And so, here we are... With this, the third attempt by Sony Pictures to cash in on the brightest-uniformed hero of them all: Spider-Man.
Sony first hit gold with Sam Raimi's early 2000s take on the arachnid-man and his amazing friends, despite the flick having very little wall-crawling action, an ugly Mary Jane, and a boring-as-all-fuck Peter Parker (sorry, not sorry, Tobey Maguire). But that extremely profitable series sputtered out horribly after the third movie got destroyed by critics and fans alike (despite flick number three making a brazilian dollars at the box office because the general public is stupid).
Then the powers-that-be let director Marc Webb reboot the entire Spidey franchise in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man. This film series only had two movies to its name, and although Gwen Stacy was hot and super likable, and Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker was much faster, funnier, and freneticer than Tobey could ever be (it just looks to me like Maguire is perpetually just about to take a nap), these flicks were missing a lot of the heart that makes Spider-Man such a great character. Plus they didn't do well at all at the B.O.. That is a crime to movie studios, punishable by DEATH.
Sony ended up scrapping its entire planned 6 or 7 Spidey-film franchise and began wondering just what the hell it was doing wrong... Especially when Di$ney and Marvel were knocking pretty much every single superhero movie they made out of the park with both critics' reviews and in box office returns.
And so, with a little help from Best Korea (who supposedly hacked their company's mail servers), Sony's internal memos (of their attempts to dick Marvel over on a new Spider-Man series) came to light, and everything appeared to fall apart. But then, somehow, miraculously, everything coalesced into the spectacular deal that we eventually got with Peter Parker joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe (featuring Robert Downy Jr. as Iron Man)! Mostly because Sony was called out on their infantile bullshit, and everybody decided that they did in fact like making money. And that brings us to...
Well, actually, it first brings us to Captain America: Civil War, where this universe's Peter Parker originally appeared. THEN that brings us to Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The main difference with the MCU's Spider-Man (compared to Sony-Alone's first two attempts) is not just the tone or the tale (although Homecoming is a huge departure from the previous films' paint-by-numbers "plots" and feels), but how young this Peter Parker is. He looks like a baby here! And that's fantastic! As a big fan of the Ultimate Spider-Man storyline, I loved how Puny Parker was a high school student the entire series. He was a young superhero learning how to do what was right all on his own, with no inherited fortune to work with, and a dead uncle guilting him into a life of crime fighting vigilante-ism.
Yeah, Homecoming's Spidey has Tony Stark and Happy Hogan kinda watching out for him (and keeping tabs on him just a bit too much for Pete's liking for a while), but for the most part, aside from Parker's good buddy (fellow student, portly Ned), our hero is on his own... Okay, he's got A.I. Karen on his side too, but he doesn't have Thor, the Hulk, Black Panther, or Captain America waiting on the sidelines to jump into a fight to save his spider-huevos.
The second main difference between this Pete and the previous Parkers that we partook of is that this is a typical John Hughes-like, high school, coming-of-age movie. The biggest obstacle for young Parker here is Pete trying to get the girl of his dreams to notice him, and also attempting to NOT make a fool out of himself in front of her, and, well, the whole school.
We also get to see how Parker's fucking up his life outside of high school by ignoring all his extra-curricular responsibilities, all the while trying to make his mentor (Tony) not only acknowledge the good that Pete is attempting to do as Spider-Man, but also give him some more meaty roles on "Team Avengers."
The problem with the Stark issue is that after recruiting Pete for the airport attack in Germany (see Civil War, and the opening credits of this movie), Tony just dumps Parker back on the streets of Queens with his new, fancy costume. Then he pretty much ignores the kid. Peter is tired of just swinging around town, catching bike thieves, and trying to make a name for himself outside of his small neck of the woods, and all he wants is to be pulled in to the Avengers full-time. However, he's still only 15 years-old, totally inexperienced, and is actually rather low in the self-confidence department. This leads to some terrrrrrible/hilarious situations, and this is what makes me love this film so damn much.
There is so much going on in this movie, but it's not your typical "hero gets powers, villain gets (similar) powers, hero stops villain's plans for revenge against somebody/something, hero and villain fight, hero wins" superhero flick. This is Freaks & Geeks: The Movie (featuring Spider-Man!). And it's fucking hilarious. See: Pete's attempts to strong-arm criminals into giving him information; Pete's new friend A.I. Karen, and her insistence that he try to switch his suit on to "Instant Kill Mode"; Hannibal Buress as the tired-of-life high school gym coach; and of course RDJ stealing the show whenever he appeared on screen. I found that I wanted to rewatch this movie as soon as it was over, not just for the action and spectacle, but for the humor.
I also loved Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture. I liked how he was almost the exact opposite of Spider-Man in terms of powers and experience. I was very glad they didn't do another Green Goblin or Doc Ock in this new Spidey film. That was very much appreciated.
The best part about Homecoming for me though (yeah, I think I said that five times already in this review) is that Spider-Man is not fighting against evil-doers who are trying to end the world or take over the country, he's trying to stop people from stealing things... THAT'S Spider-Man right there. Well, that, and throwing in awkward encounters with girls, a shitty personal life, and an Aunt he has to keep in the dark about his crime-fighting shenanigans.
Are you done sucking this movie's dick? Is there anything you didn't like about it?
Yes. As much as I enjoyed it, I did not find this to be the GREATEST MCU movie that we've seen so far. Director Jon Watts really needs to tighten up his proverbial ship for the sequel. I liked the tone of this movie, but sometimes certain scenes dragged, and it needed a bit more focus overall. Honestly though, I can't believe that this guy (Watts) was even given the reigns to this colossal $175million production after only really making two shitty, low-budget movies in the past. Talk about a massive leap of faith on Marvel's part!
Also, like most of Marvel's movies, there was no great or memorable film score. The only caveat to this is the orchestrated version of the classic 60's cartoon theme song used in the opening. If only they played The Ramones' version of that track at some point. Even if it was in the closing credits (which was actually a different Ramones song, strangely enough). Maybe they're saving that for the sequel: Spider-Man - Prom.
Spider-Man is my main dude. I love the poor schlub! I grew up with Spidey; I felt bad when Gwen Stacy was killed; I fell in love with Mary Jane; I actually enjoyed the creation of Venom; and I also cried during the Clone Saga... Because the Clone Saga was terrible. But I digress.
This is the first Spider-Man movie that they made that GETS IT. It understands the comic better than any of the films (or the shitty 70s live action TV series) ever did. Yeah, Japanese SuPieDahMahNu was balls-rockingly awesome (I loved that giant robot that he had), but it doesn't have dick on Homecoming.
Here, in this flick, Peter's a social pariah. He's a geek among geeks. He's such a loser that his bully is a geek too. Pathetic. I bet he just goes home at night, plays with his Legos, and cries himself to sleep while his dog cuddles up to him to try and make the scary memories of the day disappear... I mean, yeah, PETER PARKER probably does that. I'm sure he has a dog. Everybody has a dog, right?
Anyway............... Yeah. Great movie. I've got to go and hug my dog now.
Hello, fellow US citizen! I just wanted to let you know that I approve of this movie.
I also wanted to remind you to brush your teeth at least three times a day. And remember, once you start feeling your body undergoing the changes of puberty, you may need to start washing yourself at least once a day.
And deodorant is your friend.
Also, try to exercise at least 30 minutes every day. Whether it be lifting weights, running or jogging, or simply playing a sport. It's a good habit to start, and it will serve you well once you find yourself sitting at a desk for 8 - 9 hours a day, eating stale donuts left in the break room for lunch.
And remember, if you think that you're being "a nice guy" to a girl that you like, but the only reason you're being nice to her is so that you can have premarital sex with her, just know that you're not really a nice guy, you're actually a stalker who thinks that just because you lust after a girl you deserve to fuck her. That's just sick. You're sick.