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The ‘MCU’ Spider-Man with the Vulture and Iron Man
Here I am with ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’! Terrible movie title! 😀
As many of you know, Spider-Man is my favourite superhero from the Marvel Comics universe of superheroes! At the time of this review, there are currently three incarnations of Spider-Man at the movies, played by three actors. My favourite era of ‘Spider-Man‘ films will always be with Tobey Maguire, as directed by Sam Raimi.
When ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was released at the cinema in July 2017, people went nuts over it. Audiences and critics praised the movie for its light tone and the performances of the actors; saying it’s the most faithful adaptation of the web-slinging superhero created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.
No matter where you turned, people said very good things about this live-action version of Spider-Man, now incorporated into the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’. It achieved high ratings; high box office records and it is also considered a superhero film that many people get totally blown away by.
Moment of silence.
(nervously) Am I allowed to say…I find this movie version of ‘Spider-Man’ overrated?
MCU Spider-Man suddenly swings in and beats up Tim Bradley brutally. Tim screams out loud in agony as MCU Spidey keeps beating him up.
(pleads) “Please, Spider-Man! Don’t hurt me!”
But MCU Spider-Man keeps beating Tim up and the screams of agony get louder and louder and…
Okay, let me make something clear here on the outset. I actually really enjoyed seeing ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ at the cinema. I found it an interesting take on the web-slinging superhero I’ve grown to love over the years. Dare I say it; I really liked it and found it worthy as a proper ‘Spider-Man’ film.
I saw the film three times when it came out at the cinema in the summer of 2017. I had the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ DVD for Christmas in 2017 before I eventually had it as part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Three: Part One’ DVD box set for Christmas 2018 by my parents.
But saying that, I don’t consider this to be a faithful version of the web-slinging superhero I’ve grown to love. Not really. It’s not perfect. There are issues I have with how Marvel Studios incorporated Spider-Man into the ‘MCU’, both in this specific film and its follow-up ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’.
Now I’ve no objection to Marvel Studios making Spider-Man a part of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ of superhero movies. But the creative choices made had me consider it less of a ‘Spider-Man’ movie for me since elements of it distracted me to regard it as a faithful version of the superhero.
As I review this movie, I hope I’ll endeavour to enlighten you on why I don’t think this is the greatest film adaptation of Spider-Man from the comics whilst also sharing what I do like about it. This is particularly with hindsight in mind after seeing later appearances of Spider-Man in the ‘MCU’ movies.
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ stars Tom Holland who I found absolutely amazing as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The film is directed by Jon Watts and it also stars Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. I do agree. The cast are very good, despite my issues.
This movie is technically Tom Holland’s second appearance as Spider-Man. He made a brief debut in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which I enjoyed. I was really looking forward to seeing Tom Holland swing into action proper as Spider-Man in his first film. And he makes a really good impression here.
This era of ‘Spider-Man’ doesn’t start off with an origins story as was the case in the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield eras. This I’m okay with. We didn’t need an origins story for Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man. It made sense not to do that. It’d been done a lot in the first two movie eras.
It was better to go straight into the story and establish Peter Parker as Spider-Man already. With that said and despite a little mention of him being bitten by a radioactive spider, there’s no mention for why he was doing this because of Uncle Ben. It’s his motivation to become Spider-Man, is it not?
I also have issues with the Spider-Man suit featured in the movie. Apparently the suit is a property of Stark Industries when given to Peter by Tony Stark. It ruined it for me when the Spider-Man suit was technologically advanced like Iron Man’s suit, especially when it had this A.I. voice later called Karen.
That takes away the originality of Spidey’s suit when it was handmade by Peter Parker in the comics and in the previous two movie eras. I would’ve liked it if Peter had designed the familiar Spider-Man suit based on the one that Tony Stark gave him, especially as he had it taken away from him later on.
I don’t know why Peter didn’t make another version of the familiar Spidey suit given to him by Stark but without the technology. It certainly would’ve made him prove himself that he could cope without the enhancements to his suit and he’d become a straight-forward crime-fighting superhero.
He would be fighting on his own initiative there. I would’ve liked it if Peter Parker fought as Spider-Man against the Vulture in a familiar Spidey suit that he made himself without the technology, instead of the make-shift costume he wore before the one Tony gave him. That would be awesome!
Anyway, let’s talk about the cast. Tom Holland, like I said, is brilliant as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Despite the issues I have with this film, I was convinced that Tom Holland was Spidey. He balanced the quirky sense of humour; the mild mannered aspects and those agile aspects required for Spidey.
I found how I enjoyed Peter/Spidey’s character journey throughout the film. He was able to deliver the emotional aspects to Peter’s character that I enjoyed. That scene where Spider-Man is under a ton of rubble was brilliantly performed by Tom Holland. I could feel the intensity of that scene there.
The scene of Spider-Man under the rubble was also a nod to the classic comics of the 1960s. I do recall seeing that scene when I checked out the original ‘Spidey’ comics. That was in ‘Amazing Spider-Man #33’ apparently. I’m so pleased that imagery from the comics was used in the film here.
I appreciate how the film focused on Peter’s school life and being teenager with friends and such. There was times when I liked how Peter/Spidey was willing to solve a crime heist going on. Despite him wanting to prove himself as Avenger material to Tony Stark, he does have this good moral code.
The cast also includes Michael Keaton! Oh hey! Michael Keaton! He’s back for ‘Batman Forever’! 😀 Yeah okay, he’s not Batman in this. He’s actually playing the villain, Adrian Toomes a.k.a. the Vulture. I was so impressed by Michael Keaton’s villainous performance as the Vulture in this ‘Spidey’ movie.
I liked the armoured suit that Michael Keaton/Adrian Toomes wore as the Vulture in this movie. When I originally saw this movie, I made the mistake of considering the Vulture as a two-dimensional villain. But as the film progressed, he turned out to be a family man trying to do his job.
I liked the twist later on in the movie when it turned out Adrian Toomes was the father of Liz Allen, whom Peter Parker fancied in the film. Michael Keaton was a joy to watch. He tops it for me as one of the best ‘Spider-Man’ villains alongside Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock.
It was funny as my parents and I watched the film at the cinema. My mum didn’t realise it was Michael Keaton as the Vulcan until I told her after we saw the film. Even though I said to her that he was in it, she didn’t realise it was him. I know he has changed, but still. He’s not Batman anymore! 😀
The film also featured Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan from the ‘Iron Man’ movies. I must admit, I wasn’t sure why Happy Hogan needed to be in this movie, like with Tony Stark/Iron Man. I mean, he’s there to look after Peter in the film in much the same way that Tony Stark is looking out for him.
I did find Happy to be a grumpy soul in the movie and not thinking much of Peter. Truly Happy lives up to his name, doesn’t he? But then again, I get what his character is about here. He represents the person who doubts Peter’s abilities as Spider-Man whereas Tony Stark has his faith and belief in him.
By the time we come to the climax of the film, Happy seems to be more appreciative of Peter. I did like that scene where Peter and Happy met in the gents and there had to be somebody there and they stayed silent until he left. That was legitimately funny moment for me. I did laugh watching the film.
The film also features Zendaya as Michelle, one of Peter’s classmates. And to be honest, I don’t know why she gets a top billing in the credits for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. She didn’t contribute much. She was just around in Peter’s school, being awkward and was very often at times anti-social.
Honestly, I would’ve said Jacob Batalon as Ned, Peter’s best friend had more of a contribution to the film, especially when he discovered Peter’s secret identity. Even Laura Harrier as Liz Allan deserves more attention in the movie’s main credits. Zendaya as Michelle does not really do much in this film.
It’s then later revealed that Michelle is in actual fact…MJ. Um…no! Sorry, no! Michelle is not MJ. I mean I know it’s a nickname since she’s Michelle Jones, but that doesn’t mean she’s Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy or an amalgamation of the two. This came across as a disappointment for me.
There’s Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and…WHOA! She is totally miscast! Don’t get me wrong! Marisa’s a good actress. I enjoyed her spin on the character. But…she’s not Aunt May! She doesn’t match to how I perceive Aunt May in the way Rosemary Harris and Sally Field played the character before her.
I mean, I get it. I understand Aunt May was made to be younger in order to prove longevity to the character in the ‘MCU’ movies featuring Spider-Man. But for me, this didn’t feel very true to the original comics. I wouldn’t have minded if she was younger looking, but maybe in her fifties perhaps.
I wouldn’t have made Aunt May looking so ‘hot’-looking. I would make her pretty yes, but not ‘hot’. There also seems to be a lack of emotional connection between Peter and Aunt May in the movie. Maybe if there was more reference to her sadness about losing Uncle Ben; that would’ve been okay.
And we have Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man in the film. Now whilst I appreciate that Tony’s appearance in the movie was to provide the link from ‘Captain America: Civil War’, I didn’t feel that he needed to be there really. He didn’t do much, apart from mentoring Peter Parker in this.
Spider-Man didn’t need a mentor here! Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield coped alright without a mentor for their ‘Spider-Man’ movies. Why did Tom Holland need one? I suppose it’s meant to help that Peter was 15 years old and inexperienced, but I honestly didn’t see the need for a mentor here.
Tony Stark’s appearance in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ also makes this less of a ‘Spider-Man’ movie and more of an ‘MCU’ movie with Spider-Man in it. Peter is trying to live up to his hero Tony Stark, which isn’t what Spider-Man’s about in my opinion. Shouldn’t he be fighting for his Uncle Ben here?
The film also features Donald Glover as Aaron Davis, who may be the uncle of Miles Morales and the Prowler from the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ comics. Here, he’s a criminal purchasing weapons from Toomes. Donald Glover would go on to be in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and the 2019 remake of ‘The Lion King’.
There’s also Tyne Daly as Anne Marie Hoag, the head of the U.S. Department of Damage Control. Again, the movie credits seem to place emphasise on someone who did one scene at the start of the film. She was there to remove Adrian Toomes’ work team in the aftermath of ‘Avengers Assemble’.
Like I said, Jacob Batalon stars as Ned, Peter’s best friend. There were times when I found him awkward even in some comic relief moments. But I liked it when he seemed to provide moral support for Peter as he found out he was Spidey. The scene in Peter’s bedroom with Ned was funny.
Peter as Spidey crawling his way into his bedroom without realising Ned was there was hilarious. It was later confirmed in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ that he is actually Ned Leeds from the comics. Angourie Rice as Betty Brant is in the movie too. I wondered if J. Jonah Jameson is in the ‘MCU’. 😀
I liked Laura Harrier as Liz Allan in the movie. I found the possible love story between Peter and Liz to be quite sweet. Even if it didn’t turn out well by the end, I felt an emotional connection in wanting to see these two together. It was great that Peter had Liz as a date for the Homecoming dance later on.
There’s also Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson. There’s the argument that he was miscast for the role and I’m inclined to agree. I mean, I didn’t mind him so much, though he didn’t have a major part to play in this film. Some moments with Flash were funny, including when Spidey stole his Dad’s car. 😀
The film also features a surprise appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts from the ‘Iron Man’ films. There’s also Kerry Condon as the voice of F.R.I.D.A.Y., Iron Man’s A.I. and there’s Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America who appears in some PSAs that get played at Peter’s school.
There’s also Garcelle Beauvais as Doris Toomes, Toomes’ wife and Liz’s mother. There’s also Jennifer Connelly as the voice of Karen, Peter’s A.I. in Spidey’s suit. So wait! The actress who played Betty Brant in the 2003 ‘Hulk’ film is an A.I. voice for Spidey in this film. Wow! Karen sounds very nice too.
There’s also Bokeem Woodbine as Herman Schultz a.k.a. the Shocker and Logan Marshall-Green as Jackson Brice a.k.a….the Shocker too! Wow! Two Shockers in this movie! And one gets killed off! And thankfully it was the fake one! Great! That means there are now two villains in this ‘Spidey’ movie! 😀
There’s also Michael Chernus as Phineas Mason a.k.a. the Tinkerer (he’s supposed to be a ‘Spider-Man’ villain in the comics but he didn’t do much here). And there’s Michael Mando as Mac Gargan. Wait! They could’ve had four ‘Spider-Man’ villains for this movie if Mac Gargan became the Scorpion!
There’s also Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington, one of Peter’s teachers who organises a coach trip to Washington D.C. And of course, this ‘Spider-Man’ movie wouldn’t be complete without a cameo appearance by Stan Lee, the original creator of Spider-Man from the comics, whom I enjoyed a lot. 🙂
One more issue I have with the film is this. When I saw the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy with Tobey Maguire, I felt emotionally invested with the characters and story in all three films. It wasn’t the same with ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ films with Andrew Garfield, but I did find them really engaging.
Now I’m not saying that ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was a bad story. But since I’m grown up, I couldn’t feel emotionally engaged as I had with the Tobey Maguire films. A lot of the ‘MCU’ elements made it less emotionally engaging for me. I hoped it’d be better with future ‘Spidey’ movies.
As ever though, I did enjoy some of the humour and the action sequences in this ‘Spider-Man’ film. It didn’t stop my enjoyment of the movie as there were moments where I found myself laughing. As I saw it, the balance of drama and comedy was right in what was a proper ‘Spider-Man’ movie for me.
For me, the defining moment of this ‘Spider-Man’ movie was at the end when Peter Parker turned down Tony Stark’s offer to join the Avengers. Throughout the film, Peter had been trying to prove to Tony Stark that he was Avengers material here. But in the end, Peter decides to ‘stay on the ground’.
I’m pleased with how that scene was played out with Peter turning down Tony’s offer to join the Avengers team and to defend his neighbourhood instead. It goes to show how Peter had proven himself and that he doesn’t need to be an Avenger but a proper friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
A pity that gets forgotten about in the next two ‘Avengers’ movies and the second ‘Spider-Man’ movie he’s in, but we’ll get to them eventually. In the end, Peter gets given back the techno-advanced Spidey suit from Tony Stark. I honestly believe he should make his suit without the technology.
The DVD special features of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ are as follows. On the 1-disc DVD, there’s ‘Searching For Spider-Man’; ‘Jon Watts: Head of the Class’; the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ VR Trailer and an inside look at the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 video game.
There’s a 2-disc limited edition of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ too. This includes a ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ comic as well as a bonus disc. The extra special features on the 2-disc limited edition and the Blu-ray for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ are as follows. As well as ‘Searching For Spider-Man’ and ‘Jon Watts: Head of the Class’, there’s also 10 deleted and extended scenes; a cast gag reel; ‘The Spidey Study Guide’ pop-up factoid track; unseen alternative Captain America PSAs; ‘Aftermath’ which features the filmmakers bridging the gap from the Battle of New York in ‘Avengers Assemble’. I believe; ‘A Tangled Web’ looking into Spider-Man’s integration into the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’; ‘Spidey Stunts’; ‘The Vulture Takes Flight’; ‘Pros and Cons of Spider-Man’; a photo gallery and trailers.
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was a good movie to watch at the cinemas! I wouldn’t consider it the best ‘Spider-Man’ movie in my humble opinion, but I’m still recommending this! If you are a ‘Spider-Man’ fan like me, that shouldn’t stop you to see it! Once again, Tom Holland is great as Spider-Man.
At that time of seeing this film at the cinema, I did want to see another ‘Spider-Man’ film with Tom Holland. I considered this to be great and my favourite superhero film of the year over ‘Wonder Woman’. I’m glad I saw this ‘Spider-Man’ movie at the cinema! Nothing like the original, but it was fun.
In a mid-credits scene, Adrian Toomes meets up with Gargan in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows who Spider-Man is. Toomes denies this. I wonder why. There’s also a post-credit scene which is really a PSA featuring Captain America at the end. It was very amusing to watch if a little pointless.
‘SPIDER-MAN WILL RETURN!’ Yes, I already established that! He’ll return in two ‘Avengers’ movies and a second ‘Spider-Man’ movie! 😀 And he also returned in ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ and the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 video game but…yeah, those movies don’t connect to the ‘MCU’ film series, do they? 😀
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ rating – 7/10
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