MCU Film Retrospective: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) by Jon Watts

*** Spoilers below the cut ***

  • Directed By: Jon Watts
  • Starring:
    • Tom Holland as Peter Parker | Spider-Man
    • Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes | Vulture
    • Jacob Batalon as Ned
    • Laura Harrier as Liz Allan
    • Zendaya as Michelle | MJ
    • Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark | Iron Man
    • Marisa Tomei as May Parker
    • Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan

Synopsis: Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges. (IMDB)

The Good:

  • Tom Holland as Spidey: I feel the Spider-Man fatigue the same way most people do. Although, I was actually a big fan of Andrew Garfield in the role. Still, I found Tom Holland’s Peter Parker incredibly charming in Civil War and he expanded on that role in this movie. Honestly, he was awkward and funny when he needed to be and he was compelling and sincere when the film called for it. He was fantastic as Peter Parker and I found myself rooting for him. I can’t wait to see what he does next!
  • Humor: I can honestly say this was the funniest of the MCU films. I laughed out loud, every joke landed and I think every character was used well. Beyond Tom, there was Zendaya who had brilliant comic timing. Ned was your typical nerdy best friend but Batalon brought charm to the role. I greatly enjoyed Donald Glover’s appearance as Aaron Davis, too. This was the most fun I’ve had since the Lego Batman movie.
  • Dad!Tony: It took real effort to wait until now to talk about this but I was beyond thrilled to see this side of Tony Stark in the films. I love Tony, I consider him my son as he was one of the first fictional characters I adopted. That being said, RDJ has been fantastic in every MCU film, even his cameos. In this one, he’s taken on a protective/parental role with Peter and it was wonderful to see. He’s installing training protocols in Peter’s suit with parachutes, tracking devices and other safety measures. He’s listening to the messages Peter leaves for Happy. He’s concerned enough about Peter’s welfare that he goes into full on angry!Dad mode in the middle of the film. Honestly, I stopped smiling and it took me back to being yelled at by a parent. I loved all of this! Tom and RDJ have great chemistry together and I wanted more of them on screen together instead of speaking through screens but I’ll take what I can get. I was just so happy to see Tony in a good place at the end of this film.
  • Finally another decent villain: It’s a running gag that every MCU villain outside of Loki and Obadiah is pretty lame and forgettable. I have an appreciation for Alexander Pierce but Ronin, Yellowjacket, Malekith, the nightmare that was Whiplash dashed our hopes for more worthy villains. It seems we may have a better villain in Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes. He was intimidating when he needed to be and he cared about his family. A lot of the last bit relied on Keaton alone because, for the purposes of a plot reveal, he’s not shown with his family until the third act.
  • Zendaya as Michelle: There was a ton of speculation (and ignorant wank) about who Zendaya was playing in this film. Outside of RDJ and Michael Keaton, she was maybe the third most well known name in the film. It seemed impossible that she would be in this film and not be playing Mary Jane Watson. It looks like she’s playing a different take on MJ in this series and I’m really excited to see it! She’s got the charisma, charm and chemistry with Tom to make this work and I can’t wait for more of her. Her tiny scenes and character moments in this film were perfect!
  • Third Act: I think this had the best third act of any MCU film, save maybe the Avengers. The action sequences between Peter and Vulture were very well done and it wasn’t so CGI-ed that you couldn’t tell who the characters were supposed to be. There was still enough of Spider-Man’s heart in this when he realizes he has to save himself and when decides to save Toomes. This was the second superhero film, in a recent trend of depressing superhero films, to give us a hero that is actually heroic.

The Bad: (mostly nit-picky)

  • Vulture’s plan: His motives are a little confusing seeing as Iron Man isn’t super present in this film. When Tony takes over running Damage Control in the city after the Chitauri attack, this puts Adrian and his crew out of a job. So, he builds a Vulture suit and… doesn’t try to attack Iron Man. It seems he builds it just to have while his crew runs his weapon smuggling ring. I can’t recall which site but a comic book film site ran a click bait-y article saying the Vulture becomes a villain because of Tony Stark but, if that was the case, why doesn’t he attack Iron Man in this film? I guess trying to steal Tony’s plane is kind of an affront but… it was so passive?
  • Where was May Parker?: I could wax poetic about how much I wanted to marry this version of Aunt May. Marisa Tomei was adorable for the 5 minutes she had in this film. It’s so weird that people made such a big deal over a younger version of Aunt May and she’s barely in this movie. I don’t understand why. In the past iterations and the comic, we have more significant interactions between Peter and May. Maybe, since this wasn’t an origin, we got more of Peter getting his advice from Tony and Ned? I don’t know but I wanted to see a lot more of her than we got.

Those are really my only 2 gripes with this film, to be honest. And those were minor, nit-picky things. I had a blast watching this! I can’t wait for more of Peter, MJ and May. I admit, a huge pull for me to see this was RDJ as Tony but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the next one without him, as well. I must say, it bums me out that they took parts of Miles Morales’ run for this film. He gets an animated movie instead of a live-action and an Easter egg mention in this one *sighs*. Someday, he’ll get his film. He deserves it.

So, Is it a recommend?

Hell yes! I really enjoyed this film! 9.5/10

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4 thoughts on “MCU Film Retrospective: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) by Jon Watts”

  1. I wouldn’t mind seeing more Marisa Tomei 🙂 The film was already two hours long though so you have to ration out the screen time. With respect to Vulture, I don’t think he wanted revenge on Tony. He just wanted a way to make money as his staff depended on him for financial stability. Picking a fight with Iron Man would be suicide. The Vulture suit is nowhere as powerful as Stark’s various armors.

    Like

    1. Thanks for reading!

      *Fingers crossed* there’s a lot more of her in the next one. Especially, with the ending. I’m thinking (and hoping) no Iron Man and no Liz subplot means we’ll get a lot more of May.

      Also, yes, I know there’s no way the Vulture armor would have stood a chance against Tony’s armor. It seemed some emphasis was placed on Toomes’ origin being “Tony’s fault” but Toomes’ response has basically nothing to do with Tony. In some ways, I guess it’s kind of refreshing in a way because his plot was on a much smaller scale than pretty much all of the past villains in the MCU.

      Liked by 1 person

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