After the dud that was the duo of The Amazing Spider-Man films, we now have Sony’s attempt to turn everything around, this time with a reboot film deeply entrenched in the MCU— Spider-Man: Homecoming. Before I get into the what I didn’t like about the movie, I’ll tell you what I liked.
First of all, Tom Holland is a great Spider-Man. He plays the character very well, including the character’s awkwardness and quippy nature. Secondly, I liked the Vulture. While not really given much to do, Michael Keaton is another high point of this film. The characterization of Peter’s best friend, Ned, is also very likable. The costume was great, and while I’m mixed on the idea of Peter being given the suit and it making him into a more tech-based Iron Man-lite, I also liked the banter between Peter and Karen (or “suit lady,” the A.I. in the Spider-Man suit).
Now the bad. This movie has a few glaring issues aside from the bigger problem. Firstly, the incessant swearing. Like seriously, it never stops. It wasn’t funny, and instead was jarring and took me out of the film. Secondly, the characterization. I know I previously praised the characterization of Spider-Man, which I still hold to, but there’s a big problem with it. Peter in the comics has always been a loner, and he’s been independent— he was smart and quick on his feet, not needing the help of Tony Stark’s fancy gadgets to get him out of a pickle. I missed that aspect of Peter’s character— the independent genius. I understand why they made Iron Man a fixture in this film (to further establish Spidey in the MCU), and I’m happy he’s in a bigger pen of characters to play with, but something just felt… missing in his interactions with Iron Man. Which leads into the film’s biggest and most glaring issue…
It completely lacks any substance. While I still have problems with Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man movies (the ones with Tobey Maguire), the reason they’re still held in high esteem to this day is that they have great depth. Spider-Man 2 especially. They have a greater theme, and they have something to say about that greater theme. Homecoming doesn’t really have a theme. It doesn’t set out to say something meaningful, it sets out to be successful movie that sets up a franchise. It also tries to be a comedy, and while most of the jokes are funny, it just felt… flat.
I don’t have anything against comedy in superhero movies— earlier this year, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I laughed at its jokes, but I enjoyed it more because of its deeper themes of family and fatherhood. That made it memorable, and gave it something aside from the comedy aspect.
Did I like Homecoming? Well… I thought it was just fine. It was a fine, perfectly forgettable superhero flick that fits well with the summer blockbuster fare. Do I ever want to see it again? No. Do I wish the movie would cut down on the foul language, franchise set-up, and lack of substance? Yes. Does Sony as a film studio need to get its crud together? Absolutely.
What’d you think of Spider-Man: Homecoming? Comment below! I wanna hear your thoughts on this.