Thursday, 6 July 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) - Film Review


*Originally written July 6th, 2017*

"The Almost Amazing Spider-Man"

I was pretty on the fence about Spider-Man: Homecoming before its release (Can you blame me?), the trailers have been uninspired, the posters sucked and Sony have fucked up Spider-Man more times than they've done it right. So I was actually pretty surprised that I liked Homecoming as much as I did.

Spidey joining the MCU is a big deal, they used him effectively in Captain America: Civil War, and this takes place mere moments after that in the form of a video log during Peter's time in Berlin with Stark. It also takes place 8 years after the events of The Avengers, as it still deals with the after effects of the Battle of Manhattan.

I'll say the stuff I liked first. Tom Holland is excellent as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. It was so refreshing to see a different take on the character as a young and naive kid, but still already Spider-Men (No origin story again, thank fuck. No mention of Uncle Ben either). It doesn't cover ground with seen before, although it does pay homage to a few moments from Sam Raimi's trilogy. Holland isn't an actor I'm very familiar with, but he really carried the film and was far better than Andrew Garfield's mentally challenged Marty McFly Peter Parker.

The stuff I loved the most was all the high-school stuff. This feels like a love letter to John Hughes' films. It's a coming of age tale as Peter has to balance his double life as a student and Spider-Man. There are some wonderful homages to Ferris Bueller's day off and other general cliches of these sort of '80s high school comedies, and that's where Homecoming really shines.

There's a decent supporting cast. Michael Keaton is far more memorable than most Marvel villains as The Vulture, although he's a little underused. His character had genuine motivation, charm and real intimidation, especially during an hilarious scene towards the end as he's forced into a situation by pure coincidence and has to deal with Peter Parker, rather than Spider-Man. I loved Zendaya as Michelle, who delivers some really dead-pan humour while still remaining cool and I hope to see her expanded for further films. I really did not like Jacob Batalon as Ned, he was a purely lame attempt at humour and felt like he was directly from the worst of Marvel.

It is seriously funny at times too. I usually find Marvel films to be horrifically childish and cringe-worthy with their humour (Age of Ultron and Thor 2 being the biggest offenders), but it really helps that the humour doesn't really feel like a marvel film and does actually pull out some decent gags, including one that was surprisingly dark for a kids film. Captain America's brief appearances also make for some of the funniest stuff in the MCU to date. Homecoming easily has the best closing 3 seconds of a Marvel film so far and best post credits scene.

Where I found fault in Homecoming however was the pacing and action. I found myself really bored in moments during the action, which were very forgettable (And spoiled in the trailers). It should have been trimmed down to around 2 hours. The only action I really liked was the montage of Spider-Man just being a "Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man". The finale was a complete trainwreck. It wasn't a bombastic, city-destroying end, but it was far too dark to see what was happening, so I was so taken out of the film and I just wanted it to end by this point.

The CGI was pretty solid for the most part, but I really don't like the look of Spider-Man's suit, it just looks really fake and distracting, but I did like variety of gadgets and settings it had. His homemade suit is better though.

They made a huge deal of Robert Downey Jr. returning as Iron Man here and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. Thanfully, they did not steal the spotlight at all and it was all about Peter. Iron Man did add a genuinely sweet touch of being Peter's father figure in the film. Again, something I hope is explored in the future. Assuming, Iron Man dies in the next Avengers film, that could make for an interesting character arc for Peter.

Spider-Man: Homecoming has its faults like a lack of any interesting action or visual style (It is very "Marvelized"), I still had a lot of fun with it and it's easily the best Spider-Man film in 13 years now. Here's to more good Spidey films.

7/10 Dans

Spider-Man: Homecoming is out now in cinemas in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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