Spider-Man: Homecoming is the sixth Spidey movie in the last 15 years. This is more than any other superhero in that stretch. Why can’t Marvel seem to give their most popular character (arguably) the justice he deserves? The Amazing Spider-Man films starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were okay. They were good enough to go see, but were nothing to write home about. The sequel did my boy Jamie Foxx dirty, though. He looked like Stanley from The Office dropped a few pounds and forgot how to mind his own business. Anyway, going into this film, there was loads of hype. Being the avid NBA fan that I am, I saw various trailers for Homecoming throughout the Playoffs. This did not bode well for my overall viewing experience. I must warn you: if you’ve seen all the trailers, you’ve seen this whole movie.
To those who have not seen any of the trailers: congratulations! You have successfully avoided the modern travesty of hype saturation. I, however, could not avoid this glaring issue. The film would’ve been much more interesting if I didn’t already know what would transpire. I wish the trailers weren’t so misleading. One of my biggest gripes is the inclusion of renaissance man Donald Glover. Although his character is a foreshadowing to a possible Miles Morales film in the future, his presence seemed superfluous. His casting felt like a complete lure to get more fans flooding into theaters. I’m not sure who is responsible for his lack of charisma but I’ll blame the director for now. If Black Spider-Man doesn’t get a movie in the next ten years, Glover’s role will be useless.
They also tried a little too hard to deviate from past storylines. Personally, I am quite happy they did not recreate yet another Uncle Ben tragedy. However, director Jon Watts’ vision for one of the characters was overly modernized, in my opinion. “Flash” Thompson (played by Tony Revolori aka “Jib” from Dope) has a distinct look in the comics. He is a physical bully. I understand this re-imagination for modern psychological bullying. I just don’t see how Peter Parker would ever let a fellow dweeb pick on him. “Flash” doesn’t need to be white, he simply needs to look like a bully. Revolori does not. From the trailers I was unsure how Vulture’s mechanical wing suit would fair. It impressed me, though, once I witnessed it on the big screen.
Casting Michael Keaton as Vulture proved to be an excellent choice. He was a convincing villain with a genuine human element. His hate for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man felt real enough to touch. Yet I must ask: how many times will the villain be the love interest’s father? This writing hiccup made the plot that much more predictable. We all know there will be a happy ending. I’ve got no problem with that. However, Homecoming ended up boring me half the time due to its anticlimactic closing sequences. Spider-Man’s strength was vastly inconsistent. Going back to Civil War, Spidey toyed with the all-powerful arm of Bucky. Yet in this film, set 8 months in the future, he struggled against regular, non-super dudes. This lack of detailed attention makes this movie less-than-memorable.
It’s far from a bad film, however. Salvatore Totino’s action shots are striking, dramatic, and, most importantly, believable. The weaponry chase scene is hilarious. Holland must run through an open field without any trees or buildings to swing from, concluding “Well, this sucks”. Although Donald Glover’s character greatly underwhelmed, his second and final scene in the parking garage amused me. Spider-Man hacked into the capabilities of his new suit and used its “enhanced interrogation mode”. The cartoonish voice distortion was goofy and fitting. Speaking of the Stark-made suit, it was freaking awesome. Its female CPU, voiced by Jennifer Connelly, was a bit too witty for my liking. But it fits the recurring aesthetic nonetheless. I digress, Tom Holland made the most of his opportunity.
His final test of will was emotionally moving. The Lion King-esque water reflection worked beautifully. Despite some obviously fake cement debris, Holland’s screams were some of the most compelling bits of acting I’ve seen in a recent superhero movie. Unfortunately, the boss battle with Vulture was another disappointment. The action was flat and head-scratching. How, with what we know about Tony Stark and his intellect, would he leave a cargo plane unattended? The answer is: he wouldn’t. Vulture gets away with the easiest heist attempt of all-time. That was complete B.S., in my opinion. Stark has countless amounts of unmanned Iron Men. It’s hard to believe he wouldn’t assign one or two to fly next to a plane carrying Cap’s shield concept and palladium chest pieces.
That said, when the plane crash-lands from the hero-villain altercation, much is left to be desired. The entire film builds up to this moment. Yet the fight is anything but epic. Vulture’s wing explodes in a wimpy and hasty fashion, compressing the climax of the film. All in all, Spider-Man: Homecoming is an entertaining rehash. But, honestly, it’s not worth a full-price ticket. It’s better than the previous two films, though. So if that’s what you’re looking for, this movie delivers. The after-credits scenes are definitely key. There are two in total: one serious and one comical. Stay to the end! Homecoming may not be perfect, but the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows promise for the films to come.
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