Film Autopsy – Spider-Man Homecoming

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They’ve only gone and done it. They’ve finally redeemed Ol’ Webhead’s rep.

After suffering through Sam Rami’s Spider-Man 3, a movie that undid the fine work of the first two parts of the original trilogy, the reboot The Amazing Spider-Man that came after, had to be better right? Nope, not really. Not by a good long shot. Marc Webb’s take on the world of the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man was the epitome of meh. But anyway, enough looking back in anger at the past because Spider-Man Homecoming is the freaking bomb. As much of a cynical bastard I usually am, I am finding it so very hard to delve into the negatives of this film. Double short changing one of my favourite spidey villains, the Shocker, could have possibly pissed me off a bit. Honestly though, not even that can dampen the excitement this movie stirs within.

Tom Holland is the actor who has finally struck the balance between Peter Parker and Spider-man. Tobey Maguire managed to capture the geekiness and charm of Peter in the first trilogy, while his Spidey was kind of low energy and not nearly as quippy enough. The opposite occurred with Andrew Garfield’s take on the hero. While he excelled as the webbed wonder, his Peter Parker came off super unlikable. Now though, we have the perfect Parker/Spider hybrid.

As good as the titled hero is in this iteration, it’s the supporting cast that elevates Homecoming to the same heights Spider-man 2 reached, and hell, maybe even surpasses it. Michael Keaton soars as the Vulture, the best marvel villain since Loki. A bad guy whose reasons for villainy make you think “you know what, man’s got a point”. Now Keaton is a real highlight of the movie but it’s the network of friends and teachers at Peter’s high school that steal the show. From Peters ‘Guy in a chair’ Ned Leeds, newcomer Jacob Batalon, to smaller roles such as Peters fellow math decathletes. If you look back at the times you laughed throughout, chances are it was at one of the smaller characters.

In the build up to Homecoming’s release, a lot of noise was made by the fans and internet community about the addition of Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man. Most of it was how Spider-man might be overshadowed by his golden mentor. It was a fear that could’ve had genuine grounds to come into fruition but Jon Watts, the film’s director, manages to not let that happen. Yes it’s hard for Iron Man not to become the centre of attention, I mean Downey Jr has been Tony Stark for about 9 years. The actor and character have almost completely melded into one in the mind of the moviegoer. Watts though, uses this as a framing device to give Peter a focal point for his super-heroic aspirations. It’s nice to have a fatherly type figure for Peter to look up to, without re-hashing Uncle Ben’s death.

Anyways, this movie is one of the shining examples of a super-hero movie done right. Hats off to Sony for being the big enough company to share their toys/rights to lucrative properties. I hope they see how successful letting marvel studios help with the Spider-Man movies is and don’t mess up the upcoming Venom and other random characters they want to adapt.


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