This Spider-Man: Homecoming review contains spoilers
I walked into this movie feeling real salty. I’ve been salty about it ever since they canceled the last installment of The Amazing Spider-Man. Yeah, yeah. I know that all of you hated it, that Andrew Garfield was “too cool for school.” But I enjoyed them and I was fond of them.
Maybe it’s for the best, though, that I never got to see Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane.
Regardless, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero. So despite my love for Tom Holland, I was mostly concerned this production would come out rushed and forced (all to fit into the Avengers narrative).
In my view, introducing a younger Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in The Avengers was more important to Marvel than delivering a quality movie for diehard Spidey fans. After watching Spider-Man: Homecoming, I can’t tell if I was wrong about Marvel’s motives, but they definitely didn’t interfere with the film’s production.
My biggest fears going into Spider-Man: Homecoming
- That Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) would eclipse Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, as he does with every movie he cameos in
- That hot Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) would turn into a weird Tony Stark x May Parker situation
- That the new elements being picked up from the comics (like rumored Miles Morales) would be wasted on a subpar production
- That Iron Man’s mentorship would rob Peter of the lost father figure element so relevant to his character
How it actually played out in Homecoming
For one, Iron Man isn’t in it that much. He isn’t central to the plot and merely operates as Peter’s emergency contact. Even when he tries to offer parental guidance, you can’t see him as anything other than Peter’s rich guardian.
Attractive Aunt May doesn’t interact with men, except for a waiter or two. In my view, this is exactly what made her character work. She was more of the hot mom for Peter’s dorky friends, but not an Aunt May interested in parading men around her nephew. Yes, there was an May-related joke from Tony Stark’s end. But it was brief and almost painless.
Miles Morales was linked to Donald Glover prior to release, but like most easter eggs in Spider-Man: Homecoming, not much of these new elements will come into play until the sequel. The fact that they are actually saving the “best for last” is a good sign. The producers aren’t rushing this trilogy as I expected. Instead, Spider-Man’s latest iteration is taking its sweet time to deliver all the punches it has promised.
Things I loved about the film
- Zendaya was lyfe. Seriously. Michelle/MJ’s character was truly the best thing. Also, she came out wearing a Sylvia Plath shirt.
- Ned (Jacob Batalon) was hysterical, and also reminded me a lot of another lovable “guy in the chair”
- How the film used established Avengers like Tony Stark and Steve Rogers to expose corruption. You could empathize with Vulture’s (Michael Keaton) plight every time he made reference to how much money the Avengers made, and how Stark Enterprises made their money the same way he was.
- The fact that the movie did surprise with the Vulture reveal. I was personally shook, don’t know about you.
- Being able to enjoy a truly teenaged Peter. I do agree that Andrew Garfield (although an amazing 20-something Peter) wasn’t really a “high schooler.” With Tom Holland and the rest of the high school cast, we were definitely able to appreciate what it must’ve felt like to be both hormonal and a superhero.
What the movie could’ve worked on
The script. While most scenes were interesting and the characters well developed (and well acted), the script’s dynamics were confusing. More than once, I thought we were almost at the end of the movie, when in fact we were still midway. Many of the story beats were too climactic, resulting in a confusing surge of emotions that would then deflate.
Because we didn’t understand what the trilogy was trying to do, we couldn’t know for sure if Peter was supposed to catch Vulture. Was Peter supposed to prove himself by the end, or was he supposed to learn from his mistakes and leave it for the next film?
In the end, the movie worked for me. But I did feel lost in it quite often. Had the scenes been boring or unnecessary, I wouldn’t have been able to justify the script’s disorganization. Good thing they weren’t.
Oh and, since when is Spider-Man this bulletproof? Just saying.