Warning, the following contains spoilers for ‘Spiderman Homecoming’.
Remember when babyface Toby Maguire was a thing? It feels so long ago that I sat behind that early 2000’s cinema screen watching Alfred Molina brutalise Spidey on top of a moving train. JK Simmons, we love you, just getting that in there. It’s really a shame they never made a sequel to the original Spiderman 2. WHICH THEY NEVER DID AND YOU CAN NEVER CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. But alas, like Highlander, it is a perfect movie without a single follow up.
Then we had Andrew Garfield in the 2012 modernisation/ inevitable Nolanisation of the Spiderman property. Spiderman wasn’t a geeky little superhero any more, he was a geeky little superhero with DARK INTENSE BROOOOODING (and occasional intrigue). Just a note, the brooding was very important in 2012 with that whole Mayan Apocalypse thing that happened. We try not to talk about the Mayan apocalypse. The Amazing Spiderman had Peter Parker stuck dealing with his fathers failings. Then in the sequel his girlfriend died and there was whole scenes of sadness. So, yknow, a fun superhero movie for all the family really.
So when I heard that they were rebooting Spideymon again…this time with totally fully grown adult pretending to be young teenager Tom Holland (he’s 21, guys), I was a bit “meeeeeeeh”. His cameo in Civil War was really awesome, so I was half-way between “Here we go again…” and “This might be really fucking good though”. Flashbacks to 2012 came to mind as well. When Andrew Garfield’s first amazingtime came out, people were totally vying for the Stark tower in the Avengers to show up in Garfield’s New York skyline. Marvel studios was a seriously major thing before Spiderman was even rebooted last time. So we’ve had this dance before, Sony pictures, you foul and mysterious bitch. Plus with the news coming out that the other new Spiderman properties wouldn’t be connected to Marvel Studios (I’m sorry what?), pensive is a perfect reaction to this whole ordeal.
It will please you to know that I realllllly liked the new Spiderman film. It was easily one of Marvels best *new* properties of the past few years. It takes a huge steaming poo on Ant Man AND Doctor Strange… and I kind of liked those ones as well. Out of the movies released so far for Marvel, it edges it’s way into equal footing with Guardians of The Galaxy right behind Captain America 2 on the top spot for me. Homecoming’s a solid, finely crafted story about a kid with hero powers going through adolescence. Done and done, cheques signed, Infinity War lets go. It’s almost crazy how well the Spiderman character lends itself to a young teen dealing with teeniebopper issues. That bit where he had to decide whether to make himself socially cool by using his Spiderman persona or not… relatable and respectable there SpiderTom.
But what about the baddie? Escaping from the fact that Michael Keaton is a truly incredible actor, can we just take a fucking second here. The man evolved from Batman to a film where he plays a washed up actor who played a Superhero Bird to a film where he played a sodding Bird supervillain. It’s perfect. Anyway, the villain in this film was really really interesting. More interesting than the trailers made him look and far more interesting than a diseased man on his deathbed. The trailers made him look like some Norman Osbourne lite not-Green Goblin flying guy. But no, turns out he’s not so much a baddie as a guy just living life by his own sociopathic rules… and totally killing it by the way. Did you see his house? He had a real good thing happening until Twinkle Toes Parker showed up to the party. Keaton is painted like this average Joe who just happened to be pushed into a world of superpowers, then he kicks its ass his own way. It’s a shame about the whole “tried to murder a kid” thing that started happening to him at the end though.
Im so so glad that Tony Stark wasn’t in this all the time. His presence is felt in the film throughout (like a lingering goatee waiting to pounce) but he’s not actually present for 99% of the film. It’s a VERRRY good thing that this is a Spiderman film and not Iron Man 3.5. There were parts of the movie where having Iron Man show up to save the day would have completely 100% destroyed the film. That bit where Spiderman has to lift that entire building off his back, I was expecting Iron Man to pop in and save the day possibly with shiny robo-suit in towe. In my head I was going “If Tony Stark shows up, this movie is bullshit.”. BUT GODDAMN IF I WASN’T PROVEN WRONG. I’m so glad they didn’t pull this shit on us and let Spiderman solve his own problems by himseld. He grew as a character, people, but because he’s a fully grown man already… i’m afraid the growing can only be emotional from this point onwards.
Overall, Homecoming had feeling, Homecoming had story, Homecoming had an interesting villain and Homecoming even had a titular Homecoming. However, because Captain America forced me to wait around at the end for NO FUCKING REASON whatsoever, this movie only gets 8/10.