VOD Review: Spider-Man Homecoming
Never seen a Spider-Man movie before? You will most likely enjoy Spider-Man Homecoming. If you’ve seen any of the previous iterations of the wall-crawler, you’ll find this movie redundant.
It’s time to cover the Marvel movie everybody’s talking about! No, not Thor: Ragnarok. Spider-Man Homecoming! Striking while the iron is hot (and the Redbox rental is free), I finally got around to your friendly neighborhood reboot. I am immensely glad that I didn’t spend money to watch this film.
Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)
Spider-Man has hit the big time, and fresh off his debut in Captain America: Civil War, the web-head is getting a big head. Palling around and trading blows with the crème de la crème of superheroes has awakened a desire in young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to do more. When his friend/employer/mentor Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) decides to slow track Spidey’s development as a crime fighter, Parker begins to chaff at the bit. When he comes across a crime ring using powerful alien technology, Spider-Man decides to take them on by himself. But the syndicate, led by the canny criminal Vulture (Michael Keaton) might be more than a match for our 15 year old vigilante.
Also, high school. Because.
Gonna Go ‘Round in Circles
If you love Spider-Man, you’ll love this movie. The acting is very good, especially Holland and Keaton. The CGI and practical effects are above average. You get a strong Villain, and a decent plot that has both drama and humor. It’s a solid Spidey-outing.
If you just kinda like Spider-Man, you’re in for the same old shtick you’ve previously seen. They once again show us a young Parker navigating school, family life, love and crime fighting. You know, like what we got from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. As such this movie can’t help but get compared to the previous outings, and it suffers for it.
Nothing in Spider-Man Homecoming is any better than the best bits of previous films. Andrew Garfield was slightly better as Spidey. The first three Spider-Movies had villains that were just as good, and I’d argue that Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus was the best villain so far, with Keaton taking a VERY close second. The action sequences don’t elevate past things we’ve already seen. The ferry set piece was just the train bit from Spider-Man 2, but with Iron Man. It’s all been done just as good somewhere else.
Oh, speaking of Iron Man….
Every Marvel Cinematic Universe character in this movie sucks. I hated them all. They got me to roll my eyes at Captain America, and I love that guy. Tony Stark is an asshole dialed up to eleven, for no good reason. Well, one reason. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is an asshole dialed up to twelve, so maybe Stark felt the need to compete. The Captain America school PSA jokes lost their humor after the first time they trotted it out. The only one who wasn’t insufferable was Pepper Potts, but Gwyneth Paltrow wants you to stick rocks up your vagina, so she can go to hell as well.
As such, this movie is a better than average standalone Spider-movie, and it is actively harmful to the MCU brand by making you hate most of the Avengers. Who the hell thought that was a good idea?
Not Having a Zen(daya) Moment
I wanted to save a special paragraph for the worst character in Spider-Man Homecoming: MJ (Zendaya). Her character was awful. Just plain insufferable. She was all snark and pout, and couldn’t carry a line if you attached it to her with extra strength web-fluid.
Besides my sneaking suspicion that Zendaya can’t really act, the writing did her zero favors. Homecoming has a fairly diverse cast (just not in the protagonist role), and MJ is positioned as a socially engaged, hip to current events type. Sort of. Everything her character does is a joke, a lame “all SJW’s are frigid, snarky jerks” throwaway to any deplorable who didn’t feel represented in this movie. It was a craven move, but the end result is that MJ is a terrible character that I have no interest in seeing in the inevitable sequel.
Just the Same Old Threads, Spun One Too Many Times
This movie isn’t awful. It just didn’t need to exist. Spider-Man Homecoming reminds me of all the Hulk and Fantastic Four reboots. It isn’t that you weren’t telling the story correctly. It’s that the story doesn’t resonate, is tired/dated, or the characters aren’t strong enough to carry their own film. I loved Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in Civil War. It wasn’t enough to get me to like a 3rd attempt at telling the same damn story. Hulk just proved that he’s a great second fiddle, and I’m kind of feeling Spidey should be the same. Spider-Man can give us a great lens into the MCU, but using that lens to constantly take yearbook photos is a waste.
Spider-Man Homecoming should have skipped this dance, did its hair and waited for someone more deserving of a shot to call. I’m sure the Black Widow isn’t doing anything.