Spider-Man: Homecoming – Good, Bad & Ugly Review

Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man when a new threat emerges. – (Source)

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 93% (Critics) / 91% (Audience)
Directed By: Jon Watts
Written By: Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and Robert Downey Jr.
Studio: Sony Pictures

The Good:
Tom Holland was a wonderful bit of casting and almost immediately became the absolute best big screen depiction of Peter Parker through all of the Spider-Man movies. I have always been a fan of high school Peter Parker so going younger than the previous films (where Parker was about to graduate and become and adult) was a good move. I also love that this movie made sure to play up just how much of a genius Peter Parker is.
I also really enjoyed Pete’s interactions with his best friend Ned and his Aunt May. Ned is a great sidekick and Jacob Batalon was hilarious in the role while Marisa Tomei was somehow able to make me get over my initial unease with the idea of a “Hot May Parker” to really appreciate what she brings to the role.

The Bad:
If Michael Keaton hadn’t been cast in the role then The Vulture would have been completely forgettable and even with that caveat I found the character to be very one note. And the stupid twist thrown in for reasons I cannot even fathom did the character and the movie no favors.
As a love interest, Liz Allen was pleasant but incredibly bland. Also Laura Harrier and Tom Holland had less than zero chemistry…romantic or otherwise.
I absolutely hated the high tech suit that Spider-Man wore.

The fact that Spider-Man was boneheaded loser who couldn’t do anything right also didn’t sit well with me. I have read more than enough Spider-Man comics and even at the beginning of his career, where he made plenty of mistakes to be sure, Spider-Man was always still shown as competent. In this movie he was a walking punchline who seemed almost wholly incapable of doing anything right. Even his final victory over The Vulture, that was supposed to show the audience how much Spider-Man had grown and been the “turning the corner” moment that proved he was ready to be a solo superhero, wasn’t really a victory for Spider-Man since The Vulture basically beat himself. I like my Spider-Man to be a smidge more capable than the bumbling rookie we constantly got in this movie.

The Ugly:
A few years ago Marvel Comics decided to make Peter Parker a sort of protege to Tony Stark. It was part of the ill-conceived and horribly executed CIVIL WAR miniseries and was also one of the worst periods in Spider-Man’s history for me as a fan of the character. So to have all of the stuff I hated about that period in the comics just be puked all over this movie immediately turned me off. Spider-Man is one of the most well-known and beloved characters in the world and really didn’t need to made into Iron Man’s apprentice just because Sony allowed Marvel to take to the reigns of producing this new film.

Final Verdict: While I think that Tom Holland and the majority of his supporting cast are great and I am looking forward to seeing what more will come from this new iteration of Spider-Man, I really was not blown away by this film. It borrowed far too much from a period of Spidey’s comic book continuity that I hated and had way too much Tony Stark for my tastes. Couple that with Spider-Man’s youthful incompetence being the character’s defining trait and a movie I desperately wanted to love became a movie I was just OK with.

Grade: B-

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