More amazing than Amazing Spider-Man? Yes. By far.
Spider-Man: Homecoming starts off by showing the antagonist of the film, Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, cleaning up in the aftermath of The Avengers. Already, we have a leg up over both movies. Where 1 started out with something that didn’t turn out to be relevant until the next movie, and 2 started out with reckless destruction to the city that could have been easily prevented by Spider-Man, this one starts out by establishing a vital character to the story. In addition, we find out how he powers his weapons and what he eventually runs his business on, all in one short scene. It also helps establish his distaste for the Avengers, Tony Stark specifically. Toomes is one of the best villains of the MCU. I’d go so far as to say top three, although that’s not an entirely impressive feat considering Marvel isn’t particularly good at making compelling villains. This villain is simple in motivation, intimidating, and brilliant without losing his grip on practicality.
Vulture’s motivation is easy: Money and family. He wants his business to thrive and to protect his family with the money he makes from it. He doesn’t have a predisposed hatred towards any superhero, he just wants to stay out of their way so he can get on with what he wants to do. I loved that. I loved how small-scale his motivation was, and it extends to the whole movie. This entire film is small-scale, as it should be. No one wants to take over the world, no one monologues about how they hate humanity, there’s no blue beam shooting up into the sky, everything is relatively grounded in terms of scale. Which is just what Spider-Man should be. Spider-Man isn’t about saving the entire world, he just wants to save New York from any threat that comes up. Speaking of Spider-Man, Tom Holland is fantastic. For the type of Peter they’re going for (high school, novice Peter,) he’s perfect. I’m not going to compare Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man to Holland’s because it’d be like trying to compare peanut butter to jelly. They’re both good, but they can’t really be discussed in a comparative context because they’re so different.
Despite all the praise I’m giving this movie, it’s nowhere near perfect. Ned starts out kind of annoying, but he gets a lot better as he stops fawning over Spider-Man. The cinematography, although it starts out pretty good, gets rather bland as the film goes on, with the only really interesting looking parts being the action scenes. There’s a romance in there, and it’s not spectacular. It’s not necessarily bad, but it’s also not focused on a whole lot for a reason. That said, it works for the plot; it’s not something where you feel like it’s taking time away from something more important. While this movie is very funny, sometimes it’s too focused on comedy to have good drama. That’s not to say there are no good dramatic points in the movie whatsoever, but the focus on making us laugh takes away from some scenes that could have afforded to be more serious.
I still consider this to be a very good movie, however. For every imperfection, there seems to be something to appreciate, the biggest (that I haven’t already mentioned) being the side characters. Most all of them serve their purpose and aren’t overbearing, with the only real exception I can think of being Ned, but only in the first half. The action scenes are all a blast to watch. To see Peter experiment with his powers on the fly is so much fun. Spider-Man’s quips are really well used, they’re not too frequent and not too sparse, and nearly every one of them is funny. This is, in general, a very funny movie.
Possibly my favorite thing about this movie is Spider-Man himself. They do him so incredibly well that it’s shocking. He’s just a kid, so he makes kid mistakes. He causes reckless destruction, but you always feel as if he’s aware of this and is frantically trying to prevent it. To contrast, Man of Steel attempts something like this (I think) and fails horribly. Superman destroys so much in his battle with Zod that it makes you wonder if he’s even trying to protect anyone. I’ve seen many arguments that say he’s not trying to, and the carnage he causes is simply a by-product of him being inexperienced. If that’s the case, why do we never see him try to save anyone? He literally directs the battle away from an empty wheat-field towards a populated area. One of the main plot points of Batman v Superman was all of the destruction caused by Superman, but it’s never really dealt with. Here, Peter faces actual consequences for the accidental damage he’s done. He cares about protecting people, but he’s not experienced enough to know the best way to do so. Peter himself is the best part of this movie, and I believe he’ll remain that way in the sequel. When the sequel arrives, I’ll be there for sure.
7/10.Connect to me