The big releases this week are American Made and Flatliners. American Made looks like another reason for Tom Cruise to be a Tom Cruise character, a charasmatic all American who can do near no wrong and outperform everyone else. Flatliners looks like a horrible remake of an 80’s thriller that I never cared to see originally … and it currently has a 0 on Rotten Tomatoes. So my decison came down to finding something at home to watch or finally catch one of my favorite movies of the summer while it is still in theatres: Spider-Man: Homecoming. The last time I saw it I gave it 9/10, and considering the last great movie I gave a high score to didn’t hold up as well to a repeat viewing (Wind River); I was almost hesitant to see how another near perfect movie fared. For the first review, see the link below.
So, how did I like it the second time around? I will stick with 9 “bug out bags … get it?” out of 10.
This movie excels thanks to the small details. There are so many Easter eggs that reference other Avengers or films, nods to what would happen in a world with superhero fights (Damage Control), or just what would happen with Spider-Man in real life. The fact that there isn’t always a high structure to swing from, someone stealing a backpack that was left webbed to a dumpster in an alleyway, getting yelled at for inconveniencing someone’s day, being asked to do parlor tricks, etc. It helps that Tom Holland plays a near perfect mixture of Peter Parker and Spider-Man, which is refreshing since the prior actors only seemed to get one but not both. Add in the coming of age aspects that merged so well with the superhero aspects and it only further contributes to the movie.
Then again, if you rely on small things to make your movie great … maybe you should make sure there are no small issues that seemed to snowball into the core issue. One issue is Happy or Tony don’t fully believe the issue with the Vulture’s gang / weapons is as bad as Peter tries to tell them. Sure Tony calls the FBI, but the badguys easily outpower them and get away. Tony doesn’t pursue the issue of stolen alien grade weapons or supervillains any further. So he loads all of his weapons and gadgets from Stark Tower into one plane, he doesn’t have anyone one the plane, or have procedures in place to deter theft other than the mirror system to make it invisible. For someone who is as high tech, smart, powerful, and rich it just seems like a severe lapse in judgement. Their only way to monitor it was a transmitter that was copied … there wasn’t anything to reflect multiple engine failure and request assistance? Then there is the fact that everyone seems to be able to hack into his tech with no issue.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is my favorite Spider-Man movie and is one of my favorite Marvel movies to boot. The villain is believable and is not an over the top character who is trying to destroy the world. Plus he doesn’t get killed at the end and helps set up the sequel in one of the credit scenes.
After seeing the movie again, having time to digest it, and hearing a few discussions about it; I do have some issues with the liberties they took rebooting the character / franchise. Mainly it deals with removing Uncle Ben and his death from the story completely and replacing him with a very live Tony Stark who doesn’t act as a role model once. They didn’t need to show the death again, but needed that as his motivation since that is a main detail of Peter’s transformation. As a whole though, it makes sense and works within the MCU.
If you somehow haven’t seen it yet and it is gone from your local theatres, catch it on Redbox once it is there.
My recommendation is one I haven’t seen since it was in theatres several years ago, but managed to mix the superhero genre with another successfully. Chronicle was basically a superhero / horror / found footage movie starring Michael B. Jordan and Dane DeHaan. It revolves around 3 high schoolers who stumble upon an alien ship and get very strong telekinetic powers. Eventually it boils down to one becomes a villain and another becomes a hero.