This year could be one of the stronger years for superhero movies, if not THE strongest … and it isn’t over yet! Sure it may not have anything that grosses into the billions by itself, but they almost all were significant in some way except for one. The LEGO Batman Movie started the year started out with as one of the few well received animated superhero movies in history. The only other animated superhero movie that comes to mind is The Incredibles. Next up is Logan, which is not only the best reviewed X-Men movie but also opened up the door for gritty R-rated movies that also garnered some seriously positive reviews. Sure Deadpool showed R-rated superhero movies could be successful, but it could have been seen as a one of since it was a comedy. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is the odd man out of the group. The biggest thing about it is the fact that it is arguably one of the few standalone movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe according to the director. Fourth on the list is Wonder Woman. Not only is it the first superhero movie headlined by a woman but it also gave people hope in the DC Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man: Homecoming is out now and is getting great reviews. It is important since it shows the synergy of two studios working together and also marks a strong start to the third reboot of the franchise as well. Next is Justice League … DC’s answer to Marvel’s The Avengers. It has been several years in the making and a very bumpy road that seemed to get worse the further you went. Since Wonder Woman amazed fans and fanboy fave Joss Whedon is helping with the final edit, there is a chance of it being better than Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice or Suicide Squad. Last but not least, Thor: Ragnarok closes out the year. It looks to be the first good Thor movie and is supposedly going to have a buddy cop vibe between Thor and Hulk with some explanations as to their disappearance during the past few movies (mainly Captain America: Civil War).
So back to the man of the hour … how does Spider-Man: Homecoming stack up in my opinion?
I would rate it 9 “I larbed it”s out of 10.
FOR THE UNINITIATED
In case you have been hiding under a rock for the past several years, Peter Parker is your average day super genius nerd who gets bitten by a radioactive spider. He gains super powers and is learning how to use them and it somehow leads to his Uncle Ben getting killed. We have seen it, heard about it, and seen it so many times before … until now!
This reboot starts with the side of superhero movies we don’t get to see: the clean up process. Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) goes all in to get a contract to clean up New York after the events of The Avengers. After explaining how important it is, The US Department of Damage Control takes over. Toomes decides to change careers and sell weapons they make from the Chitauri bomb crystal things.
Then we are treated to a recap of Peter Parker’s / Spider-Man’s (Tom Holland) hand in Captain America: Civil War. We learn that he is put on hold for the next big event and told to keep a low profile. So he spends his days acting as a glorified neighborhood watch waiting on Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) to call on him. Peter dances the fine line between being a high school student who crushes on a girl, spends time with his bff, and stopping car thieves. Everything is running smoothly-ish until he runs into part of Toomes’ gang and sees some of the damage the weapons can do first hand, including the Vulture suit. Peter tries to warn Tony Stark, but is brushed off and told not to worry about it and leave the bigger challenges to the bigger guns … which he doesn’t do.
Also in the movie are Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress, Bokeem Woodbine, Kenneth Choi, Jacob Batalon, and several others.
What is not to love about this movie? Well there are a few things, but the highlights would be the wit and charisma. We also finally get the best both worlds. Whereas Toby Maguire was a good Peter Parker and Andrew Garfield was a good Spider-Man, Tom Holland was fantastic at both. He plays a much more believable high school nerd and has the smart-ass attitude that Spider-Man needs more than the other actors.
While the prior movies centered around Peter and Mary Jane or Gwen Stacey, the central focus was on his bromance with Ned. Their relationship should bring a smile to your face, otherwise you are dead inside. Then we also get to meet KAREN, which is Spider-Man’s version of JARVIS or FRIDAY. She is a lot more energetic and witty than JARVIS, which leads to some funny situations while Peter and KAREN are learning to deal with each other.
The worst parts are the small inconsistencies that pop up throughout the movie. I wouldn’t say they are plot holes, just small things that weren’t thoroughly thought through. For instance, if the Chitauri energy crystals act as small bombs then the final fight in The Avengers should have had more explosions than a Michael Bay movie. No inconsistencies were large enough to take you out of the movie until the final big set piece, which I will save for spoiling next review.
Aside from that, how had Peter Parker not revealed his secret identity up to this movie? The first time we see him changing into Spider-Man is in the middle of a day in an alleyway off a busy street. He routinely just crawls into his bedroom via the window or stands around without his mask. By the end of the movie he might as well have his identity out in the open the same as Tony Stark.
As a whole, this is easily my favorite Spider-Man movie. It is also probably in the top 5 of my favorite MCU films. As much as Robert Downey Jr is Iron Man and Chris Evans is Captain America, Tom Holland embodies Spider-Man. It combines the best of teen rom-coms and superhero movies without skipping a beat. I am ready to get back into a theatre and see it again and would recommend going to see this ASAP in a big loud theatre.
For a strong recommendation, I would go with Captain America: Winter Soldier. I think it is my favorite of the MCU films and is better due to its dual nature. It is a spy movie wrapped in a superhero movie. Not only that, but this was the first movie we get to see Captain America show off. The first movie was very lackluster in terms of his speed, strength, and agility. There was a little showing The Avengers, but more of his tactile nature. Seriously though, if you haven’t seen it then do yourself a favor.