Weekly Review: Spiderman – Homecoming (2017)

After being called on by Iron Man to aid in the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker finds himself struggling to return to being the friendly neighborhood Spiderman. With his eyes set on greener pastures, he manages to stumble on something big right in his own back yard.

One of the first superheroes I was exposed to as a child was Spiderman. I grew up with the animated television show and the Sam Raimi Spiderman films. For this reason, he’s one of my favorites.

I was pretty excited leading up to the release of Spiderman: Homecoming. I was interested to see how the film would go when Marvel had a bigger hand in the production. Spiderman was one of my favorite parts of Captain America: Civil War, so my hopes were pretty high.

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.24.14 PM

The first thing I could probably say about Spiderman: Homecoming is that it really does feel like a Marvel movie overall. It slides into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Spiderman just happens to be the focus of this particular story. The Avengers are referenced many times. Iron Man has a pretty big role. If you’re looking for something that is purely Spiderman, you might not get what you’re looking for through this movie.

On this note, there are some things about the story which might not sit well with you if you go into it with expectations. I know there were definitely some aspects that I didn’t like when they were first presented, but as the story progressed, I started to see how it was all going to come together. In many ways, it really does come together.

A lot of this has to do with Tom Holland, the actor who portrays Peter Parker/Spiderman in this rendition. While I don’t feel that the story gave him a lot to work with to really make the character his own, I do think that he did a pretty great job. Holland plays Spiderman as a 15-year-old high school student in the purest sense. He seems young, learning on the go, going through puberty and all the other things high school students deal with.

This is different from both the Tobey McGuire Spiderman and the more recent Andrew Garfield Spiderman. Those renditions had the character in high school or college, but it never felt like that’s how old he actually was. I really like the quirks that come with the character feeling like an actual high school student. It really fits his attempts at the sarcastic one liners given when facing the bad guys, even though there aren’t nearly enough of them.

Since the main characters are in high school, Spiderman: Homecoming has a campy feel sometimes. I don’t mean this in a negative way. It really reminded me of the animated Spiderman show that I used to watch as a kid, with the actions and movements of the characters. It feels like a comic book movie. It’s very light hearted for the most part.

Spiderman: Homecoming also features Michael Keaton as the villain, Vulture. In many ways, I feel that his skills are underutilized throughout the film as a whole. It’s a shame really because his character had all of the opportunities to be a great villain, but it still manages to fall flat for the most part. He does have a hand in some of the standout moments. He brings a strong intensity with him that stands out brilliantly from the nature of the rest of the film. I just wish he was given a bit more to do.

Overall, I really enjoyed Spiderman: Homecoming. I thought the performances were pretty great. I liked that it wasn’t the Uncle Ben origin story while still managing to be a bit of an origin story. It was fun.

With that being said, the story does play it pretty safe. There are really no risks taken. The end result is kind of underwhelming because it just gets resolved far too easily in my opinion. It has that Marvel movie feel to it. I mentioned earlier that it was a pretty light hearted film. The stakes aren’t very high in the broad scheme of things. It’s a very small, condensed story. I’ve seen some people compare it to an after school special of sorts.

Some people may resent the movie because of this, but many others will absolutely love it. I’m in the group that really enjoyed it.

It doesn’t hold a candle to the Sam Raimi Spiderman and Spiderman 2 (in my opinion at least), but it’s decently entertaining, and it opens the door for a lot of possibilities in the future. Let’s hope that this partnership between Marvel and Sony lasts long enough to get opportunities to see those possibilities.


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