Revisiting Spider-Man: Homecoming

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I know what you’re thinking “Why is he reviewing a movie that came out last year?”. Well there’s a simple answer for that, when Spider-Man: Homecoming was released I didn’t have this blog and having recently watched it I felt like giving my thoughts on it. Better late than never right? This is the start of a new series where I revisit previous comic book movies and give my thoughts on them. The main reason why I’m doing is because I find that opinion on a film changes when I watch it again, especially when all the hype surrounding it dies down. Or sometimes my thoughts on the film don’t change at all. Homecoming is a movie I wanted to revisit mainly due to the high I came off when recently watching Avengers: Infinity War. I loved Spidey in Infinity War and when I thought about it I had only seen Homecoming once and I just thought it was a solid movie at best. Since I have a lot more free time I wanted to go back and see if my thoughts on it had changed. After all Spider-Man is one of my favourite comic book characters of all time. Instead of giving a full detailed review because you’ve probably read 100s of them by now I just wanted to give my thoughts on the film as a whole after revisiting it a year later.

No origin

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When it comes to the movies we have already seen the origins of Spider-Man with how he was bitten by a radioactive spider and the death of Uncle Ben. I do remember the first Amazing Spider-Man movie getting criticised for retracing the steps of the first Raimi movie. Homecoming takes a shortcut because at this point we all know the origins of Spider-Man. I think this was a bold decision because at the end of the day this is still a reboot and skipping over the death of Uncle Ben in particular is a huge deal. There is an emotional tone that is left out in this film which I think could have been filled if they focused more on his death. I’m not saying you have to show us his death again for what would have been the third time but they could have made it feel more important rather than giving it one line in the movie where Peter is talking about what Aunt May has been through. By exploring Uncle Ben’s death it would have also allowed them to focus more on Peter’s relationship with Aunt May which I feel is lacking in the film.

I think the issue I ran into when watching this film the first time was not accepting that this was an entirely new Spider-Man. For too long I’ve held the Raimi films close to my heart because I grew up with them. This is a different Peter Parker in many ways but he still has the same elements from the comics. This isn’t a Peter Parker who feels responsible for the death of his uncle Ben. He’s worried about how best he can help his Aunt and how he can take Liz to the Homecoming dance. I’ve had my 5 movies with the same type of character/background. The way Peter and Spider-Man are handled in this movie is something new and I’m totally fine with that.

Peter’s arc

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The way the writers approached Peter’s arc in this film was interesting for a number of reasons. By skipping his actual origin the movie goes in reverse after the events of Captain America: Civil War where we were first introduced to him. Although we didn’t get a Spider-Man film prior to Civil War we know he was out there on the streets of New York in his homemade suit playing the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man role. With Homecoming although he had been Spider-Man for some time he was still inexperienced in the role. You see this in scenes where he is chasing after the Shocker in his van, he ends up making a mess of the neighbourhood while losing track of the van in the process.

What I liked the most about Peter’s arc in this film is how he started the movie out on top. He had the upgraded suit and the help of his mentor Tony Stark but as the film goes on he pretty much loses everything. He doesn’t have the help of Happy, Tony and Karen to rely on when he battles the Vulture in the final act. Peter’s relationship with Tony in this film is something I also want to touch on since it has become somewhat a controversial aspect of the film. I’ll admit I wish Tony wasn’t in this film, I would have preferred Spider-Man to be working on his own for the majority of this movie. But I do think they’re building up to something special with their relationship. I would argue that Tony has taken the role of Uncle Ben in Peter’s life and what you saw in Avengers: Infinity War was just the start. I believe their relationship will be revisited in Avengers 4 possibly with the death of Tony Stark who passes the torch to Peter. The death of Tony Stark could be huge for this character. To see how this teenager would deal with the death of his mentor could provide us with some of the most compelling content we have ever seen when it comes to Spider-Man on the big screen.

Tom Holland

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Now I’m not going to get into the whole debate of who’s the best Spider-Man ever because it has taking place since Captain America: civil War and has restarted since Avengers: Infinity War, honestly it’s a boring conversation. I really like all three portrayals we have seen so far with Tom also making a great Spider-Man. Without contradicting the whole point I just made the main issues I had with the previous iterations of the character is there wasn’t the perfect balance between Peter Parker and Spider-Man. With Tom Holland’s portrayal I feel like he finally strikes the perfect balance with the character overall. You believe he’s a kid who’s in high school mainly because of Tom’s performance, even though he’s 21 years old he embodies the role perfectly. This characteristic also translates easily into Spider-Man. Tom brings his innocence, joyful and comedic touch to the character. Also when given the right material Tom actually pulls of some great emotional performances in this role too. The first that comes to mind is of course the famous rubble scene which is taken straight from the comics and it works on big screen mainly due to Tom’s performance in the scene. The “Come on Spider-Man” line gets me every time I think about it. I do believe in the future movies that if they want the character’s arc to take a more emotional route Tom Holland will be able to pull if off.

Vulture

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I forgot how great Michael Keaton was as the Vulture in this movie. Every time he’s on screen he just steals the scene. You can tell this is someone who is seasoned in this industry, he makes it look so easy. His performance overall is one that I think should be remembered for a long time when it comes to the main villains of the MCU. The scene in particular that stands out to me is when he’s threatening Peter in the car. The build up to that scene and the way Keaton delivers his lines are great. The simple line of “Good ol’ Spider-Man” on paper doesn’t sound like a great line but Keaton’s delivery makes it a great line. Aside from Keaton’s great performance the main reason why I really like the Vulture in this film is because he was relatable. Yes, relatable for me is a key element that makes a great comic book villain. I don’t know about you but I’m so over the main villain who just wants to takeover the world so they summon a faceless army and shoot a beam into the sky for the final act. The MCU has been guilty of this formula but with the likes of Thanos, Killmonger, Hela and now Vulture they are starting to deviate away from it.

I like how Tooms was out to just help his daughter which links back to Peter because he saved her life. He had multiple opportunities to kill Peter but didn’t because that wasn’t his main goal. In fact apart from one of his henchmen who he kills by accident, he doesn’t kill anyone else in the movie. Another scene that stood out to me is just after Peter escapes from the rubble and he runs in the Vulture at his hideout. I love Adrian Tooms’ speech here about being looked down upon by the likes of the Tony Stark’s of the world. I love the line he says “They don’t care about us” and due to how he was treated at the start of the movie he’s right. It could even apply to Spider-Man with the way Tony Stark treated him. So both the hero and the villain have something in common which helps make him a better villain in my opinion. Overall the Vulture was a great main villain in this movie and in the MCU overall. At first I was skeptical when they chose the Vulture as the main villain but it was a great starting point for this Spider-Man mainly because of Keaton’s performance. I also like how they kept him alive in the end as they’re slowly building towards the formation of the Sinister Six in a future film. One last thing I would like to add on the Vulture is how much I love the character’s costume design. Sometimes when you see characters in comic books you think there’s no way this would work on the big screen. Vulture was one of those for me and when it came to the look of the character the costume designers knocked it out of the park.

Overall Spider-Man: Homecoming was a film I enjoyed a lot more the second time around. I like this new Spider-Man and the potential it has in the future. I think Tom Holland was a great choice along with Michael Keaton’s Vulture as the main villain of the first film. While I still have issues with the film such as the visual effects and the final battle it didn’t stop me from liking the film even more the second time around. This has become one of my favourite Spider-Man movies ever and I can’t wait for the sequel which is coming out next year.

Spider-Man: Homecoming 8.5/10

What are your thoughts on Spider-Man: Homecoming?

Is it your favourite Spider-Man movie?

Here’s my ranking of the Spider-Man movies:

  1. Spider-Man 2
  2. Spider-Man
  3. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  4. The Amazing Spider-Man
  5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  6. Spider-Man 3

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