KcMsterpce posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 7 months ago

Spider-Man: Homecoming


Directed by: Jon Watts
Written by:
Cast: Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Michael Barbieri, Hannibal Buress
Studio: Sony, Marvel Studios
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comic Book
Official Site:
Plot: Peter Parker struggles with balancing high school life with that of his web-slinging alter-ego Spider-man. Trouble elevates to new levels when common criminals start using alien technology from the Chitauri invasion (The Avengers, 2012) in Spidey's stomping grounds. Drama, hilarity, and some action ensues!


My Thoughts on this “Comic Book Universe” Thing as a Whole
Over the years, since – well, since around 2008 – I have been waiting for the box office numbers of these seemingly endless slew of comic book-based movies to wane. I was expecting “Fan Fatigue” to set in somewhere between 2013 to 2016, yet still people flock to see these movies. Furthermore, I expected my own enthusiasm for so many of these damned movies to deflate, and here I am in 2017, still enjoying myself at the movies with SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING.
For comic book geeks, there was always the knowledge that comics can provide just as much drama, heartbreak, philosophy, and outright literature that could be found in other more “well respected” mediums. The classic storytelling themes, character arcs, and imaginative world-building and settings are unlimited in scope and scale when illustrated and put to the page. Many great writers have written comics over the last several decades, yet non-readers seemed to think that it was all child’s play, with little relevance to “art” as a written form, and never taken seriously.
Over the last 18 years, the evolution of comic book films has made a valiant effort to introduce a lot of what us geeks love about comics: Intricate subplots; a large cast of characters – some tragic, some evil, many somewhere in between; moral intrigue and dilemma; long-running relationships with the characters, and the relationship of these characters within each established universe in which their counterparts reside. The list goes on, and with the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), I feel that the surface has been more than scratched into displaying how in-depth things can really get with comic book universes for even the non-initiated. (A downside is that now everybody wants a cinematic universe, but these other studios don’t seem to “get” what is making the MCU so beloved, but that is a topic for another day.)
The classic story archetypes/tropes of ages past remains. It’s how these stories are told that makes the difference. The MCU has managed to weave a tapestry of dozens of Marvel characters, soon to lead up to (FINALLY) a showdown with one of Marvel Comics’ most renowned villains, inspired by one of the more popular and devastating/universe-altering storylines in the last 20 years of comics.
When will my own sense of “OK, I have had enough of this shit” kick in? I really can’t say now. I assumed I was going to start giving up now for over four years, yet I’m still enjoying myself when I go to these MCU movies. So, I guess I’ll just ride the wave, and enjoy where the journey takes me.

My Thoughts on the Movie
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING was a delicious treat. I had a heck of a lot of fun watching it. What I find most refreshing about this rendition of the friendly neighborhood kid is that it focused more on him as Peter Parker than as Spidey. Additionally, they ditched the whole origin concept. They could have had a clever opening credits sequence that storyboarded the origin story in which Peter is bitten by the spider, and fumbles through making a suit, and maybe even a quick clip of his uncle getting killed. However, this is not a vital flaw, and it’s alright that the movie jumps right into where he was left off in CIVIL WAR, heading back to high school and trying to live a double life as both Spider-man, and being a gifted high school student.
Tom Holland is perfectly cast. Finally, there is someone who actually looks like he’s young enough to be a high school kid. He could eke out another movie – maybe two – before it’s time to shift him to college. Peter is usually 16 – 24 years old, and so if we grow up with Peter throughout the movie series, it could be fun seeing his transformation from “kid” to “man”, gaining wisdom and abilities over the next ten years.
There is plenty of humor riddled throughout, with many hilariously awkward moments of life in high school. I like the school’s morning newscasts, since both the student news anchors are amateurish at best in execution, leading to some great snippets of hilarity. Another great addition is Captain America’s contribution and efforts to inspire school kids. Another big bonus: The students are actually YOUNG. There are few tweenies to be seen throughout the school, and with so much time spent in class and around campus, it helped establish the vulnerability of Peter Parker’s position in his life. He isn’t very experienced, and seeing him surrounded by his classmates is a constant reminder of how much he has to grow.
Meanwhile, Tony Stark drops in and out every so often to check up on and/or talk down to Peter, remind him that he still needs to grow into the suit and gain experience before becoming a true member of the Avengers. Stark’s stance as a father figure is kinda subtle, but ultimately I don’t think that’s his intent. His intent is to make sure he doesn’t coddle Peter, yet he also tries to prevent Peter from biting off more than he can chew.
Peter’s crush, Liz, is great as well. I kept thinking that there would be some reason for her character to NOT be Gwen Stacey or MJ, and ultimately by the end credits I understood exactly the motivation behind having her as the lead interest for Peter versus his more well known romantic interests. There are hints dropped throughout the movie that make callbacks to, and/or homages to Peter’s comic book past, as well as the previous movies. These hints are then slightly twisted from what may normally be expected in a way that is often refreshing, yet occasionally comes off as “trying too hard”. I will leave these little bomblets of surprise for the viewer to sort out.
Michael Keaton is almost entirely in full-on (BATMAN) “Now you wanna get nuts?!?! Come on!! Let’s get nuts!” Bruce Wayne mode, peppered with some bits of Beetlejuice’s “NICE FUCKIN’ MODEL! “ for good measure. But then, something strange happens. He has a scene in a car near the third act that shows Keaton toning down and going into Full Menace Mode. He’s no longer loveably cheesy, but becomes frighteningly menacing. It goes to show how well written and directed HOMECOMING is, while also presenting an interesting take on Keaton’s range that we rarely get to see – a real bad guy. A scary, bad, man. I love Keaton as a villain. I want him to only be a bad guy from here on out. His weathered, aged face is a stamp of gentility tinged with an undercurrent of cunning corruption.
To my relief, and surprise, SPIDER-MAN is perhaps one of my favorite stand-alone comic book movies. Peter Parker is one of my favorite characters, and he was done exactly as I hoped he could have been portrayed in previous iterations. Toby Maguire had the gentility of Peter and even some of his naivety, but he was always too old, and couldn’t quite nail Spidey (let’s not discuss the lack of web shooters, which isn’t his fault). Garfield had a better look for Parker, and as Spider-man they had his trash talk down pretty well, but he was a little too mean in some parts (like when he used his web to suffocate a car thief. That was a too much for me). This version of Peter Parker is the perfect balance of all that was GOOD with those previous incarnations.
Overall, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING checked almost all the right boxes for me. It was emotionally engaging, with well written lead and supporting characters. The underlying theme of Peter Parker learning to mature as a superhero AND as a kid dealing with the pressures of multi-tasking while undergoing normal student life was a great combination. I also, REALLY really love how they refused to have Peter “show off his skills” at school, but instead tries his best to keep himself within the realm of obscurity. There were a few times where I actually thought to myself, “OK, I would put on the suit and do that in front of the students in this circumstance”, and yet the way these scenes were handled further gained my respect.
I highly recommend this movie. There are a few niggling complaints here and there, but gosh if it doesn’t matter at all because it was just a refreshing and fun time. With a movie that emphasizes Peter Parker and his day-to-day drama than to action, Tom Holland managed to carry the weight of the movie on his shoulders like a champ.

Grade: A
Score: 8/10


Other reviews of this film: Moviefreak2010 (10/10) , cobb (9/10) > Display all
Moviefreak2010 at 03:14 AM Jul 14

awesome movie

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