July 10, 2017
Review #966: Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes / Vulture), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Robert Downey Jr (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Marisa Tomei (May Parker), Zendaya (Michelle), Donald Glover (Aaron Davis), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Laura Harrier (Liz), Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson), Bokeem Woodbine (Herman Schultz / Shocker #2), Kerry Condon (F.R.I.D.A.Y.), Garcelle Beauvais (Doris Toomes), and Jennifer Connelly (Karen), and Hemky Madera (Mr. Delmar) Directed by Jon Watts.
It is astounding at the level that comic book movies have undergone in terms of scope and quality in the past decade, with this being the 16th film in Marvel's film universe (of which I've covered all but one), though Spider-Man has had numerous films within this century, with the first film (the only one I've watched - #611) being released in 2002, only 15 years ago. It also isn't Holland's first appearance in the role, seeing as he was in Captain America: Civil War (#796) just last year. Once again, it was time to go to the theater for a comic book film.
Baggage or not, I can say this movie is pretty good. There is a numerous amount of things that I liked from this movie, and it starts with Holland, who is instantly enjoyable to watch on screen; there is just something about him that clicks in each scene, whether as Parker or the titular hero, and I look forward to watch him in further films. Admittedly, I did wonder how the villain would be in this film, considering how they usually aren't as memorable in a good deal of these Marvel films. For me, Keaton does a fine job in trying to get around that problem, in part because his character is actually compelling to watch on screen, and I think it's because you actually get a sense of what he's doing and why he does it without it simply devolving into something one dimensional. Favreau and Downey are pretty good in their scenes, with the latter having a chemistry with Holland that works pretty well with the flow of the film. Tomei, despite not having too much screen-time, is fairly enjoyable and fits well with Holland. The rest of the cast is fairly watchable as well, contributing to the film for some laughs along with the story; as comic relief, Batalon admittedly could be hit or miss, but I found him to be relatively harmless (in terms of annoyance), and he felt useful enough to the film without seeming empty. There's just something relatable about the world that the movie builds that seems ripe for more adventures.
The film doesn't go too much into the origins of the character, but it doesn't feel necessary to have, mainly because the movie operates itself fairly coherently enough to get past that. The action scenes aren't particularly great (with the shaky cam definitely being hit or miss), but it doesn't look too muddy to hurt the experience; though the action isn't great for the climax, the build up and the acting for it is well enough to keep that from being a disappointment. There is a light but fitting atmosphere that goes for some laughs while not bogging itself down in being generic. What other film can have a scene where characters try to build the Lego Death Star? That's the fun thing about these Marvel films, they are diverse enough in their approaches and style that make these films irresistible to watch for me. It's easy for me to recommend it (if you already haven't seen it), but it's also easy to say that this is a fine installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that is a solid winner.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.