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The ‘MCU’ Spider-Man with the Vulture and Iron Man
Here I am with ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’! Terrible movie title! 😀
Spider-Man is my favourite superhero from the Marvel Comics universe of superheroes! At the time of this review, there are three live-action incarnations of Spider-Man at the movies, played by three actors. My favourite era of ‘Spider-Man’ movies will always be the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi era. 😀
When ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was released at cinemas 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 turn, people have 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’s 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?”
The MCU Spider-Man suddenly swings in and beats up Tim Bradley. Tim screams out loud in agony, as MCU Spidey keeps beating him up.
(pleads) “Please, Spider-Man! Please 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 Spidey a part of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ series of superhero films. But the creative choices made here led me to consider it less a ‘Spider-Man’ film for me, as elements of it distracted me to regard it as a faithful version of the superhero. 😦
As I review the film, I hope 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 the film. This is particularly with the hindsight in mind, after seeing the 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 agree that the cast are superb, 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 the Andrew Garfield eras. This, I’m okay with. We don’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 on 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 film. 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 since it has that A.I. voice later called Karen.
It 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 have 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 that makeshift 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 became convinced that Tom Holland is Spidey. He balances 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 recall seeing that scene when I checked out the original ‘Spidey’ comics. That was in ‘Amazing Spider-Man #33’ apparently. I’m very pleased that the imagery from the comics was used in this particular film. 🙂
I appreciate how the film focused on Peter’s school life and being a teenager with friends and such. There were 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 villainous Adrian Toomes a.k.a. the Vulture. I was very impressed by Michael Keaton’s villainous performance as the Vulture in this film.
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 enjoyed the twist later in the film when it turned out Adrian Toomes was the father of Liz Allan, 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 when my parents and I watched the film at the cinema. After we saw the film, my mum didn’t realise it was Michael Keaton as the Vulture until I told her. Even though I said to her that he was in it, she didn’t realise it was him. I know he’s changed since, but still. He isn’t Batman anymore!
The film also features 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 film’s climax, 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. They stayed silent until he left. That was a legitimately funny moment for me. I laughed seeing that scene.
The film also features Zendaya as Michelle, one of Peter’s classmates. And to be honest, I don’t know why she got a top billing in the main credits for ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. She didn’t contribute much. She was just around in Peter’s school, being awkward and was quite often anti-social at times.
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 doesn’t really do much in this film.
It’s 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. I found this a huge disappointment in watching the film.
There’s Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and…WHOA! She’s totally miscast! Don’t get me wrong! Marisa is 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 provide longevity to the character in the ‘MCU’ films 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 appear so ‘hot’-looking. I would’ve made her pretty yes, but not ‘hot’. There also seems to be a lack of emotional connection between Peter and Aunt May in the film. Maybe if there was more references to her sadness about losing Uncle Ben; it would’ve helped.
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 really needed to be there. He didn’t do much, apart from mentoring Peter Parker in the film.
Spider-Man doesn’t need a mentor! 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 is about in my opinion. Shouldn’t he be fighting for his Uncle Ben here?
The film also has Donald Glover as Aaron Davis, who may be the uncle of Miles Morales and was the Prowler from the ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ comics. Here, he’s a criminal purchasing weapons from Toomes. Donald Glover would go on to appear in ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ and 2019‘s ‘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 emphasis on someone who did one scene at the film’s start, since she was there to remove Adrian Toomes’ work detail 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 that Ned was there is hilarious. It was later confirmed in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ that he’s actually Ned Leeds from the comics. Angourie Rice as Betty Brant is in the movie too. I wondered if J. Jonah Jameson was in the ‘MCU’. 😀
I liked Laura Harrier as Liz Allan in the film. I found the possible love story between Peter and Liz rather 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’s good that Peter had Liz as a date for the Homecoming dance in the film.
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 of 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 are played at Peter’s school.
There’s also Garcelle Beauvais as Doris Toomes, Toomes’ wife and Liz’s mother. There’s 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 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 film! 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 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 have had five ‘Spider-Man’ villains in this movie, since 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 the stories in all three films. It wasn’t the same with ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ films with Andrew Garfield, but I found those engaging as well.
Now, I’m not saying ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ has a bad story in it, but since I’m grown up, I couldn’t feel emotionally invested as I had with the Tobey Maguire films. A lot of the ‘MCU’ elements made it less emotionally engaging for me and I was hoping 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 played out with Peter turning down Tony’s offer to join the Avengers in order to defend his own neighbourhood instead. It goes to show how Peter had proven himself in that he doesn’t need to be an Avenger, but a proper friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
A pity that’s forgotten about in the next two ‘Avengers’ films and in the second ‘MCU Spider-Man’ film he’s in, but we’ll get to those eventually. In the end, Peter gets given back the techno-advanced Spidey suit from Tony Stark. I honestly believe he should have made his suit without the technology.
Also, the final fight between Spidey and Vulture isn’t as epic as I hoped that it would be. It lacked the emotional impact and the drama it needed. In the final fight between Spidey and the Green Goblin in the first ‘Spider-Man’ film with Tobey Maguire, I was able to feel the punches and the brutality of the fight.
I felt emotionally-invested once Spidey fought back against the Green Goblin and eventually defeated him. It felt believable. The fight between Spidey and the Vulture isn’t so impressive, as Peter/Spidey doesn’t seem to be brutally beaten up by the Vulture as you would expect him to be. 😦
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’ as well. 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 are also 10 deleted and extended scenes; a cast gag reel; ‘The Spidey Study Guide’ pop-up factoid track; unseen alternative Captain America PSAs; and a behind-the-scenes look called ‘Aftermath’, which looks into the filmmakers bridging the gap from the Battle of New York in ‘Avengers Assemble’. There’s ‘A Tangled Web’, which looks into Spider-Man’s integration into the ‘MCU’; ‘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 it! If you’re a ‘Spider-Man’ fan like me, you shouldn’t be stopped to see it! Once again, Tom Holland is a great Spider-Man.
At the time of seeing this film at the cinema, I wanted to see another ‘Spider-Man’ film with Tom Holland. I considered this to be great and my favourite superhero film of 2017 over ‘Wonder Woman’. I’m glad I saw this ‘Spider-Man’ film at the cinema! Nothing like the original, but it was fun.
In a mid-credits scene, Adrian Toomes meets with Mac Gargan in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows who Spider-Man is. Toomes denies this. I wonder why. There’s also a post-credits scene. This 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’ films and a second ‘Spider-Man’ film! 😀 He’ll also return in ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 video game but…those don’t connect to the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’, do they?
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ rating – 7/10
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