is for a different movie. A bit of the humor came from the classic teen angst of awkwardness, keeping secrets, school crushes, and any other form of high school clichés you can think of. Those moments made it very entertaining to watch.
Sony and Marvel did a great job with its sporting cast. I am sure you have seen the numbers regarding how much this movie has made so far. With those impressive numbers, this was able to be achieved while changing the ethnicity of two MAJOR characters in the comics. Especially one person in particular the school bully and nemesis Flash who is usually a big buff blond white guy to one Tony Revolori who is of Guatemalan descent. I know that hardcore fans want to pay and see literally the exact same thing they see on film from their comics and cartoons. What I think people need to realize is that these stories were made in a time where it was the norm and very taboo to experiment and put people of color in many characters and we just don’t live in that kind of restraint anymore. I think given the opportunity, some of these characters would be of different ethnicities if it wasn’t so frowned upon back in the day. The character changes in race did no harm to the story and what do you know, still manage to make a whole lot of dough. In addition to the little hint about Miles Morales (small spoiler), way to go for challenging the norm. It worked and happy they took the risk on such a huge franchise.
There is a lot more that I can talk about this film and how awesome it is but I will close with my thoughts on the target audience and its replay value. This movie is best seen knowing sort of the backstory of the rest of the MCU. Will you be lost and confused if you don’t? Not at all, but you can benefit a lot from having a little bit of history down before going. Some of the jokes will fall flat if you don’t know the previous films so hopefully that won’t take away from the entertainment value of the movie. Also, this movie is funny for kids and adults. There are serious moments and some cheesy moments. This make take place through the eyes of a teen but there are plenty of things that adults can relate to.
For one, just watching Tony Stark evolve into a father figure was just down right brilliant. Someone who is used to playing by his own rules and also rebelling against his father when younger to pursue his passion found himself acting just the same to Peter Parker as a role model type. There were plenty of times Tony pointed out that he didn’t want to be like his dad but he just couldn’t help it. Having Stark around as a guide was great. I mean who doesn’t want Iron Man in every movie but they accomplished his scenes so perfectly it didn’t take the focus off of Spider-Man. Even when Stark would don the suit and help out, it still was all about Spider-Man.
This is a movie I recommend. It is unique, different, hilarious, and relatable. Great characters, great action sequences, terrific scenes between Keaton and Holland that will make you cringe on how tense the room was getting when both were in the same room. You will know when you see it. The movie ended very well and realistically also and of course there is a small post/mid credit scene as well as a joke scene at the very end of the credits so don’t leave your seat. Have fun and enjoy the ride because it is a wonderful one and I hope the next installments are just as fun. Tom Holland makes a great Spider-Man.
5 out of 5