Yesterday I had the chance to see the latest big budget superhero movie- Spider-Man Homecoming. This film is important as it is the 3rd reboot for the character in recent years and the first time Sony and Marvel are working together for a film. Spider-Man is now part of the MCU as many fans dreamed and over-all he makes a promising addition to that world. While Spider-Man Homecoming doesn’t reinvent the wheel, it is a solid, entertaining superhero movie aimed at teenagers. Let’s talk about the positives. First of all, the casting is uniformly strong. We all got a taste of Tom Holland as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War but here we get introduced to him as Peter Parker and he’s great. Unlike previous versions, Peter feels like a kid here. He’s learning in every aspect of life- from asking the pretty girl out to figuring out where his role in the world is. He feels real and human, which is no easy task for a character climbing walls and fighting bad guys.
The script is really well done and if I was a teenager I would love this movie to pieces. I particularly liked the dynamic between Peter and his friend Ned played by Jacob Batalon. They felt like actual friends and had terrific chemistry together. I liked how they were constantly amazed at the tech gadgets designed by Tony Stark and Vulture. It felt genuine to see them get a gun or the Spidey-suit and say ‘cool’ with excitement like a real teen boy would probably do. Both of the female characters were misses to me, but I guess they did the job they were asked to do well enough. It’s not the fault of the actresses their parts were under-written. Oh well.
I also loved Tony Stark in Spider-Man Homecoming. I know some were worried this would be the next Iron Man movie but that is not the case. He is used just enough, and I was happy to see a return to the old Tony I know and love from Iron Man 1, 2, and the Avengers. The last 3 films (Iron Man 3, Avengers Age of Ultron and Civil War) he’s been so brooding and angry. While I don’t know if his behavior makes sense given what happened in Civil War, I don’t care. I was happy to have Tony Stark back in my life!
Unfortunately there were some negatives for me in Spider-Man Homecoming. First, I had some issue with the action sequences. There are 2 big set pieces that are fun but they didn’t feel like Spider-Man action. They felt very static to me and more like an Iron Man set piece than Spider-Man. There is very little of him swinging through the city like I want to see. I get what they were going for but if I was a teen and could swing through the city I would probably take full advantage of that! There are a lot of scenes of Peter crashing into pools and backyards and that was fine but I missed the awe of real Spider-Man scenes. Also, some action uses too much shaky cam and was a little hard to tell what was happening.
There are also characters that could use more development. Donald Glover’s role turns out to basically be a cameo. The Shocker support team for Vulture were pretty bland and Zendaya was underused as Peter’s sullen friend (and a reveal from her was meh). Also, Tony Revolori as Flash was very annoying and didn’t work for me at all.
Michael Keaton has gotten a ton of positive reviews for his role as the Vulture, and he is solid as always but I can’t help but feel it is a bit over-praised. To me he seemed like the classic standard Marvel villain. They love having the ‘man in a suit’ who gives into greed and becomes the antithesis of our hero. This is the case here except a blue-collar variety. Vulture is another business man who is wronged by Tony and the Avengers and seeks revenge. This is nothing new or that compelling. Also, there is a ‘reveal’ (this is Marvel we are talking about) that I called after the last trailer. I literally wrote down ‘Vulture will be …..’ and sure enough he was. Evidently others find this a shocking moment but I did not.
Don’t get me wrong. Vulture is by no means a bad villain and Keaton gives a good performance. The MCU has had far worse but people putting him up with Loki are nuts. He is more like Yellow Jacket in Ant-Man if you ask me.
There are also some Sony trademarks that were noticeable like the rampant product placement. For example, even though Peter is only 15 they just had to find a way to have an Audi car chase scene. Oh well…
One of my friends on twitter described Spider-Man Homecoming as a ‘great slumber party movie’ and I think that is true. I can picture high school students enjoying this and relating to it quite strongly, and that’s great! All demographics should have their superhero movies and now teens have one for them. It didn’t have near the emotional resonance of Wonder Woman but I certainly liked it much better than Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2. It could have been a little bit better but I was entertained and that’s what I want out of a superhero movie. Nice job working together Sony and Marvel and I look forward to more team-ups in future Spidey films!
Everyone will want to know where I fit this in my Spider-Man movie rankings. I’d say it’s 2nd or 3rd place but I need more time for it to sink in. Where would it rank for you?
As far as content it’s pretty safe. There are penis jokes and violence but nothing out of line of a standard MCU movie. Little kids might get a little bored with the high school plot but it won’t be offensive or scary for them.
Overall Grade- B
18 thoughts on “Spider-Man Homecoming Review”
My 3 teens and I went to see this last night, and we all loved it. True, not all of the action scenes were well done, and the female roles were too subtle (really didn’t see that reveal coming, either), but it was so funny! We laughed through the entire film, which is what made it stand out to me as a true Spidey film.
It was funny. I probably should have talked about that more. I’m so glad to hear teens are enjoying it because it was made for them. It was a fun film
I also like it was funny without being raunchy which was a problem with Guardians 2
Yes, good clean humor — so refreshing! I still haven’t seen Guardians 2, which is next on my list.
Tony Randall? Must be a different Tony Randall from whom I’m thinking of.
Oops. You caught me. I made a mistake
His performance was so annoying I got the name wrong 😆
I was the last person who wanted yet another Spider-Man film. This character has been done to death – three, yes count ’em three, different actors since 2002. Even James Bond doesn’t change so often. (I’m quoting from my own review. Forgive the repetition if so if you’ve read it already, but it’s important to emphasize how I felt going into this film.)
I was blown away. It feels fresh new, revitalized. Peter Parker embodies the role. He feels like a real teenager. Director Jon Watts wisely focuses on the minutiae of Peter’s high school life and it makes the character more affecting. He puts in a few New York action set pieces too, though. (The thrilling Washington Monument elevator scene reminded me of that Paris sequence at the Eiffel tower in Superman II.)
Great story, well-developed characters, coherent action scenes, humanity, heart – this delivered on every level for me. I loved it. (Oh and I’m not a teenager) Ha ha. 😉
I meant Tom Holland embodies the role. See? That’s how good he was!
LOL. He was a lot of fun. Is this your favorite superhero movie of 2017?
One of them. I loved Wonder Woman and Guardians too. There’s LEGO Batman and Logan too but those would place lower. Have I really already seen 5 superhero movies? 😂 Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League still to come!
Yeah it’s been a strong year for superhero movies and there are so many these days. I even liked Power Rangers which could count. Guardians 2 is only one I didnt like. I’m not very hopeful for Justice League but very excited for Thor Ragnarok especially with Taika Waititi directing it.
My favorite is Wonder Woman
For me I’d rank superheroish movies of 2017- Wonder Woman, Captain Underpants, Lego Batman, Spider-Man Homecoming, Power Rangers, Guardians vol 2
It’s 3rd for me – after the first two.
Yeah me too
I knew there was something off. Female characters in the movie were very relegated to small roles. Thank you for pointing that out. I hope they have better character development in the sequel.