Celluloid Diaries: Should you watch Spider-Man: Homecoming?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Should you watch Spider-Man: Homecoming?

should you watch spider-man homecoming

Do we need a new Spider-Man reboot? Sony and Marvel announced from the beginning they weren't planning on doing another origin story, yet we all expect the typical superhero plot with a myriad of Marvel characters thrown into the mix. Instead, 36-year-old director Jon Watts surprises us and opts for a mix between a John Hughes movie and Kick-Ass.

Story


Spider-Man: Homecoming presents itself as a coming-of-age comedy set in a high school in Queens, with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) being the lead that tries to fit in but doesn't succeed in doing so. Not only is he too clumsy to make a good impression on his classmates and the senior girl he crushes on, he's also too inexperienced to be taken seriously by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) with whom he has just started an internship and who sees in him the “friendly-neighborhood-Spider-Man” who prevents the theft of bikes and helps old ladies cross the street. Yet Peter considers this internship as a stepping stone toward more challenging assignments if only he could prove to Stark he's worth an official position within his team. He tries to impress Stark by taking on more than he can chew by going after a group of criminals connected to Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture (Michael Keaton), who modifies the Chitauri technology he recovered from the battles with the Avengers and turns them into weapons for the black market. Meanwhile, Peter Parker's best friend (Jacob Batalon) discovers his secret and tries to convince Peter to tell his crush (Laura Harrier).

tom holland spider-man homecoming

Should you watch Spider-Man: Homecoming?


Though six screenwriters were involved, Spider-Man: Homecoming was scripted mainly by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, who are best known for their screenplays of Vacation and Horrible Bosses 1 and 2. Their influence is apparent in that the tone of the story is much lighter than the previous Spider-Man movies. Homecoming pokes fun at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with lots of meta-references, and never takes itself and its characters too seriously. There are times where the filmmakers overdo the meta humor, resulting in scenes bordering on the ridiculous (like when Peter Parker tries out all the new gizmos of his new Spider-Man suit), but for the most part, this approach is exactly what the reboot needs. Spider-Man: Homecoming is truly a breath of fresh air in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Teens, in particular, will appreciate this new installment as the filmmakers focus much of their efforts on including elements for a younger audience, such as Spider-Man filming his adventures on his phone and becoming a YouTube sensation, or the awkwardness of being a teenager. A more mature audience, on the other hand, will appreciate the John Hughes vibe.

As could be expected, several other Marvel characters make their appearance - Tony Stark, Captain America, Pepper Potts - but their presence is discreet and never interferes with the Spider-Man plot. The secondary characters, too, fit the show, with some memorable performances by Jacob Batalon as Peter's best friend, Ned, and Marisa Tomei, as Peter's Aunt May.

vulture spider-man homecoming

The only character that is out of place is Michael Keaton's Vulture. On paper, he is fleshed-out, multi-layered and morally ambiguous – a man who suffers from the repercussions of the Avengers missions and who avoided bankruptcy by recovering some of the alien technology and turning it into weapons. However, his depth never entirely translates onto the screen and he comes across as too much of a banal arch villain, especially when he puts on his winged flying Vulture suit (which makes him look like Birdman, by the way). Though his scenes are coupled with excellent special effects and lots of action, they are the only ones that slow down this otherwise fast-paced two-hours-and-thirteen-minutes-long movie (except for the twist near the end).

However, what truly makes Spider-Man: Homecoming shine is Tom Holland (the kid from The Impossible) who brings so much charm and friendliness to his central turn that he carries the film more than any other element. In fact, no matter how many qualities can be attributed to Homecoming, the story would probably never work this well with another actor. Apparently, director Jon Watts told Holland to watch Ferris Bueller's Day Off in preparation for his part, and the reference works wonders. Spider-Man becomes not just a superhero, but a human you can only root for.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is very different from its predecessors and hugely entertaining. If you've been bored with Marvel superhero films lately, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Sony Pictures already scheduled a sequel for release on July 5, 2019.

Watch the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie trailer and clips



Are you looking forward to seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming? What aspects are you most excited about?

spider-man homecoming review

4 comments:

  1. I'm looking forward to it and am grateful it's not an origins story. Everything I've heard said the lead was the perfect Spiderman. He was certainly good in Civil War.

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  2. Tom Holland is an amazingly talented young man. I intend to see this movie for him alone!

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  3. It sounds better than I expected actually. I'm glad they haven't taken it too seriously, after all Spiderman has seen so many reboots now there's hardly an actor out there who has played the part! Still not sure I'll rush to the cinema to see it, but may wait until it's out to rent #TwinklyTuesday

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  4. I'm not that much of a comic fan, so I think I'll give this one a rest.

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