WARNING: The following review contains spoilers, I’m telling you now so you don’t pretend to be outraged later.
So apparently, Sony has to produce a Spiderman film within a certain time period or else they lose the rights to the film character to Disney. So if you are wondering why you are watching the 3rd reboot of Spiderman in the last 10 years, there is a reason outside of a boatload of cash and the Vaio going extinct. Then there was the story of Asa Butterfield, who had the Spiderman gig so in the bag, they were printing out his contract until he started telling people he already had the role before they announced it so they went with their second choice of Tom Holland instead while Butterfield was stuck doing The Space Between Us thus ending his short career. Then you have Robert Downey Jr. who is still spending all the money they gave to him by screwing over Terrance Howard and added him to the film because The Amazing Spiderman 2 was a steaming hot pile of elephant turd, they feared a Spiderman movie wouldn’t sell without Ironman getting top billing (and RDJ getting another 50 million dollars). Add that in with a pissing contest between Disney and Sony, along with the controversy of a 19-year-old D-list Disney Channel star playing Mary Jane and somehow we got to Spiderman: Homecoming.
Spiderman: Homecoming is yet another retelling of the story of Peter Parker. After 6 movies, I think you know by now that Uncle Ben dies, a spider bites Peter and gives him super powers, his best friend is Harry, and somewhere out there Venom is waiting and when he finally shows up, it’s going to be disappointing as fuck. So this film decides to skip all that crap and go straight into teenage Spiderman fighting for a spot with the Avengers. 8 years after the events of the first Avengers movie, and a group of contractors’ are slated with cleaning up New York City until they are fired by Tony Stark and told to fuck off. Now a leader of an underground weapons production, smuggling ring, Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture sells alien tech weapons on the black market because…(Vin Diesel voice: Muh Famlee!!!). A group of thugs nearly kills Peter at a bank and it’s up to him to stop this crime ring and prove to Tony Stark….’s driver/assistant Happy that he has what it takes to become an Avenger.
For those who worry about this film being as bad as The Amazing Spiderman 2, nothing could be that bad (even Spiderman 3 was better). As a matter of fact this is the best Spiderman film since Spiderman 2, 13 years ago. The film succeeds at being enjoyable and fun which is the Disney forte with the MCU more times than not. Just a couple of months ago I was pretty down about the MCU as a whole after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a disappointment. I still believe there is a level of blind favoritism when it comes to these films, but this one deserves more praise than the last one did.
The central arc of the story is the pseudo father/son relationship between Ironman and Spiderman. Ironman treats Peter like a…well kid. He even gives him his own Ironman Lite suit equipped with ‘training wheels’. Peters tried hard to prove that he is capable of fighting amongst the Avengers, but Tony feels that he still has much to learn and Peter learns those lessons the hard way. A common problem with MCU movies is the villain and this villain is a mixed bag. Michael Keaton knocks it out of the park as an actor, but that what you expect from someone of his caliber. As a villain, I was unsure about his motivations behind his plan. I mean he sort of explains it as a class warfare angle, but they never truly explained what his endgame was and how he got to where he was outside of Stark generally being a dick to him once.
The supporting cast is hit and miss as well overall. Peter’s friends are either comedic relief or offer little to nothing to the overall plot outside of convenience. His sidekick is pure comedic relief, Eugene “Flash” Thompson was supposed to be a bully, but I found him annoying, you have the girl Peter has a crush on and then you have everyone else you’ll likely won’t even remember while reading this review (to be fair, the girlfriend storyline actually accumulates to a genuinely funny exchange between Peter and the Vulture). The decision that will cause a lot of uproar in the coming weeks was casting Zendaya as ‘MJ’. Now it was reported last year that she was cast to play the role of Mary Jane which caused a lot of people including myself to go…
After online Backlash, they backed off the decision and stated she would not play the role instead casting her to play Michelle Jones aka…”MJ”. So not only did they intend to have her play Mary Jane and lie about it but they didn’t even have the balls to stick with that decision, giving her character the same initials so they could have a “my friends call me MJ” (ala Dark Knight) moment at the end. Instead of sticking to their guns, they turn MJ into a moody SJW who adds nothing of worth to the film except to claim diversity and take a couple of shots at Washington which ultimately leaves everyone with a sour taste in their mouth. Admittedly, this is me nitpicking as a comic fan, but either go all in and don’t go at all, especially with the 6th Spiderman movie in 15 years and arguably none of them has had a good Mary Jane character depending on how favorable you are to Kristen Dunst.
At the end of the day, what is clear is that Spider-Man: Homecoming is undeniably entertaining. You will definitely nitpick some of the creative decisions, but how much those nitpicks effect your overall viewing experience is on you. Spiderman is a solid rebound from Guardians 2 however, given MCU’s track record with sequels, you probably have a right to be concerned about part 2 especially considering it will be a reboot of the entire MCU. DO NOT stay for any post credit scenes as it will be a waste of your time and they will literally mock you for it. There is not a cool preview for a future film at the end, but for 2 Hours and 13 minutes you will find Spider-Man: Homecoming to be a highly entertaining popcorn flick and given the last 10 years of the Spiderman movies, that’s all you can ask.
OFFICIAL RATING: ***