Nerdbot Review: Spider-Man Homecoming
Spider-Man is back!!
Everything you are reading about Spider-Man: Homecoming being the best Spidey flick since Spider-Man:2 is 100% TRUE. The franchise has been restored. Just forget that Andrew Garfield even played the part, and you can feel free to erase the horror that was Spider-Man:3 from your mind entirely. I'm not sure if it took planets aligning or plain common sense to get the folks at Sony and Disney to reach an agreement that would bring New York's favorite web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but whatever it was... it worked.
I'll put it simply, go see this movie! The film overall is great, tons of action and laughs to keep you hooked to the very end, and when I say the end I mean all the way to through the closing credits. As always, I will try to keep this review as spoiler free as possible.
So let's begin the discussion...
Tom Holland, the perfect choice. For the first time in a movie we have an actor that is capable of playing both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. I'm sorry, but you got to admit, his predecessors were only able to pull off one or the other. He's adorable, with a charming, nerdy innocence I'm convinced only he is could bring to the table. There's something about British actors playing American super-heroes, makes me wonder if there's something going on across the pond we should know about.
The film has a "coming of age" vibe to it as Peter learns copes with your typical high school obstacles; how am I going to get the girl? How will I keep this secret from my friends and family? How do I get Flash to stop hating on me? But he also struggles to find his place within The Avengers. We see Spider-Man making calls to Happy (Jon Favreau) trying so desperately to garner the attention of Tony Stark. And when he finally does, he disappoints Mr. Stark, forcing the story to turn from a "coming of age" tale to one of redemption. (don't worry, you get that from the preview, sort of)
Michael Keaton plays Adrian Toomes a.k.a. The Vulture. A man in the site clean-up/salvage industry who puts his company on the line for a big job with a city contract. The job, cleaning up after the War For New York which we saw in The Avengers. Fast Forward eight years into the future and Toomes is now selling weapons made from the remnants of alien machinery lost in the fight. He's crafted a flying suit which he uses to rob government vehicles transporting more alien technology.
What is so unique about this villain choice is that for the first time in a while, in s superhero movie, there is no big plot to destroy the world. Hell, there's no big plot to destroy anything. This Vulture is just a guy, trying to make money being a criminal and he sees Spider-Man as a threat to his business, which is a threat to the survival of his family. He's a no nonsense, do everything in his power, to provide for his family, and though his intentions are good, his methods are not, which creates a good ambiguity in the character. This more grounded approach I felt was an unbelievable story telling technique that prevented this movie from doing the same old thing we've seen a thousand times in other superhero movies.
We have to talk about the suit... yes, that suit. It may be one of the most polarizing topics of debate between fans of the comics and your average moviegoer. For me, I was never too invested in the comics growing up so some of the enhancements to the suit I was okay with, and frankly after seeing Iron Man I kinda figured we would get a "teched out" Spidey suit. The ones who hold true to the comics may feel this was a step in the wrong the direction but I felt it fit the mold of what have been seeing with the characters in the MCU. Even the times when it felt a over done, like the part where Peter discovers his web shooters have not five, but five hundred something different settings, gave way for a humorous training sequence. So it worked for what Director John Watts was going for.
The surrounding cast of Peter's high school counterparts had great on screen chemistry. For being thirty three years old, it reminded me of my days roaming the halls of my alma mater. Ned in particular shined as the funniest character we meet. The usual love story stuff we get in these blockbusters did not feel forced and was such a small part of the overall product you barely noticed it was going on.
With Spider-Man: Homecoming and Captain America: Civil War, Marvel has finally figured out it's Iron Man problem. And when I say problem, it's not a matter of money, but how exactly this character fits into the MCU (yes, even the mega stars can be vulnerable to fitting in). Making Tony Stark a strong supporting role instead of the lead was totally the right decision. It's not that Robert Downey Jr. can't carry a whole movie, it's just we've done basically we can do with Iron Man as a central character. Time for the new faces to have their moment in the sun and with Marvel moving into Phase Four of the MCU, Stark as a secondary character better fits the universe's evolution.
Couple of random notes:
Marisa Tomei as Aunt May did a great job as Aunt May. Even though she was not in it all that much, her scenes were memorable.
The Shocker is in the movie, kind of, you'll see what I mean.
There are plenty of Easter eggs for fanboys to find, then obsess over.
Stay through the end credits.
Keaton did a great job with the Vulture, but there was something off about seeing him as the bad guy. I'm used to him either being a hero or in a comedy so maybe I wasn't ready for this side of him.
In short, Spider-Man: Homecoming is definitely worth the time. Head to the theaters before it's too late!
What did you think of the newest Spider-Man adventure? Let Nerdbot know in the comments!