I have a little problem I’m trying to solve. I don’t feel like I’m active enough on my blog. So, my solution to this is to kick myself in the butt and fix it. Toward that end, I’m going to do a post every weekday in August and see how that looks at the end of the month.
So, without further ado, here’s a quick review of a movie you’ve probably already seen.
Warning: There may be spoilers here.
Spiderman has always been one of my favorite characters. I started reading The Amazing Spiderman during the Jackal storyline and a quick look at Wikipedia tells me that happened in 1974, so yeah, I guess I’ve been a fan for a while.
The thing that resonated with me, even though at that time Peter Parker was in college, was that he started out as a high school kid. That hit me where it counted, because he was a bit like me. Bullied, unpopular, you probably know the drill. When he got those amazing powers, he didn’t turn it into something negative. He never beat up Flash Thompson. (Well, I seem to remember Flash being Venom sometime later, but that’s another story.) He didn’t become Batman. He took his new abilities and used them to help people. That’s the core message of the book: “With great power, comes great responsibility.” That’s a hell of a message to drill into an eleven year-old’s mind. One that sticks. I’d like to think I’m a better man from having learned that lesson early on.
I’m invested in the character and this movie made me happy.
In Homecoming, the story picks up some time after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Peter’s eager to get out and do some big league superheroing again, badgering Tony Stark’s sidekick, Happy Hogan, for his next mission with The Avengers. He never gets the call, but he’s got his powers and this incredible suit from Stark, and he puts them to good use helping out around town. While not in keeping with the comic’s cannon, this is the core of the character. Just a high school kid who wants to help out. Tom Holland plays him well. I always get a bit grumpy when adults play high school kids, but Holland made me believe it. For the record he’s twenty-one at the time I’m writing this. Assuming this thing was in production for three years, that still makes him a high school grad when they started filming, but it had me fooled.
Eventually, he foils a heist using some way out there technology that we later learn is from the alien invasion in The Avengers and the game is on. Hogan still isn’t returning his calls, so Peter decides to track the weapons back and runs afoul (afowl?) of The Vulture. Fun and games ensue, Parker has plenty of problems to solve, and there’s a hell of a reveal to kick off the third act that caught me unawares.
There’s no mention of Uncle Ben Parker in this version of Spiderman, and that leaves the entirely not-up-to-the-task Tony Stark in the father figure role. The scenes with Robert Downey Jr. are hilarious, but Peter’s respect for him comes off as genuine. When Stark finally pulls Peter’s chit and makes him give back the suit after he fouls up a bust on the Staten Island ferry, the exchange is spot on. I missed Uncle Ben, but the swap to Iron Man worked for me and fit well within the MCU.
Most importantly, there was no origin story. This, I must confess, I loved. Finally, someone in Hollywood got it. Spiderman’s an established character. If we’re watching this movie, we know how Peter Parker became Spiderman. If not, you probably got dragged to the theater by someone who does. Ask them during the credits. ‘Nuff said.
Anyhow, I enjoyed the heck out of this movie. Stick around after the credits for two cookies, a little bonus scene of The Vulture in prison and a Captain America PSA that’s pretty funny.
I give it five out of five “Thwips”. If you don’t get that, ask and I’ll explain it in the comments.