Despite the fact that I watched this movie on Friday the 21st of July, it’s taken me a few days to actually write this article. And that’s made even worse by the fact that Spider-Man: Homecoming was released on the 7th of July, making me super late to the party (although movies always come late here because they need Greek translations). I’ve needed time to, I don’t know, digest it maybe? But that implies that Spider-Man: Homecoming was a hard movie to watch, when it really wasn’t.
This is what, the third attempt at a Spider-Man movie franchise in the last two decades? Emphasis on the franchise. Homecoming features a new Peter Parker – Tom Holland – and a new, early days Spider-Man, but without the origin story. That’s right, there’s no origin story. There’s no Uncle Ben dying, no awkward with great power lines, none of that. You don’t need it, and thankfully this time everyone behind the movie finally realised that we all KNOW who Spider-Man is. It’s a simple story of an adventure in Spider-Man’s early life. And that’s it.
Actually, simple is the best way to describe this film. It’s really simple. The plot is a simplistic “there’s a bad guy and we need to find out who he is and stop him” story, the characters are all simple and relatable and the action is pretty simple too. There’s no huge number of twists and turns, there’s not that much suspense and the main twist of the last part of the movie is a very amusing one, slotting in perfectly between Peter Parker living his life and balancing that with being Spider-Man.
And I have to admit, Tom Holland does an amazing job as Spider-Man AND Peter Parker. While the quip-slinging might have been a bit sparse, his web-slinging was great and he totally works as a believable Peter. He looks like the 15 year old kid he’s supposed to be, but he also acts well too. Some might say that he was a little too much Ultimate Spider-Man and not enough Classic Spider-Man, and I get that, but considering the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a mixture of both sides, he meshes in really well. Most importantly, he’s believable as a 15 year old kid. His movement, his actions, everything he does is exactly the sort of shit I would have done when I was 15.
The supporting cast was alright. The Vulture was a genuinely good character. While selling weapons may be wrong, you can easily see why he considers himself a good guy and that what he’s doing is right. And that costume was amazing. A Vulture that didn’t look fucking awful.
Everyone else though, they were hit and miss. Ned works well as an almost-sidekick, smart and helpful but also awkward and nerdy. Basically a perfect friend for Peter, and it makes a change from using Harry Osborn again. Everyone else seems to be a bit mixed up. To be fair, a high school in the middle of New York is bound to have a large number of people from different cultures and races, but I don’t see any reason why mainstream characters like Flash Thomson and Mary Jane should randomly change ethnicity. Peter Parker and Adrian Toomes (the Vulture’s real identity) is kept as they are in the comics, so what’s wrong with keeping other mainstream characters the same?
The biggest problem though, to me, was WAY too much Iron Man. I get it, Tony Stark is supposed to be his mentor and stuff like that, but the movie goes way over the top with it, to the point of being the person who made Spider-Man’s suit. I know a 15 year old kid from Queens doesn’t have the tech to build something like that, and he does tinker with the suit later on, but it does kinda take away from the whole Boy Genius vibe a little. Tony Stark’s constant appearances make Peter look like a giant baby who needs looking after, and this is constant throughout the film. Combined with a suit that does way too much, it feels that Stark is too interjected into the movie. He should have been someone watching from the shadows, not interfering at all. Iron Man was too much of a magic bullet, especially during the ferry scene.
Sadly, this means Spider-Man doesn’t seem to REALLY shine until the very end, and even then he’s still bumbling a little bit and being pushed around by Stark. It’s almost as if there isn’t enough actual Spider-Man in a Spider-Man movie.
I think the weird feeling I’ve been having is that Spider-Man: Homecoming held back too much. They didn’t want to make Spider-Man feel too strong or too competent and went too far the other way. Everything was too safe and too happy. It’s still an enjoyable movie, it’s really nicely put together, the cast is great, the acting is great, the action is great. But I can’t call it perfect. I don’t even know if I can call it the best Spider-Man movie. The movie feels… childish, like something is missing, something I can’t put my finger on.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a movie aimed at a very, very broad audience. And some people might not want that, which is understandable. But for the majority of people, it’s definitely a good, enjoyable movie, despite its odd choices.