In case you’re wondering, I’m going to try to be as spoiler free as possible during this review. There’s only one big twist in this film and I don’t want to give it away. Actually, there are two, but the second big reveal I found kind of dumb. I’m not sure if I’ll spoil that one or not, but it might be worth talking about.
Homecoming if you didn’t know is the third reboot of Spider-Man. I was mediocre on the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man. But absolutely loved the second film. He made a fun 50’s monster movie that just happened to have Spider-Man in it. The third film on the other hand… it sucked. It sucked pretty hard. People try defending that clusterfuck by saying Sandman was really good… No! That film was terrible. I know Sam Raimi was kind of pressured into adding Venom but that doesn’t really explain the rest of the film. It almost felt like he was trying to sabotage his own franchise because the studio didn’t want The Vulture. The villain he really wanted.
As for the Amazing Spider-Man films with Andrew Garfield… I didn’t hate them. I had way more issues with The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But even the first film in that reboot had really dumb issues.
Like I’ve mentioned many times before in previous superhero movie reviews, I only really know about the X-Men, since their comics were the only ones I read. But I also really loved the Spider-Man cartoon series in the 90’s. So I know a bit about Spider-Man. As much as the show taught me that is. I also might have read a few Spidey comics back in the day. I specifically remember owning two issues. One featuring the Rhino and another featuring Spot. Maybe one of the dumbest villains I can think of. He tosses black spots that he can move through like a Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner cartoon.
Spider-Man is meant to be this young kid Peter Parker, who constantly gets in over his head. His personal life falls apart regularly because he moonlights as Spider-Man. Trying to juggle both usually ends disastrously for him. Also, the villains he fights aren’t out to destroy the city or the world. Usually they’re just criminals that want to rob a bank. Even Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2 just wanted to rob banks. His goal wasn’t something stupid like turn the city into lizards like in The Amazing Spider-Man.
Thankfully Homecoming got both things right. They got their Peter Parker/Spider-Man right and they got the villain right.
Another thing I sometimes hear people saying, Andrew Garfield was a great Spider-Man but not a great Peter Parker. Or Tobey Maguire was such a great Peter Parker but not so great as Spider-Man. The major issue with the argument is… Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Putting on the costume doesn’t change his personality. He’s the same regardless. Saying this actor was better as this version instead of that version just proves that neither version was any good.
That is until now.
I think a lot of that has to do with this now getting in the hands of Marvel. They know their characters. They know how to cast them. They know how to write them. They know how to pick directors who actually like the franchise they’re working on. I’m looking at you, DC and your pick of Zack Snyder to direct your Superman series, a guy who hates Superman. You’d think shit like that at this point would be a no brainer. I think that’s essentially why Marvel keeps hitting it out of the park, while DC is constantly playing catchup or falling flat on their faces.
That isn’t to say Marvel can do no wrong especially when it comes to Disney. As of late you’ve seen more and more studio interference by them. Particularly with their Star Wars franchise. But Marvel is known to shove their noses in where it isn’t wanted as well. Take Age of Ulton and how the studio pissed off Joss Whedon because Marvel really wanted some shit in there about Thor that didn’t really make sense or have anything to do with the plot. Just this weird detour so they can set up Ragnarok.
They kicked Edgar Wright off Ant-Man because he kind of wanted to do his own thing, not have it connected to the cinematic universe. As fun as this whole MCU thing is, it is starting to maybe become a problem.
Take my dad for instance. I went to all three Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies at the theater with him. He in no way is a superhero fan, but for some reason he wanted to see them. Now that the Spider-Man franchise is connected to the MCU, he has zero interest in seeing Homecoming. I keep trying to explain why Tony Stark is in this, why Aunt May is young, it all just seems like jumping the shark to him. It doesn’t matter how much he loves Michael Keaton or how great the reviews are for this. He just won’t see it. The only MCU films he’s seen are the first two Ironman films, which he hated. So now anything connected with it he refuses to watch. That’s a major problem.
Maybe not that major seeing as this film made a fuckload at the box office. The theater I went to was packed. I doubt many this time around were there to see Transformers 5 like they were when I went to see Baby Driver.
But that also meant dumb annoying kids would be there, taking up space. It forced me to sit in the handicapped seat made for those with wheelchairs or Seeing Eye dogs. Thankfully, no one complained or with disabilities showed up. Though the adult man sitting across from me was rocking back and forth in his chair like a child for 2 hours, so… oh and the asshole behind me kept placing his feet next to my face. So that was fun.
Anyway, let’s talk about hot ass Aunt May. Why was she old to begin with? That’s Peter’s aunt. Meaning that’s either his mom or dad’s sister. Peter is like 14 or 15 in this, maybe a little older in the Sam Raimi films. But why is she like 40 years older than say Peter’s mom or dad? The math doesn’t really add up. Old Aunt May doesn’t make any sense.
Someone must have realized that and cast Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. Who still looks amazing. I remember crushing pretty hard when I saw her in the Untamed Heart with Christian Slater back in the day and that was in 1993. I have no clue if Rosie Perez is still hot.
Spider-Man: Homecoming picks up right during the events of Civil War. Peter is filming a blog of his adventure up to when he gets his new suit and steals Captain America’s shield. Now it’s a few months later and Peter is feeling kind of dejected. Tony won’t take his calls, transferring him to Happy, played by Jon Favreau. Long time no see. Happy hates babysitting this kid so he blows him off as well.
So Peter mostly just does what a spider can, stopping bike thieves, muggers, helping cats out of trees. I don’t remember any cat rescues but that seems like something he’d do. He feels he can take on so much more given the chance. Luckily for Peter, he runs into a robbery at an ATM. But these thieves aren’t using just any ol’ kind of guns. These are suped up makeshift alien tech weapons.
To show Peter’s inexperience, he gets a deli he frequents blown up, putting the shop owner and his cat in danger. Not the cat! How anyone managed to survive the blast, I don’t know.
The one putting out these high tech makeshift weapons is Adrian Toomes, played by Michael Keaton. I guess technically the weapons are getting made by The Tinkerer, the first super-villain Peter ever faced in the comics I believe.
Toomes on the other hand was just your average guy. He was working on the city cleanup after the events of the first Avengers film before the government showed up and kicked him off the project. With all these new crew members and equipment, getting kicked off this job mean he’ll go bankrupt. He has to make money somehow… He gets the idea of scavenging the battle sites for alien tech, making them into crazy weapons. Once construction worker, now an arms dealer.
Peter’s personal life is down the drain.
He’s quit all his after school projects, claiming he’s too busy with his Stark Program to do school stuff anymore. The Stark Program being just a cover for him to go around the city as Spider-Man. Peter’s only friend Ned hates that his friend won’t hang out with him after school anymore.
But during school at least they get the chance to sit together during lunch and creepily ogle Liz, Peter’s hopeless one sided crush. She’s a bit older than him and doesn’t seem to know he exists. Even though they are in debate class together. The only after school articular Peter hasn’t dropped out of. I wonder why!
When Peter tries warning Happy about the crazy weapon wielding robbers, he gets ignored like always, told to stay away from it. But of course he isn’t going to do that. He’s ‘Pider-Man!
Peter’s chubby friend Ned drops by to help him build a Lego Deathstar, because Disney. Not knowing he is creepily waiting in his room, Peter comes into his room in his Spider-Man suit, accidentally revealing his identity to him.
The problem there is Ned has a big mouth. He spills the beans right away that Peter knows Spider-Man to try and impress Liz, who they overhear saying she has a crush on. She invites Peter to her party and Spider-Man too if he wants.
I guess I should talk a little bit about Flash in this. Flash is usually depicted as a jock that picks on Peter, but in this incarnation, he’s just a snotty nosed asshole rich kid. I think I’d prefer the tough jock version. I just want the scene like in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man where Peter kicks his ass after obtaining his powers. There also isn’t much of a conclusion with that character. Peter steals his car and crashes it, but that’s about it. I guess that’s good enough.
Another difference is the web shooters. I know I know, Spider-Man always had web shooters he made himself. But doesn’t it make more sense to just have the ability to shoot webbing like in Sam Raimi’s version? I guess technically it would shoot out of his ass, not his wrists, but still. A young high school kid making this crazy strong webbing doesn’t really pass the smell test. I get it shows how smart he really is, but that just means his only powers are he’s kind of strong and can stick to things. How do you get spider from that? He’s basically one of those toys you toss at the wall and watch them stick.
So why not Sticky Wall Climber-Man?
While at Liz’s party, wanting to impress everyone by popping up as Spider-Man, he sees the explosion of one of those crazy alien weapons. So Peter dashes to the scene, causing a mess as they chase through a suburb. The bad guys get away but not before leaving behind one of their damaged weapons.
Peter, being the curious teenager he is, mess around with it, taking out the alien power supply. Which he discovers is basically a bomb given the right environment. While the debate team is off in Washington, Peter is off trying to stop The Vulture from stealing a shipment of alien debris from a government convoy. Peter fucks things up and gets trapped in the vault the cargo is kept.
He misses his debate, letting his friends down once again. But he does discover his suit has special features that he was able to unlock thanks to Ned hacking the suit. Now the suit can do all kinds of crazy things. It now even has an AI like Tony’s Ironman suits.
Peter now must bust out of this vault, rush to Ned, stopping the alien tech he is keeping on him from exploding. That’s when we get our first really cool action sequence. The thing about the action in this film is it’s never over the top. There’s no real big set pieces or giant battles. I really have to say I liked how low key it was. You do however get some hero moments, mostly of Spider-Man saving people, mostly from shit he is partially responsible for.
The only time I was kind of annoyed at the action was when Peter first fights The Vulture. The camera gets all shaky, making it hard to really see what was going on. I believe it was the only time something like that was used during a fight scene in here, so I’m guessing it was a stylistic choice.
Peter rushes to Ned, who is with the rest of the debate team as they visit the Washington Monument, which apparently you can go inside of. I had no idea.
The bomb however gets activated when Ned passes through a metal detector. It eventually goes off while everyone is in the elevator. The damage spread upward instead of outward, so the damage was mostly dealt to the top of the elevator and the rest of the upper part of the monument.
Spider-Man makes it just in time, rescuing everyone. They even make fun of the kiss BY Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
After everyone is rescued, the AI in Peter’s suit begs him to kiss Liz, but ends up falling down the elevator shaft instead. It was a great little topper for that whole sequence.
The Vulture isn’t the only villain in this, aside from The Tinkerer, there’s also The Shocker. I was less impressed by him. I clearly remember seeing set photos of him in full Shocker costume.
I’m not sure what happened. Maybe the photos were fake, I don’t know. But I liked the suit, I wish they had him wearing it. His character isn’t all that important, he just a henchman of Vultures that uses these electrified boxing gloves.
Peter tracks down where Vulture will be making his next gun deal, a very public ferry. But it turns out the FBI are there as well, kind of getting in Spider-Man’s way. The deal goes bad, like epically bad. The weapon Vulture was using malfunctions and splits the boat in half, right down the middle like a sex change operation.
Spidy tries using his webbing to stop the split, but it’s too much.
Ironman has to show up to save the day. Upset with Peter, he takes back the suit. The suit isn’t what makes you a hero, something Tony learned in the third Ironman film.
Feeling like he let everyone down, Peter tries to get his life back in order. He even musters up enough courage to ask out Liz to the prom. And she says yes.
Unfortunately, Peter knows Vulture is going to hit another place for alien tech, this time Tony Stark’s old Avengers building. The contents are now being shipped to their new facility we saw in… was it Ultron? I think so.
Maybe Tony and Captain America made up, seeing as Tony made Cap a new shield. Speaking of Captain America, he also makes an appearance in this… through educational videos. They’re hilarious. Especially when the gym teacher, played by Hannibal Buress, brings up the fact that Cap might be a war criminal now, but I still have to show you this video.
And you see different videos of him as the film goes along, like when Peter gets detention. Or at the very end credits. Not the mid credits but the very end.
I might end the review here, I do want you to actually go and see this, so no spoilers this time, sorry. I thought the film was great. It was hilarious, fun and done right. I just hope Sony doesn’t decide to take back the character. They’ve hinted at wanting to do that, so who knows the future of this franchise. At least you got one truly great adaptation.
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