I should preface that I haven't liked a single Spider-Man movie to come out. From Tobey Maguire to Andrew Garfield, I just couldn't get behind any of it. I know Patrick will defend the Maguire films to his dying day because they have Kirsten Dunst in them. His crush on her borders unhealthy to say the least. I'm exaggerating because it's funny, but he does have a crush on Dunst. Back on track, I'm not surprised that yet another attempt to cash in on Spidey fame was made. This one started off with a behind-the-scenes deal between Sony and Marvel that would allow the latter to put Spider-Man (a character Sony somehow has controlling rights over) to appear in some movies. The first attempt at this was in Captain America: Civil War in which English-born Tom Holland got to wear the suit and run around with the hard-hitting heavies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for about fifteen minutes. It was pretty great and got me really excited to see a full-length movie.
My excitement culminated in the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming last week. The film has Tom Holland playing the titular role but also sees Michael Keaton playing the antagonistic role of The Vulture. I'd be lying if I said Keaton as a villain didn't have any bearing on my excitement for the film. Homecoming also sees Robert Downey Jr. reprise his Tony Stark/Iron Man role along with Jon Favreau and Gwyneth Paltrow in their Iron-Man characters. Newcomer to the MCU this time around is Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. There's a lot of smaller characters within the movie and the cast ends up being huge. It seems like even though this is simply a Spider-Man film, it's a bloody ensemble film.
I'm incredibly biased when it comes to the MCU films and shows. In example, Iron Fist had very few redeeming qualities but I still find myself defending it. I could make mention of the Defenders pun that almost exists there, but I'll let it slide. So, how did Homecoming stack up as a "I'm biased and love the MCU films" as well as a film on its own? Despite my bias, I can easily see what's wrong with all the MCU projects. I mean, Iron Fist is one of the worst television show I've ever seen and I don't need to get into all the things wrong with it here. Homecoming does need some focus. I'll try and recall what really felt like a home run and what didn't.
In the win column, the casting was excellent. I didn't feel like any actor was out of place. Everyone felt like they had their specific piece to add and it worked out fantastically. The script was well done also. I find that pretty much every single MCU project really suffers when it comes to generic origin tropes of some nature, the antagonists are always underwritten, and the actual story-arcs are pretty lame. Again, I write this with bias. I love the MCU stuff even though I know how shitty they can be. Homecoming really knocked it out of the park with Keaton's Vulture. I've tried to avoid calling him a villain because he's so much more than that. He's certainly the antagonist but he's not necessarily a completely bad guy. It's a wonderfully complex role and I'm so pleased that Keaton got to sink his teeth into it. Worth mentioning with SPOILER ALERT abound, I love that The Vulture didn't meet his demise. He'll be back in future Spidey films and that makes me so happy. FINALLY, Marvel is starting to use their villains well. I think probably the other highlight in my mind was how the film never once caved to origin tropes. Everyone knows about Peter Parker, Aunt May, Uncle Ben, the radioactive spider, etc. etc. etc. We didn't need to see it on film again. As an aside, DC should really take a hint with their goddamned Batman origin showing up in every film. Ugh to the max. The entire film showed Peter Parker really growing into and sometimes struggling with his powers. He has shoes to fill both literally and in his mind, and the film really was able to get that across without it ever feeling predictable or hokey.
In the loss column, I don't think I really understand how Tony Stark was his usual self in yet another film. I'm going against the grain in suggesting that Iron Man 3 was my favourite of his films as it showed the wear and tear that not only super-folks go through in these stories, but showing how a regular guy in a super suit couldn't handle it was a really inventive way of going about a film. Stopping an alien invasion by taking a nuke to space, watching a small country turn into a floating island and subsequently come crashing back to earth, and seeing the hero crowd divided over registration and limitation, things would eventually start to wear on a dude in a robot suit. By the time we see Stark in Homecoming, he's back to being his jovial and sarcastic self. I think this was a misstep considering the movie deals directly with the events from Civil War. I like the wounded and broken Tony Stark far more than the smart-ass billionaire philanthropist.
As a movie on its own, Spider-Man: Homecoming felt new and sassy and I feel it would definitely hold the attention of someone not necessarily into superhero movies or new to the genre. As a MCU project, Homecoming was a complete home-run. I have zero qualms with washing my hands of those other trash Spidey movies and gladly consider this theSpider-Man movie. I recommend it to everyone and want to close by making mention of how Peter's best high-school friend Ned was a great vehicle to show the audience that Peter is still a high-school student. Their interactions were great and felt organic. I quite enjoyed them together.
Oh! There are two credit scenes, with one mid-credits and one after them. Enjoy!