So, I recently saw Spider-Man: Homecoming a few days back, and I wanted to give a bit of a review on it. Not a full-sized Sweet As Syrup review, but more just my personal thoughts on the film. For those of you who don’t know what the deal with this film is, it’s Sony’s attempt as “reviving” the Spider-Man movie brand. You see, the last film made a ton of cash, but not as much as Sony was hoping for.
As a result, they handed the reigns of the series over to Marvel and Disney, in order to make a Spider-Man film that can sell well to audiences again. This eventually lead to Spider-Man’s appearance in the “Captain America: Civil War” crossover film, and eventually lead to the creation of this new film.
So, what is Spider-Man about? Well, I’d tell you all about the character, but the film decides to skip all the origin stuff. While I’m glad it did so, I still feel that certain people watching this will have no idea who Spidey is or how he got his powers. Sure, it’s common knowledge, but the film dances around his origin so much. There are very few references to Uncle Ben, the mugger who shot him, or the radioactive spider who bit Peter.
So, to sum up the film without spoiling it, let me give you the run-down. Peter Parker is Spider-Man and has dreams of joining The Avengers. Peter wants to essentially give up on his civilian life, and essentially be Spider-Man full-time. This is definitely an interesting twist, in some ways it feels like an inversion of one of Spider-Man 2’s sub-plots. Sadly, Homecoming does no do as much with the concept as you’d think.
So, while dealing with his home and school life, Peter must also content with a bunch of armored thugs on the street. It turns out that Adrian Toomes (played by Val Kilmer) has stolen alien tech and is using it to build powerful weapons. He sells these to thugs on the street, and also has a cabal of henchmen doing his dirty work. Toomes isn’t afraid to get involved himself, and has also built this really cool bird-suit. Taking the moniker of “The Vulture” he sets out to steal stuff, so he can support his family.
That’s about as much of the plot as I’ll discuss, since I don’t want to go into major spoiler territory. Now, I’d say this film is pretty good. Solid characters, entertaining story, fantastic action sequences, and a very likable villain help make this film a good watch. However, we also have a film that is extremely flawed at times.
For one thing, the film is stuffed with way too many jokes. I’m okay with a Spider-Man film having some jokes here or there, but they went overboard with this film. The first half of the film just felt overstuffed with comedy bits, even when serious plot elements were happening. While the humor was generally entertaining, the film didn’t shy away from using stale and dated internet memes.
Worse than the rather jokey nature of the first half of the film, was just Spider-Man in general. This version of the character was laughably weak, and had to be bailed out of almost every situation. When he wasn’t getting saved, he was inadvertently causing the disaster and then fixing it. I get it, this is supposed to be a young Peter Parker learning how to be a hero. However, there was never a point in the film where I felt like Peter really earned his victories.
Even other teenage incarnations of Spider-Man were more competent than he was. That’s not to say he never did any AMAZING or SPECTACULAR things, but more often than not it was from situations he caused by accident. A good example of the disappointment that came with Spider-Man was his fights against The Vulture. Not once in this film did Peter ever manage to beat down Vulture. It got to the point where Peter’s victory against the villains felt completely hollow.
Another thing I did not like was how weak the finale felt. Without giving anything away, Spidey just kinds of wins while barely doing anything in that final fight. The finale just never felt satisfying, and I sat there just expecting more. Epic things did happen during said ending, but it wasn’t enough to make it feel like a truly good finale. Compare this to Spider-Man 1 or 2, which had some fantastic endings with extremely satisfying fights and stakes.
Now, I’ve done a lot of nitpicking and over-analyzing on this film thus far, to the point where one may think I hate it. Far from it, I thoroughly enjoyed this film. The characters were interesting and fun enough to keep me engaged, and most of them were nearly perfect in their portrayals. I say “most of them”, because I couldn’t stand the portrayals of certain characters like Shocker and Flash Thompson in this film.
The film also had a really rocking soundtrack, and some fantastic special effects. The thing is, this film could’ve been a whole better. The problem is that this film played it too safe. It didn’t put as much punch into the film as a whole, which left the film lacking stakes in many areas. The hero was under-powered, the villains were just guys with powerful tech, and the adults’ only purpose in this film seemed to be telling Peter how he was screwing up.
I think this film did do what it set out to accomplish: Reinvent Spider-Man, make him closer to his comic book counterpart, and make the character popular with the movie-going public once more. Even though I had problems with this film, I respect that the filmmakers went out of their way to present a more modern and faithful adaptation of the source material. If had to give this film any sort of numerical score, it would most likely be a 7/10. A pretty good superhero flick to watch on the weekend with pals, but nothing much beyond that.