Rating 4.5/5: In the scheme of things Spider-Man Homecoming could have been a complete disaster considering the garbage fire the two Amazing Spider-Man movies turned out being. I know there are people who can find good things about that movie, but for me, it had way too many things not going for it. Andrew Garfield was too “cool” to portray the nerd that is Peter Parker. I’d go see any Emma Stone movie where she’s not portraying an Asian and I think she did fine as Gwen Stacy but the father sub-plot was dumb and his vow to stay away from her by stalking her turned out to be just as creepy as it sounds. The villains were dumb, the plot didn’t bother showing up and the action couldn’t save it.
I like Sam Rami’s two Spider-Man movies well enough and completely agree that the second movie earned its classic status, but trying to separate them from the third movie is like trying to separate a living thing from one of its limbs. Whatever reasons Rami had for his decision for the third Spider-Man were bad ones. As much as I liked Toby McGuire’s Peter Parker there were elements left out of Spider-Man I simply don’t understand. So Spider-Man Homecoming had a lot of baggage behind it. How did it do? Pretty damn good in my opinion.
Spider-Man Homecoming NitPick #1: Spider-Sense
There are some decisions I don’t understand and never will when it comes to Super-Hero movies. One of the main ones is why they choose to take away or lessen elements of their heroes. I feel this way about the one element of Spider-Man none of the movies seem to get right. His Spider-Sense. In the comics, it’s represented by a series of wavy lines that halo iconically around his head. It a pretty well-known part of his powers but the movies either don’t want to use it or something about it makes the writers and director uncomfortable. I cannot personally explain it. In the Rami Spider-Man movies, it was used at first but seemed to be forgotten about in the second and third movie. The Amazing Spider-Man was too dumb for me to even remember if they did it there.
In Spider-Man Homecoming they didn’t use it at all. It was a little offputting because everything else about the movie I liked very much. I don’t know what the deal with this is, but it’s obvious filmmakers find it hard to do for some reason.
Birdman, I Mean Vulture
Michael Keaton was one of those comedy actors I liked well enough, but Batman he wasn’t. People who remember Batman do so from a decidedly rose-colored nostalgic lens. The only good decision the movie made was having Jack Nicholson play the Joker. Until Heath Ledger came along it was considered the definitive live action Joker, supplanting Ceaser Romero by leaps and bounds. From my POV Keaton just seems to fade into the background noise of Pop Culture until he popped up again in Birdman.
His Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture, is some of his better work. You could almost sympathize with his point of view if it wasn’t for the murder and selling weapons to criminals. He was a great threat and there were more than a few nice twists in his conflict with Spider-Man. I’m not going to say he stole the show, but he came pretty damn close.
Too Many Villains?
Hats off to Michael Mando for finding himself in more than one Pop Culture icon. He was the abusive but idiotic ex-boyfriend in Orphan Black, a reoccurring character in Better Call Saul and now it looks like he’s going to be the Scorpion. He was more of an Easter Egg in Spider-Man Homecoming, but what an Easter Egg. He served a purpose in the movie and has pretty good reasons to hate Spider-Man for the next installment. Not only was Max Gargan in this but we had the Tinkerer and two Shockers. This is a lesson to people who keep saying too many villains ruin a movie. It’s not the number of villains, it’s how you present them. After all most gangster movies are stuffed with villains and no one ever complains about that when one fails.
Racists Vs Zendaya
The reaction to Zendaya being in Spider-Man was a racist one. It was nice to see Marvel troll these assholes with her throw-away line at the end of the movie. Yes, I know what the line implies, but she’s not Mary Jane. To tell the truth there hasn’t been a Spider-Man writer except for Brian Michael Bendis who could get Mary Jane past her lack of being anything more than a replacement for Gwen Stacy. Even Bendis pointed out in his take on Mary Jane that the only way for her to be the girl constantly in need of rescue was that she had to make really bad decisions.
The funny part of the Michelle character Zendaya portrayed is I’ve met that girl so many times in various phases of school. One of them used to be a best friend. They were usually bohemian, free spirits and the real life of the manic pixie dream girl.
So, How Was It?
Marvel fixed everything that’s been wrong with every Spider-Man movie in five minutes of Captain America Civil War screen time. Therefore it should be no surprise that Spider-Man Homecoming was fun, engaging and actually felt like a damn Spider-Man movie. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the first two McGuire movies, but there were still parts of it that didn’t quite like a Spider-Man movie. Spider-Man Homecoming was a hardcore Marvel Spider-Man movie from start to finish. Great moments, good supporting characters and a good villain all adds up to making Spider-Man Homecoming one of the must-see movies of 2017.