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.