Our Ten’s List: Reasons I’m NOT Watching Spider-Man: Homecoming
I tried to get myself to watch Spider-Man Homecoming three times this week. I watched it zero times. Here’s why.
After his re-debut in Civil War, I really wanted to be excited for Spider-Man. Then a bunch of stuff happened. I wanted to examine the reasons why this movie is just not moving the needle for me. Some of them are intrinsic to the movie. Others are not. I think Spider-Man Homecoming is a good place to talk about Hollywood, America, and what it means to go to the theater for myself and many people.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Peter Parker is a teenager, again. He must struggle with school, his home life, and fighting crime as Spider-Man, again. Spidey has new villains to fight, and he risks everything when one of them finds out his secret identity, again. He has help this time in a new mentor: It’s Tony Stark! Iron Man in an MCU film, again! Can Peter balance everything while remaining true to himself, again?
Don’t get me wrong. I am glad Spider-Man is getting folded into the MCU. I think he’s an integral part of the universe adding youth, charm, and moral decency to our pantheon. I also think Homecoming could be a good movie. All the pre-release buzz has been positive (though anything Marvel seems to get a pass that Sony or Warner Bros. can’t even hope for.) And writing for a review website, I’m well aware that getting an opening week review out would be great for traffic.
I’m just saying that I’m totally disinterested in seeing this movie in theaters. Here’s why I’ll be waiting for a DVD/Streaming release.
10 Reasons to Skip Spider-Man: Homecoming…for now.
- Time. I do shift work. Getting out to see a movie is literally the least convenient thing I can do. I either have to screw up my sleep schedule to see a matinee, or screw up my sleep schedule to try and catch a show right before work. Movie theaters are still made for 9-5, Monday-Friday audiences. That just ain’t me. (*Editor: or literally anyone else on staff.)
- Money. Movies keep getting pricier. Not only the ticket but also the concessions. Add to this that driving to the local cinema cost gas, and that isn’t insubstantial. Movie prices on average have gone up 25% in the last decade. My rate of pay has certainly not kept pace. If you want my butt in that seat you have to either be a really good film, a really different film, or a really cheap ticket.
Minorities in the Minority. Spider-Man Homecoming has been getting some kudos for its diverse cast. From Pete’s best friend to both of the women in his life not named Aunt May, the cast is notably more diverse. IN SUPPORTING ROLES. No-one ever dreams of being Spider-Man’s civilian sidekick. While I’m sure some aspire to be his love interest, I think that demographic is shrinking as we get great comic heroines like Wonder Woman, Spider-Woman and Spider-Gwen. If they really cared about diversity they could have…
- Cast Miles Morales. This is the third fucking time we get a Peter Parker reboot. I have a beef with Petey never getting out of his diapers, which I will get to in a second. But if they absolutely wanted a young Spider-Man, they have a perfectly good one in the comics. His name is Miles Morales. I’m sure the writers are aware of him. They pretty much stole his friends as inspiration for Peter’s classmates in this movie.
Women. The Mary Sue seems to think Spider-Man: Homecoming has a problem with its female characters. I do as well, but it has more to do with my point above about minorities. Combined with the rumor that Nick Fury is muscling in on Captain Marvel’s “Solo” movie, the MCU has a real problem with “always the bridesmaid, never (Quentin Tarantino’s) The Bride”. Even after the explosion of Wonder Woman onto the scene, women are still third or fourth fiddle in the MCU.
- Children. I know why they used the reboot to make Peter Parker a high schooler again. They want a young actor that can star in as many MCU movies as possible before they have to move onto either another character or another actor. But I’m sick to death of it. Spider-Man has had a great variety of stories post high school. Spectacular Spider-Man was a wellspring of such stories in the 90’s. This constant return to the beginning, tackling the same issues over and over again makes Spider-Man a 2-dimensional character. Speaking of…
- The Posters. Uggggggggg. Spider-Man: Homecoming had a race with Transformers 5 to see who could put out the ugliest technicolor barf of a promotional poster. While it’s not a cardinal sin, it combines with reason #8 to have completely sucked the oxygen out of the room before the film even hit.
- The Trailers. Am I going to be watching Spider-Man: Homecoming or is this Iron Man 4? The trailers wouldn’t get Tony Stark out of our faces. They even showed off new gadgets to the spider suit that made it feel like Spider-Man was becoming Iron Man v.3 (don’t worry War Machine, you’ll always be my wing-man). It gave off an early vibe that the studios didn’t trust Spidey to sell a THIRD movie franchise, so they were giving him rocket-booster training wheels. Not a good look.
- Hipsters! All the promo material led to a very “hip” vibe to the film. Peter may be representing Queens, but the film seems raised out in (gentrified) Brooklyn. We saw Hipster Spider-Man in Sam Raimi’s final outing with the wall-crawler, and it left all our skins crawling.
I’m just plain super-hero-ed out. I’ve already watched Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Wonder Woman in theaters this year. While I enjoyed them, I feel like I’m about at my limit. And we haven’t even gotten to the Justice League or Thor: Ragnarok. I think Hollywood knows this too. Every industry hack breathlessly exclaims that the current super-hero movie “breaks the super hero mold!” Bullshit. Everyone was falling all over themselves to tell me that Wonder Woman was not your average Super Hero™ movie. It was good, but fuck you, it sure as hell was a bog standard super hero movie. I’m not seeing anything in the Spider-Man: Homecoming press material to lead me to think any different about this movie, either.
Well, I’m getting a little salty, so it’s probably time to wrap this up. I do think Spider-Man is going to be worth a watch. I haven’t seen a bad MCU movie since Iron Man 2. What I have seen, however, is a good deal of middling ones. As well as formulaic ones. For all the reasons above, I’ll be checking our web-head out, but at a different Spider-time, on a different Spider-channel.