You know what? I’ve been too hard on Sony. Sure their films may be the worst excuses for cinematic entertainment this side of Happy Madison, but they built themselves up as an electronic manufacturer. Heck, of the three different Blu-Ray players I’ve used, the fastest, least temperamental, and most reliable one was from Sony. However, I’d be lying if I denied my enjoyment of watching them run around like chickens with their heads chopped off after a terrific three-punch combo of getting hacked in 2014, striking a deal with Marvel in 2015 (one that cancelled many Spider-Man projects), and releasing one of the biggest box office bombs in 2016 (Ghostbusters) while I listened to the La La Land soundtrack with Sony earbuds. Bliss. Anyways, today we are seeing the highly anticipated result of that Marvel deal, and I can happily report that this movie is decent. Not an A, not great, not even that memorable, just decent.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts and written by: Johnathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers. Stars-Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Robert Downey Jr., Jon Favreau, and Zendaya. After the events of Captain America: Civil War, young Peter Parker must responsibly balance his superhero life (in which a new threat has appeared) with his personal school life (where his relationships are crumbling).
Now that you’re properly making this face (and thus I have your attention), we can talk about another movie with a 90%+ Rotten Tomatoes rating that I don’t agree with. Bottom line, Spider-Man: Homecoming is far better than its two predecessors, but in the end, I was left slightly disappointed. I didn’t have any monstrous expectations for this movie (save for wanting it to be better than the Andrew Garfield flicks), but there were defiantly some distracting flaws. Before I get into that, I need to give credit where credit is sorely due.
This movie passes the Politically Correct test (the one that made Ray a perfect, aka boring, character in The Force Awakens) by having a multiethnic cast. And unlike in Beauty and the Beast (2017) where black people were casted as regular townsfolk (when in reality, a slavery system was well-established in France in the early 1700s), it works because present-day New York is wildly diversified. Not only that, the cast is top-notch! Tom Holland is thoroughly enjoying every single second of screentime he gets, and the supporting cast shines as well. The best comedy in the film comes from the interplay between the characters; which is great because the rest of the humor is pretty stupid, as are some of the character decisions. Seriously, you could make a compilation of characters saying that they should be discreet, and then immediately getting found out. I can only tolerate a bunch of “supposedly” intelligent, secretive superheroes/agents discussing top secret information in an occupied high school bathroom, for so long
To make things worse, two of our main characters have crippling errors. The first is Spider-Man himself, and his problem is that he’s invincible! In the original Sam Raimi film (which is better than this movie for the record), whenever Spider-Man took a blow, you could tell it hurt. During the final battle, he was almost beaten to death! In this movie (in which Peter is still learning his powers), he gets knocked around, but the impact is nonexistent. It’s almost like they used a CGI puppet whose outfit never takes damage, or looks even the slightest bit dirty. It makes for some suspense-lacking action sequences. The second poor character would be Michael Keaton’s Vulture. While Keaton is great as always, his character is just another “common man” cliché, and he’s not interesting enough to make up for it.
In regards to the fight scenes, remember how inventive Raimi’s camerawork was in the original trilogy? Well, shaky-cam and bland action set pieces are now a part of the Spider-Man canon. These action scenes are very standard fare, which sucks because watching Spider-Man swinging around the skyscrapers of New York City should always look awe-inspiring.
Though I thrashed the living heck out of this movie, it is still an entertaining, funny, promising start to the newest interpretation of this character. While writing this review, I realized that I held this movie up to Captain America: Civil War (as that was Spidey’s last appearance). I love Civil War because it had complex characters, drama, and pure entertainment working together in perfect harmony. Homecoming only has the latter, but it puts every ounce of effort into it. After all, Spider-Man has always been very popular with younger audiences. Hence why there was a greater focus on humor in the movie, it’s in an awkward high school setting, and there’s a lot of dialogue devoted to Tom Holland geeking out about his powers (take a shot every time he says “awesome”). Taking this into account, Spider-Man: Homecoming is an enjoyable, if not safe, entry into the franchise and it gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a B.