"A Teenage Hero"
A Review of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" by Nathan H. Box
Director: Jon Watts, Writers: Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
Rating: 3 Stars, STREAM!
Our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man begins this movie shortly after his experience with the Avengers in Marvel's "Captain America: Civil War." The young, teenage hero returns home to live with his Aunt May. His attempt to reacclimate to normal high school life after such an out of this world experience is understandably difficult. As a mentee to Tony Stark, Peter/Spider-Man begins to embrace his new role as a hero. With every turn, he tries to prove himself to his mentor. He desperately wants to do more than stop petty crimes and rescue cats stuck in trees but must constantly prove himself to Tony that he is ready for bigger challenges. Before all is said and done, Peter is called upon to use his powers against an arms dealer called Vulture.
Michael Keaton as Vulture is introduced to us via a grievance that determines his path. He and his crew are contracted to help pick up the pieces after The Avengers once again destroy Manhattan. In the middle of their work, they are halted by a new outfit called, Damage Control; a Stark owned group charged with cleaning up the messes caused by the Avengers and their battles. For me, this grievance is a little weak for a plot point that gives birth to a villain but I was willing to let it slide.
Throughout the film, some of the most endearing scenes are those in which Peter tries to come to terms with his new life a hero. He wishes and desires for more but finds himself constantly stuck in the weeds handling small crimes. For me, these scenes grounded the hero and made him more relatable. It was also the closest iteration of the comic book Spider-Man we've seen to date. In the Marvel Universe, everyone is an adult and possess a fantastic backstory of how they came to be. I think we often forget Peter acquired his powers in high school; without a doubt the most awkward period of our lives. In this film, he acts like a teenager trying to make his way in the world while at the same time attempting to prove himself. This approach in the screenwriting is much appreciated by me.
While I won't give anything away, this film possesses one of the best plot twists I have ever seen in the Marvel Universe. It shocked me in the theater but also added another layer to Keaton's Vulture. It made his fight about more than a grievance and shifted some of the blame on the 1%.
Finally, this movie relaxed the CGI, which is much appreciated by me. The final 20 minutes of the film didn't end in an organism of computer graphics. The boss battle seemed real and authentic. It seemed like two people really going at it.
As far as my verdict is concerned, I think this is a fine superhero movie. It didn't stir much emotion within me nor did I feel a real connection with the characters. What I did appreciate was its new approach to Peter Parker and for that, I think it is a perfect movie to stream.
Be good to each other,