“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is directed by Jon Watts and it has a cast including Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Laura Harrier, and Zendaya. This film is the sixth standalone “Spider-Man” film to hit the big screen. You may have seen the interpretation of this web slinger once before in “Captain America: Civil War,” but ultimately, this is Spidey’s own movie, hence the name “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” The overall plot of this film involves Spidey trying to balance his life in school, while at the same time, having to take down the Vulture. Oh yeah, and Iron Man’s there too.
Going into this movie, I was pretty excited. I’m not much of a comic book junkie, but I do enjoy Spider-Man as a character, and pretty much every aspect of him resonates with me as a person. He’s a nerd, he’s smart, he’s trying to just get his life together, and he’s kind of an outcast when it comes to society despite having a number of friends. Although at the same time, I was worried, because the trailers did reveal a little more than I had hoped they would, and this movie was being advertised almost as an “Iron Man” film. I mean, you could argue that “Captain America: Civil War” qualified as an “Iron Man” film but to me, it actually worked there because part of the title is Civil War, signifying that there is a war among the Marvel heroes, and it still focused a bit on the story of Captain America and what he’s got going on during various portions of this film. If you watch the trailers for this film, you might as well think it should be called “Spider-Man: Homecoming (Featuring: Iron Man).” However, this movie isn’t really like that. Sure, Iron Man is in some of it, but it’s not like he’s taking up a good portion of the movie’s runtime.
Let’s talk about Peter Parker in this movie, now if you have watched all the other big screen “Spider-Man” flicks, you may be aware that in at least a portion of each series these flicks are part of, Peter’s a teenager in high school. That’s no different here in this movie. Parker establishes at one point in the movie that he’s 15 years old. Why do I mention this? Well, one thing people point out about the other flicks, is that Parker is being played by someone pretending to be a teenager, but they’re really in their twenties. For the record, Tom Holland, the guy playing this interpretation of Spidey, is actually 21 right now. I would imagined he would have been 19 and 20 throughout the process of filming this movie. After all he was 19 when “Captain America: Civil War” came out. So while it is not exactly age accurate, it is closer to being age accurate than the past Spider-Men we’ve received. Now, I gotta say, I have nothing really terrible to say about Tom Holland as Spider-Man, at times, when he’s in the suit, he reminded me of Andrew Garfield’s interpretation of Spider-Man. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I liked Garfield’s interpretation. It was like the comics, he had all sorts of technology, he had some quips, which we’re gonna get to. Speaking of Andrew Garfield, I mentioned I had some cons with his interpretation as Peter Parker. I can’t say the same for Tom Holland. It was never awkward, it was fluid, and it felt like I was watching an actual nerd at times. Some of this is shown through his various complications he’s received through his personal life. Speaking of his personal life, let’s talk about one of Peter’s friends.
One character in this movie goes by the name of Ned Leeds, he was played by Jacob Batalon, and there was a point in this movie where I wanted some sort of technology that existed which could allow me to jump into a movie’s universe. I could go into this one, find Ned, and give him the finger! I mean, at times, I liked his character, he was a nerd like me, but there were times in this movie where it almost sounded like he was jacked up on caffeine and he was just, I don’t know how to describe him. Simply put, he was annoying. He eventually finds out Peter is Spider-Man, not a spoiler, it was shown in the advertising, and after that, he starts asking all of these questions, and it’s just too much to handle.
Let’s talk about Peter’s love interest in the movie. In Raimi’s trilogy, the love interest was Mary Jane Watson, played by Kirsten Dunst. In Marc Webb’s films, the love interest was Gwen Stacy, played by Emma Stone. In this universe, the love interest is Liz Allan, played by Laura Herrier. If you remember before this movie came out, rumors were going around saying the love interest in this movie was going to be Mary Jane, played by Zendeya (Shake It Up, K.C Undercover). However, none of that’s true. Sure, Zendeya’s in the movie, but she is neither the love interest, nor is she Mary Jane. Zendeya actually plays a character named Michelle, although at one point she does say people call her “MJ.” Anyway, back to Liz. When it comes to all of the love interests in every “Spider-Man” series we’ve gotten so far, I must say the relationship between her and Peter may be the most authentic. Is it my favorite? I don’t know, but in terms of coming close to a real relationship, this is something Peter and Liz have going for each other.
Now let’s get to where Marvel usually leaves a bit to be desired, the villain. In this movie, the villain is the Vulture. He’s played by Michael Keaton which I actually find rather interesting considering how he once played Batman. He’s one of the better villains I’ve seen Marvel put out recently. He’s not the best Spider-Man villain I’ve seen in all of cinema, that’s a close call between Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin. His relationship with Peter in this movie is interesting, he was almost terrifying at times, and his motivation was pretty clear.
Going into this film, I knew about this, but Happy Hogan (left), played by Jon Faverau, is also in here. What I didn’t expect is how much of a crucial role he’d have in the film as a whole. I’m not against it or anything, I’m just saying. Overall, I had no major problems with him, although he pretty much did the same actions as Tony Stark throughout the movie so there’s not too much separating the two characters in that sort of aspect. The two were basically mentors to Peter. The relationship between Peter and Tony was a bit more prominent, but there was a relationship between Peter and Happy too.
I want to talk about the movie’s screenplay and how it was presented. Multiple people wrote this movie, and while I do think they did a fine job, it could have been better. I’ll just put it this way. In “Captain America: Civil War,” Spider-Man, at least in my opinion, was the best part of the movie. Why? Pretty much every single line of dialogue uttered by him, mainly during the big throwdown at the airport, was comedy gold. Almost every line from Spidey was a quip, and they were all hysterical! Sure, you get some chuckle-worthy quips here, but nowhere near as good as “Captain America: Civil War.” And this kind of sucks because you have an entire movie dedicated to Spidey, as opposed to a movie that has him for about ten or so minutes. Now, if you read my reviews, you may be thinking I’m an idiot, because I happen to revere Tobey Maguire’s Spidey and I mentioned before that he doesn’t give too many quips and it works for him. Here’s the thing, it was established in “Captain America: Civil War” with this Spider-Man that he’s a s*it-talker. These are two different universes.
On the topic of humor, there was this one line given in the movie. A bunch of people are going on a bus, I honestly can’t recall who said this, it could’ve been Peter, I don’t know. But they’re all headed to Washington DC for Nationals, and one person talks about protesting and that’s a reason why they’re on this bus to DC, this is followed by a reply from someone else saying that protesting is patriotic. When I heard that, I couldn’t help but think about the following ideas. 1: This was one of the later days of shooting and Trump was in office. 2: The writers pretty much predicted Donald Trump would win and they had the balls to write this. 3: This may be anti-Trump propaganda. 4: This could have been a reshoot just to get that line in because Trump was in office and the people behind this movie wanted to insert a joke per se. I don’t know, but this almost sounds like the movie just wanted to bash against Donald Trump. I’m not against bashing Donald Trump, but that line was cringe-worthy and just all around forced.
Another problem I have with this movie involves Spider-Man’s suit. Tony Stark has a form of control over it, which yeah, it’s almost in the same way you operate a kid’s bike. That’s fine and all, but the problem with that is, at one point, Peter turns it off. Yes, that’s a spoiler, but I assure you, it very likely won’t affect much of your experience watching this movie. The thing I consider to be wrong with this is how the suit operates when turned off. There’s this artificial intelligence thingy inside the suit essentially, and it’s pretty much the Spider-Man equivalent to JARVIS. The mode Peter turns off is referred to as Training Wheels. Peter and Tony never get into an argument over this, but that’s not worth talking about. What I do feel like talking about is the fact that Spider-Man has an assistant in his suit, it’s basically helping him. It’s giving him advice on all sorts of tactics and stuff like that. If you have a mode called Training Wheels, wouldn’t that have the voice? Spider-Man has to figure out everything on his own without that voice. I mean, you could argue that the mode is called training wheels because Spider-Man doesn’t have access to all of the advanced s*it. But even with that, how does this resolve the artificial intelligence problem? Let’s look at it this way, there’s a sequence in “Iron Man 3” where a bunch of people are falling out of a plane and Iron Man has to save them. He has JARVIS who’s actually able to assist him. He asks JARVIS how many people are in the air, JARVIS replies saying a number somewhere in the teens, I believe it was thirteen. Tony then asks how many people he could carry, JARVIS responds telling him he can only carry four people. Tony is able to use his artificial intelligence to his own benefit and Spider-Man can’t, because, it’s too advanced for him. That’s like telling a student that he or she can’t refer to a textbook when they’re doing their homework.
Speaking of artifical intelligence problems, there’s more. At one point in the movie, Spidey actually tells her about Liz, and how he feels about her. Now, I won’t get super-spoilery, it might be minor-spoilery, but it’s not gonna affect much of your experience. Peter Parker actually TELLS her about Liz, but at no point does it reveal Peter SHOWING pictures of Liz or anything like that. At one point later in the movie, I won’t say when, the AI says that Spider-Man should kiss her. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE! WHY ARE YOU SAYING ALL OF THIS CRAP?!
One thing I have a very minor problem with is the movie’s title. It’s called “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and based on the content presented in the movie, it’s called that for a reason. During the movie, there’s this homecoming dance, but that barely has anything to do with the movie. If you want a better title, I’d go with “Spectacular Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man: The Inspired Hero,” “The Web Slinging Spider-Man,” “Spider-Man: Rise of the Vulture,” or “Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.” As far as other complaints go, I was going to say there was one point which one of Iron Man’s suits come in and rescues Peter from an incident, and I began to question how it even knew where Peter was, but another part of me says that Tony might be tracking Peter and it happens to be something movie isn’t telling me, so I’m wondering if that complaint will either stand or fall.
In the end, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is somewhat fun, but overall, it could have been a much better “Spider-Man” experience. There were some things I liked in the movie, and quite a few things I didn’t like in the movie. I haven’t even talked about Aunt May, I’ll say she was average. Certainly better than the last Aunt May we had. Considering how “Spider-Man” was established in “Captain America: Civil War,” this film was rather disappointing. By the way, if you don’t know my thoughts on “Spider-Man 3,” I believe it gets too much hate, and honestly, when compared to “Spider-Man 3,” I’d actually rather watch that instead of “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Sorry guys, this is just how I feel. I’m gonna give “Spider-Man: Homecoming” a rather low 7/10. This might drop to a 6 sometime in the future, I’m honestly not sure. This film had a lot of good things about it. The high school scenes felt rather authentic, the villain was great by Marvel standards, I liked Tom Holland, but he was given better dialogue in “Captain America: Civil War.” Oh yeah, and Ned is just a chatterbox that I wanted to punch in the face. I may be judging this film rather harshly, but the thing is, this is Marvel Studios, who are usually known for making good movies, nine of them being at least 8/10 in my book, so this ultimately somewhat let me down. Sure, Sony was involved, but Marvel Studios collaborated so I feel something like this is worth mentioning.
Thanks for reading this review, Christopher Nolan’s newest movie, “Dunkirk,” comes out in two weeks, so right now I’m doing a series of reviews dedicated to past Christopher Nolan films, this week I reviewed “Interstellar,” I haven’t made a final decision on what my next review should be, but you’ll see what I decided on when I finish the review. Although if you do want to check out my review for “Interstellar,” you’ll either see an icon that can take you to the review, or that’ll be the post below this one. Also, since this is a review for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” I’ll have links down below to all of my other “Spider-Man” reviews. Check those out if you’re interested, I had fun making them, and I hope you have as much fun reading them. Stay tuned for more reviews! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!
“SPIDER-MAN” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/spider-man-your-friendly-neighborhood-2002-movie/
“SPIDER-MAN 2” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/04/14/spider-man-2-best-superhero-movie-to-date-spoilers-for-this-movie-spider-man-1/
“SPIDER-MAN 3” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/05/11/spider-man-3-2007-is-it-really-as-bad-as-everyone-says/
“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/the-amazing-spider-man-2012-is-it-really-so-amazing-spoilers/
“THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2” REVIEW: https://scenebefore.wordpress.com/2017/07/02/the-amazing-spider-man-2-2014-a-crappier-version-of-spider-man-3-spoilers/