Spider-Man Homecoming (A review of sorts)

Becky and I took the boys to see the new Spider-Man film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, yesterday, and I guess I can recommend it. I give it about three stars out of five, maybe a bit more.

What can I say? It was a Spider-Man movie. It was the seventh Spider-Man movie in the last 15 years, and Tom Holland serves as the third actor to portray the title character, following Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.

The bar where I work is adjacent to a movie theater, so I get to talk to a lot of people going to and coming from the movies, and one question concerning these new Spider-Man movies (You have to figure there will be more than one) is why do we need a new set of Spider-Man movies, when we’ve recently had two others? The answer to that probably has something to do with Columbia Pictures and Disney’s Marvel Studios knowing a cash cow when it comes along and realizing it should be milked for every possible dollar.

They’ve got their neat little Marvel world all set up to make films farther into the future than anyone can imagine. The Avengers are at the center of that universe, and aside from the full group films, the third of which (Infinity War) will be coming out next year, there have been three Captain America films and three Iron Man films starring the actors, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr., respectively, who reprise their roles in the Avengers films. Chris Hemsworth’s third Thor movie will be out later this year. You have Benedict Cumberbatch reprising his title role from Dr. Strange in the next Avengers film, and now Holland doing the same with his Spider-Man, a character that was originally introduced in these story lines in Captain America: Civil War.

Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man has already gotten his own film, while Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther is getting his. Add to that Mark Ruffalo as the Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as the Black Widow, and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, all of which will probably get the full-film treatment, and the potential number of films is mind-numbing, and that’s not even getting to how The Guardians of the Galaxy–all are at least rumored to appear in Infinity War–team plays into it or what might happen when they start crossing Avengers story-lines with those of Wolverine and his fellow X-Men. Did someone say “Cha-ching?” Maybe it was just a cow mooing.

So, why do we have a new Spider-man movie? Because some Columbia and Marvel and Disney execs were sitting in an office and a cow dressed like Spider-Man walked in. They all agreed that if you squeezed a teat, money would come out. They will no doubt be proven right.

So, despite why the film was made, it wasn’t a bad effort. Peter is younger in this timeline than he was in either of the previous two, and Holland is younger to match. Playing a 14 year-old Peter Parker, he is a young looking 21 year-old, where both Maguire and Garfield were 27 when their films began.

This aspect pleased me some, as it was easier for me to deal with the cutesy, sillier aspects of the character with him at that age than when he is in his later teens to early-20s, as he was in the previous installments.

Still, I’ve never been able to get over that childish aspect of Spider-Man. Becky says that I was 17 when I was born; I can’t even bring myself to refer to him with any of the cutesy names by which he is often referred: Spidey, the Web-Slinger, or the Wall-Crawler. And there were plenty of those cutesy aspects, but expecting such, I suffered them easily enough.

The action, however, was decent enough to keep my attention, and I made it through the two hour and five minute film without napping; that is a notable accomplishment for me. Still, the excitement level was lower and the number of “Oh wow” moments was fewer than what you got with the first two Avengers films and last two Captain America films.

In short, I got pretty much what I expected out of the movie, and I think anyone who goes with similar expectations and reservations will do so as well. If nothing else, Michael Keaton, an old favorite of an old guy like me, plays a good villain, The Vulture, and he’s cheeky enough to fit the cutesy feel of the title character. Jon Favreau, however, stole the show for me playing Peter’s handler from Stark Industries, and when I look back on this film as time passes, it’ll probably be his performance that brings the most positive thoughts.

4 Replies to “Spider-Man Homecoming (A review of sorts)”

  1. I haven’t seen Spider-Man: Homecoming yet, so I won’t comment on that. Rather I want to talk about cross-overs and a little about different heroes getting their own movies and such.

    With regards to the X-Men joining up with the Avengers in the movies, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Fox seems to be far more reticent in letting go of the rights to any of the characters they own than Sony Pictures was, and boy howdy, Sony did not want to budge. The critical and financial failure of Fant4stic not incentivizing Fox to sell the movie rights of the Fantastic Four and all characters associated with them (such as Doctor Doom, Galactus, and Silver Surfer) back to Marvel Studios seems to indicate this, despite the fact that this is the third time Fox has tried to make a Fantastic Four movie and failed. Add to that (although X-Men: Apocalypse received a tepid reception critically and commercially) that Deadpool and Logan have been outright smashes for the studio, and I think we have a pretty clear picture that the X-Men will not join up with the Avengers and the Guardians in the movies any time soon if at all.

    The case with Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, however, is a little different. Even though they are X-Men, they are also Avengers and regularly show up in the Avengers comics. So, they are allowed to be in Fox and Marvel Studios movies at the same time. The MCU, though, cannot refer to them as Mutants as Fox lays claim to that word for their movies, which is why they’re “enhanced humans” as Baron Strucker put it, I believe. (This is also why MCU’s Quicksilver was killed off in Avengers: Age of Ultron so as not to interfere with Fox’s iteration of him and Fox does not even have Scarlet Witch in their movies.)

    I’d also like to add that the Incredible Hulk cannot have a solo movie in the MCU as the rights to him are still technically owned by Universal. He is, however, allowed to show up in the team-up movies and another hero’s series, which is why he is in Thor: Ragnarok. (Universal seems to have similar rights to Namor the Sub-Mariner.)

    With all of this said, Marvel Studios seems to have had to be creative about which characters to use and when since the biggest cash cows haven’t been theirs for years and still aren’t for the most part. I’d say that’s quite the accomplishment since the MCU cemented this superhero deluge we’re experiencing now with a load of somewhat unknowns like Iron Man and Thor to obscurities like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man.

    Black Panther was integrated quite well in Captain America: Civil War, and his solo movie should be a success for them come February; I don’t see any reason why Captain Marvel couldn’t do the same. It just makes me wonder what other heroes they’ll bring to the big screen.

    Maybe Howard the Duck will make a comeback with his own movie!

    Or not.

    Perhaps they’ll hit the small screen like Daredevil and Ghost Rider did. The T.V. MCU side of things has had some manner of success in their endeavors, though not quite as well since they don’t have Kevin Feige to guide them as he’s dealing exclusively with the movies, and Jeph Loeb doesn’t seem to be as savvy a producer as Feige is. That, however, is another story entirely.

      1. To answer why I don’t have a blog, the first reason is I haven’t given it much thought. Since I have given it some thought at different points in time, though, the second reason would be I don’t know how to set one up.

        I do like to comment, but ever since my early days of commenting on YouTube, I have had to learn the hard way that the Internet never forgets. Thus, I am more cautious these days because I don’t like to say anything unless I’m quite sure that I wanted to say it and that it’s clear to anyone who reads it. I never said anything terrible both in form and in manner, but I was far more trollish, I suppose.

        My third reason is that I would set up a blog page merely to air opinions and anecdotes and such. Perhaps other reasons would present if I did so. Still, why would I publish such things on the Internet when I could just as easily write it all down in a notebook or journal or some such thing? Sure, someone could read those items without my permission if he were gung-ho enough. They usually, though, have the air of secrecy about them, and many people understand that they’re not supposed to read them. Blogs are subject to, theoretically, the judgement of the entire world.

        I guess this is my biggest hang-up about it. As time goes on, it does appeal to me more and more, but I’m not sure if I want to cross the threshold yet without some more thought. YouTube and other websites apply optional anonymity; a blog does not necessarily do so.

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