Saturday, July 8, 2017

Spider-Man - Homecoming

Best opening and ending scenes for any Marvel movie ever. The theme music is the classic Spider-Man tune from the 60s cartoon. That set the perfect tone for this film. The mark of a great Spider-Man story is when you give him a great villain to fight as he navigates the crazy world of high school and girls and all his obligations to being the Amazing Spider-Man. It's a simple formula with a million ways to mess it up. The creators totally understand why we love the character so much. He is the original hard luck superhero.

There is nothing wrong with this film and to tell you anything more would ruin it for you. There is a sense of wonder here like the first time we saw the original Spider-Man movie. It worked then because someone worked out how to seamlessly blend the live action and the CGI to make the whole illusion of a Spider-Man believable because if you don't believe he has these powers and ability then what is the point? I point you to the 70s TV show to prove my point. I didn't believe that character was super in anyway and everything was just a television trick. In this movie, the sixth one, there is something artificial about the way Peter moves while in costume. It's so minor that I got used to it after awhile but it is there. Spider Man looks fake and computer generated and has no sense of how a weight moves through space. Its hard to explain but human brains can tell the difference between real and computer generated. It's really the only thing wrong with this film and I don't know how you can fix that. The same thing didn't exist in Avengers - Civil War and I would like to know why.

And then their version of Aunt May. I hate I am saying this about a woman who is suppose to be elderly but I would hit that.

I love Marissa Tomei but she is no Aunt May, especially with every red blooded male in New York trying to get with her and giving her googly eyes. I get it. I want to get with her too. She's a hot MILF but not elderly like Aunt May is suppose to be. She is more hippy than she is suppose to be as well. At first I hated the idea but there are moments when the movie and Tomei make it work. She does have the distinction of giving the BEST ending line of any live action Marvel super hero movie to date though.

I also dug that this one didn't 'really' have a Mary Jane like the redheaded Mary Jane we know and love. That MJ is not a regular kid from your school. She is the surprise you want at your door one night, calling your tiger and telling you that you hit the jackpot. She didn't go to high school with Peter or did she? I love the way the movie deals with the whole issue of M.J. and where she is.

Michael Keaton is absolutely bad-ass at playing menace and in this film role here reminds us why the Vulture is one of Spidey's greatest villains and certainly one of most deadly. He has no problem with killing if it achieves his agenda. He can fight Spider-Man in the air where the Vulture fights best. In the comic book the Vulture could attack Spider-Man as he swing through the city and that was his advantage until Peter learned to defeat the suit. Keaton chews the scenery for all it's worth and has a delivery that sent a chill down my spine.

Nice touches combine the classic look of the Vulture's gear with modern tech that could exist in the real world. He is a real menace and how he figures out Peter's secrets is particularly satisfying. The script is very strong and supports all the heavy ideas and situations at work here. Keaton can be a charmer one minute and your worst freaking nightmare the next. It's amazing that he has a family who love him. Don't worry if you don't understand that reference right now but when you it will just be one of the other dozen things that are fantastic about Spider-Man - Homecoming.


Everyone is totally game to play their parts in this first picture for Tom Holland and the second time that Spider-Man is shown working with the Avengers because they exist in the same Universe.

Robert Downey Jr. is terrific as Peter's mentor. His smart ass, constantly distracted Tony Stark can be annoying in large doses but here he is used perfectly to bring Spider-Man into the Avenger's family. He is not a perfect mentor but he did put in the time with a sincere interest to make Peter a better hero. He is at least trying to be less selfish and in the end Tony can be proud of the 'Stark Internship' he established with Peter. He learned as much about himself as he ever taught Peter about being a hero. The Spidey suit itself is a great idea and addressed one of my issues with Stark - why doesn't he make costumes for his fellow heroes that give them all the advantages and options in combat that the Iron Man suit gives him? It's design would work to enhance skills and abilities that the hero already has. Black Widdow, Hawkeye and Captain America spring to mind as ones who could use this tech. They always seemed the least protected from harm. A little of Stark goes a long way here but you are always happy when he shows up. John Favrue is also good as 'Happy'. He is Starks' go to guy and he has an important role in the story.

I also liked the kid playing Peter. He had the right blend of humour and innocence as he learns to become the great hero he is destined to be. Tom Holland does everything right as Peter and Spider-Man. The stuff in high school was just as interesting as the Spidey stuff. Having a buddy like Ned Leeds (the name of a reporter friend of Peter's in the comic book who was the villain known at the Hobgoblin) to share the burden of the secret with is played very well especially in the ways that the secret identity forces Peter to disappoint people in his life who think he is selfish because he let them down when he bails on some obligation because he is out in his red suit trying to do the right thing. I felt for the first time how much that rips out Peter's heart. Those he loves the most always get hurt the most. Sadly here that part of the Spider-Man mythology is firmly in place. Holland and Director John Watts have found an impressive way to make us understand how really tough it is to BE Spider-Man. With great power does come great responsibility. He thinks he can have a normal life and friends and do normal things but since the radioactive spider bit him, he is no longer normal. Stan Lee understood the ennui of Peter Parker and this movie does as well.

And then there is 'that scene' where Hollnd pulls off one of the most iconic moments in Spider-Man history. You will know it when you see it so I will only say that watching that moment made my heart grow three sizes that day . Fantastic. For that scene alone Holland gets another free shot at making Spider-Man history in a sequel.

I dug the high tech Spider Suit complete with 'Karen' his computer teacher and therapist. All of the features only make him better at doing whatever a spider can. It's thrilling to see him learn how to use the suit to maximum efficiency. Of course the underarm wings are the best. So classic Ditko. Every frame of this movie is an homage to why Spider-Man may be the greatest superhero of them all. I could defend that opinion. Why else would there be no mention of the famous 'spidey sense' and no scene showing - even in a montage - how he go bit by the radioactive Spider in the first place. It was nice to see the filmmakers just assume that everyone on the planet already know all about those parts of the story and got on with the new stuff.

In a year of GREAT superhero movies, this one more than holds it own. It's no Wonder Woman but for the sixth film in twenty some odd years, it's still got that old school feel to it. It's as good as I expected it to be and they more than exceeded my high expectations for the film.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Looking forward to seeing this one! Glad it meets your high standards!

Super-Duper ToyBox said...

I need to go see that... AND WW. So far behind. I love the redesign of this suit as much as the Amazing Spider-Man outfit.