Friday, July 7, 2017

Movie Review - Spider-man: Homecoming

I love Spider-man. I've loved the character for as long as I can remember. I loved the live-action 70s series with Nicholas Hammond, the live-action Spidey Super Stories on The Electric Company, the first live-action Sam Raimi film, and the reboot with Andrew Garfield. I was excited to hear he would finally join the cinematic Marvel Universe, but was a little nervous about the new approach the powers that be were planning.

Spider-man: Homecoming is a 2017 superhero, action, comedy from Sony and Marvel Studios. It's rated PG-13 for mild violence, strong language, and inappropriate jokes and is appropriate for teens and up.

The Good

Comedy. This is the funniest film Marvel has put out. There were jokes from start to finish, and each one was so funny and so unexpected. The comedy is by far the strongest aspect of this film.

Michael Keaton. Michael Keaton is a brilliant actor that can play anything from funny to series to creepy to scary. While I didn't like the version of the Vulture chosen for this film, I loved Michael's performance. He completely sold the character.

Peril. This film actually had a real sense of peril. You felt like Spider-man was actually in danger and might not make it, even though you knew he would. That's hard to do in a superhero film.

Cameos and Nods. This film had so many cameos and nods to other films, especially Spidey's appearance in Captain America: Civil War showing the fight from a different perspective. And it was so cleverly done. I also appreciated the remix of the 1967 Spider-man theme at the beginning.

The Bad

Not Classic. This movie was basically Spider-man's appearance from Captain America: Civil War for two hours. While a lot of characters from the comic appeared in this film (Flash Thompson, Betty Brant, MJ, Aunt May, Peter Parker, The Vulture, The Shocker, The Tinkerer), not a single one of them was true to their comic book version. They each felt like a modern reimagination that was a pale shadows of the original.

Not Epic. The Sam Raimi films were epic. The first Andrew Garfield film was epic. This movie felt like a filler episode of an Avengers TV show that showed a day in the live of a superhero when he wasn't on a mission. It was funny. It was entertaining. But it wasn't memorable.

CGI Effects. I was really disappointed in many of the special effects. They were competent, but they weren't amazing or spectacular (see what I did there?). They looked very cgi, very computer game like.

What I Would Like to Have Seen

Now that Sony is working with Marvel Studios, the Sam Raimi films could be considered cannon and retroconned into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They were so well done and so classic. I wish they had taken that route instead of the teenager with a super suit. While the movie was fun and entertaining, it wasn't epic, it wasn't classic, and it wasn't memorable. Spider-man really works best as a struggling college student, not an inexperienced high school kid. Saying the first two Sam Raimi films happened and then continuing that series would have been awesome and still allowed room to explore new territory.


Spider-man: Homecoming is an extremely funny film that focuses on Peter Parker as much as Spider-man. While very entertaining, it lacks the classic and epic feel of the previous films and feels more like a filler episode of an Avengers TV show than the beginning of a film franchise. I give it 4 out of 5 boxes of popcorn.



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