Let’s just get out of the way my extreme disappointment that this new series of films aren’t Spectacular Spider-Man.
Let me also register in advance my superlative disappointment that there probably isn’t going to be a Spider-Verse adaption with current new guy Tom Holland joining up with Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone as Spider-Gwen and another young up-and-comer to introduce Miles Morales. Even though there totally could be such a movie, and it would damn well blow everybody’s mind.
Everybody got that? Good!
The movie starts with an
amazing avenging superior great orchestration of the classic Spider-Man theme from Michael Giacchino. The guy’s spent damn near his whole career under the thumbs of J.J. Abrams and Walt Disney Studios, but it’s really worked out for him (and for us, too).
Spider-Man: Homecoming wastes little time tieing down continuity to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The origin of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery is none other than the alien tech debris strewn all over New York City from the invasion featured in The Avengers. It makes for a surprisingly organic narrative for the villans’ journey.
And they brought the goods, too; they got Batman to play the villain. Shit just got real.
Homecoming does a rare thing in superhero movies: it has three bad guys (The Tinkerer, Shocker and Vulture) without feeling oversaturated. While the lesser baddies aren’t as well developed as the big bad, having a common backstory helps carry some of the narrative load.
What follows is Peter Parker’s home movies that take us behind the scenes of his appearance in Captain America: Civil War, which serves as our reintroduction to his character.
After watching Tom Holland and his classmates in this movie, it’s really stunning to see just how damn old Peter and his “high school” classmates looked. I mean, in retrospect, Tobey Maguire looked more out of age than the cast of Saved by the Bell did. Tom does a great job in the movie, which of all the Spider-Men best captures youthful inexperience despite being the only movie without an origin story.
On a related note, I like that they remember that Peter’s in one of New York’s “magnet” high schools for science and as such, Flash Thompson, who also attends the science school, shouldn’t just be a generic jock.
What else is beautiful about Spider-Man: Homecoming is it is the FIRST and ONLY movie in the MCU that features the time-honored tradition of superheroes fighting crime. That in and of itself is a great feat. But it also takes it a step further by allowing Spider-Man to be fallible; in one crime-fighting scene, he interrupts a man attempting to break into his own car. The ensuing argument results in nearby residents leaning out their rear windows with a “you shuddupa with the shuddupa.”
Okay, so Spider-Man isn’t the first and only MCU movie that plays for laughs. But its humor is very fresh in a cinematic universe where we more-or-less know what to expect from each new flick.
Still that aforementioned youthful inexperience is front-and-center in the story, which at it’s core is a fairly standard “earn the mask” plot. But again, that kind of story gives us such a fresh perspective on the whole MCU thing by seeing what living in a Marvel comic is like from the ground up. We get to see the consequences for everyday people in a far less ham-fisted and ingenuine way than what Civil War presented.
As for the action, it’s
fantastic mighty uncanny great. But while there’s a lot of unique-looking spider-scenes,
There are a few others that look a little… familiar.
Spider-Man is creative, moves in interesting ways and bumbles through some unexpected resourcefulness to great effect. His Tony Stark-built super suit also gives off more than a little of a Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) vibe.
Speaking of Iron Man, he’s not in the movie as much as it seems. His force of presence is far-reaching, but he doesn’t even get as much face time as even Happy Hogan.
But the best appearance of all is Captain America, especially with Spider-Man’s history with him. But I’ll let you see that for yourself.
Verdict: Go for it (4/5). I would have rated this Must-See if it stood on its own. You’d have a hard time understanding parts of it if you hadn’t seen other Marvel movies.