- Directed by Jon Watts
- June 28, 2017 (Hollywood) / July 7, 2017 (US)
Peter Parker is balancing his life as a high school student and as Spider-Man when he must contend with a new threat.
In full honesty I am not a fan of Spider-Man: Homecoming. I do not necessarily hate it, but I do not think it is a great film. It manages to be watchable but despite connecting to the MCU and having amazing effects it fails to be great of even good. It just reaches “okay.” Like so many of the more recent Marvel films it is a series of cool scenes in a rather forgettable story.
One thing I take issue with is that gone is what has consistently been a major factor in Peter Parker’s a superhero life and that is the death of his Uncle Ben because of his failure to do anything. Uncle Ben does not even factor into Peter’s (Tom Holland) life or that even that of Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). I’m not saying we need another film containing the death of Uncle Ben, but it would not hurt to at least have a significant character mentioned during the course of the film.
Previously Uncle Ben’s death resonated throughout the lives of Peter and May. It created a void that they struggled to fill. The lives of those greatly loved tend to do that which leads me to think Uncle Ben does not exist here. There is not even a photograph on the walls of their home that MIGHT be Uncle Ben.
This brings me to something else: how is Aunt May related to Peter? There is no in story information on that in this movie. Is Aunt May related to Peter’s father? Or did she marry the brother of Peter’s father? For that matter we do not even know if Peter’s father had the last name of Parker. For all we know his father may never have been in the picture and his Aunt May is the sister to his mother from whom he got the last name.
Why do I bring this up? Because there’s not a lot of in story character information on any of the characters really. The official line as I recall is that all this character information was already given us for their not going to do it again. I dare you to use in film information to explain the relationships.
They do not necessarily have to show scenes and all that, but a few lines of dialogue here and there could at least clue us in. Peter though just pops into existence and then spends some time begging Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to be in the Avengers and then fights the Vulture (Michael Keaton). That whole begging thing turned Peter into a needy loser. How pathetic do you need to be to beg someone the way Peter did?
Tony Stark becomes the plot device that fills in for Uncle Ben. Somehow though the same moral grounding that the father figure of Uncle Ben gave Peter just doesn’t seem to come from Tony Stark. Stark is the cool uncle that stops himself when he thinks he will get in trouble with the nephew’s mom and not the guy you go to for moral guidance.
Another issue I have is Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori). He went from a serious physical threat to a minor emotional nuisance. Previously without powers Flash Thompson was a danger to Peter but once the spider bit him, Peter could have ended Flash in a heartbeat. The lesson being restraint. Now Flash uses some mean words.
One of the better points about the Spider-Man character originally is that it was all him. He did it himself. From the costume to what he did with the webs to his tactics as a hero it was all him but here Spider-Man isn’t a product of Peter Parker. Rather he is more a product of Tony Stark. It starts with the suit and goes from there. Spider-Man himself has no skill but rather the suit does.
Stark early in the film admonishes Peter and tells him if he feels he is nothing without the suit then he does not deserve it. He is nothing without the suit. It is designed to make every decision and take every action. If his goal was to get Peter to be able to stand on his own then why on the gimmicks in the suit? Why even the suit?
The action scenes in Spider-Man: Homecoming are great. I give them that but the story is, well, forgettable. The story is mostly awkward moments of Peter as Spider-Man or awkward moments of Peter all desperate and needy to join the Avengers with “Happy” Hogan (Jon Favreau) not willing to give him the time of day and Tony Stark being irritated with a kid he recruited out of nowhere to help him out in Germany and then tossed him aside.
This is probably the first of the Spider-Man films that contains the trademark Spider-Man banter that he uses with assorted villains. I give them credit for getting that right. That’s something that was missing in previous iterations big screen iterations.
Michael Keaton is a good actor. I’m not sure why he chose to give Toomes a mild New York like accent considering Keaton is from the Pittsburgh area but he did that. I think he did a fine job other than that accent. He could be threatening with words and expression and didn’t necessarily have to do anything to make him appear tough as the character.
Holland on the other hand as Peter/Spider-Man was more like a toddler on espresso than anything else. He is all frenetic energy but quirks or strange behavior do not necessarily make a character.
I know I’m in the minority when I say this but I didn’t enjoy this one that much. It was okay. For me it was just a bunch of cool looking scenes slapped together with an action-packed finale. The story was minimal.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a must see for the fans of the MCU but for the more casual viewer. I think you can probably skip this one and not really feel as if you’ve missed out on anything other than a bit of pop culture.