Thursday, June 29, 2017

Spider-Man: A Pretty Good Homecoming

  After a long wait, Marvel cut a deal with Sony and it's flagship character is finally under the Marvel Cinematic Universe banner. Spider-Man has come home. A new actor, s ton of trailers featuring Iron Man, and enough hype for 10 franchises. The expectations and pressure are there, but does the film live up? Yes and no.

   Shortly after his return from Germany and the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker has to figure out life. The balance between school, his social life, and his blossoming career as the crime fighting super hero, Spider- Man. The Avenger's battle with alien invaders has left it's mark on the city. Peter discovers a new villain who is selling alien weapons and putting the city in danger. In order to prove that he is ready to be an Avenger, Spider-Man sets out to save the city.

 I will be in the minority, but I wasn't blown away by Marvel's take on Spider-Man. I loved Tom Holland. I felt like he really nails Peter Parker. He was great in Civil War and he really follows through here. His interactions with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Happy Hogan (John Favreau) are some of the best moments in the film. I was a fan of Andrew Garfield in the last couple of films, but Holland gets better material to work with and delivers.

 Michael Keaton is quite possibly the best Spider-Man villain yet. I love the way he becomes the Vulture. It fits with the universe Marvel has created and makes complete sense. Toomes is a really well rounded character. I love that Keaton has the ability to make you like him even when he is bad and borderline crazy. I wish the actually called him Vulture in the film, but oh well.

 One of my problems with the movie is the, "Breakfast Club." Peter's friends in school. I understand that it was meant to have the tone of teen melodrama, but I wish the characters were less annoying. Zendaya's, "Michele," is never likable. She gives a bit of a nod to a character that I HOPE she doesn't become. Liz (Laura Harrier) feels like she is there so they didn't have to go the Gwen Stacy route again.  Ned ( Jacob Batalon) was mildly entertaining at first, but gets old pretty quickly.

 The part of the cast that bothered me the most was Tony Revolori. The actor does nothing wrong, but he is almost as badly miss cast as Flash Thompson, as Jessie Eisenberg was Lex Luthor. Flash is a jock. Flash is bully. Yes they get the bully right, but Flash is not a short alternate for an Academic Decathlon team. He is a full blown jock! I applaud the racially diverse cast, but come on! Get the core of the character correct. I expected more from Marvel.

 There is a large group of people dubbing this Iron Man 4, but I am happy to say that it isn't. Iron Man is great and fits into the movie well. Stark is a central plot point, but he doesn't over power the film. He is in the movie just enough to not upstage Spidey in his own film.

     Peter Parker is learning to be Spider-Man. I feel like the Stark suit is actually too much. I am not a fan of the new suit the comics have shifted too either. Spidey is smart, but he doesn't need 584 possible web shooter combinations. I really like him in the sweat suit version of the costume. There are definite plot points that I won't spoil for him wearing it. It is clearly a nod to the Scarlett Spider and that is just cool.

   My biggest problem with the movie is the same in most of the Spider- Man movies. SPOILER ALERT .......LAST CHANCE TO STOP READING................OK YOU WERE WARNED .....

I am sick of Spidey's enemies figuring out who he is. The character can keep his secret identity for years in the comics, but can't go two hours in a movie without them being figured out. I know eventually some of his enemies know, but it took a little longer than the first conflict. I know that I am nit-picking, but COME ON MAN!!!!

All in all, I like Spider-Man: Homecoming. It was fun. I love the way it fits into the bigger universe. I am glad that they didn't tell another origin story, but I did miss Uncle Ben and the quote. Marissa Tomei as Aunt May takes some getting used too also. There is a lot to love about the film, but I feel like there are some places that it misses the boat. Welcome to the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spidey. You will fit right in. I hope you next outing gets better because this one was good, but just not epic.

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