Spider-Man: Homecoming - 2017
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the reboot to the sequel of… this joke has already been made. Homecoming marks the first stand-alone Spidey movie handled by the well-oiled machine that is the Marvel cinematic universe. Tom Holland debuted his Spider-Man back in 2016 and set the expectations extremely high for the fans of the source material. Safe to say, they delivered. The story centers around the struggles of Peter Parker adapting to his new role as a superhero in training, while still trying to be a teenager in school.
There is a trend in Hollywood of taking talented indie directors and thrusting them into the blockbuster stage without any warm ups. This trend has provided mostly mediocre and flat out horrible blockbusters, since the director couldn’t handle a movie in such a big scale. Jon Watts, like Patty Jenkins, is by far the exception to this rule. Watts’ juggling act between a John Hughes-esque coming of age story and a super hero action movie is impressive. He created and attained a fast-paced comedic tone that was just plain fun from beginning to end.
Like it has been said since Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland was perfectly cast to play the dual role of Spider-Man and Peter Parker. He absolutely shines in both, bringing to life both characters without ever favoring one over the other one. He developed a great banter with the two comic reliefs, Jacob Batalon as Ned and Jon Favreau as Hoppy. The best scenes by far are the ones with Jacob, as both played off another delivering the funniest moments in the movie.
It was refreshing seeing Spidey outside the tall buildings of New York. As the trailer shows, some sequences take place in the Washington monument and in the State Island Ferry, further creating a distinction between his previous two incarnations. But his roots still run very deep New York, having a key scene taking place in a bodega, a staple in the culture of NYC.
I was worried about Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man / Tony Stark in this movie. I feared he would upstage his younger counterpart, essentially making this Spider Man movie an Iron Man movie. But Downey is featured the correct amount of time as he mentors Holland in the perils of being a hero, while creating a quasi-father and son relationship that I look forward to seeing grow. Downey at this point can sleep walk through his Iron Man performance, since he’s done it for so long, but he continues to be solid and enjoyable.
Marvel has had a well-documented streak of forgettable and bland bad guys. But then in comes Hollywood royalty Kurt Russell in Guardians Vol.2 followed by this movie main baddie played by Michael Keaton. He was given clear motivations that the audience understood, and to some extent they could connect with him. Keaton as Vulture was intimidating and flat out menacing, reminiscing of Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin in 2002’s Spider-Man. I’ll be honest, as soon as I saw him on screen I did see Batman and even Birdman, but that association from his previous character quickly disappeared and he fully became the Vulture.
Yes, I can sit here and nitpick a few scenes or acting choices, but I won’t. I honestly had way too much fun and it would be stupid of me to complain about for the sake of complaining.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the perfect cross section for fans of the source material and the new generation of fans Disney/Marvel needs to bring in to keep their cinematic universe alive. It has a solid cast that I look forward to watching grow together and many Easter eggs that may lead to big developments within their sequels. It’s safe to say Spider-Man is in the right hands. Being terrified by Michael Keaton is why I love movies.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is currently playing in theaters. No matter what you find on the… web… trust me you will have fun.
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