Spider-Man 3 Review

Spider-Man 3 movie posterSynopsis
The life of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is going great and Spider-Man is loved by the citizens of New York City. When an alien substance bonds with Peter making him more aggressive, his personal relationships begin to strain, meanwhile new information is revealed about his uncle’s killer.

Review
With both Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 being critically acclaimed and financially successful, a third film was all but inevitable. This time, however, Sony intervened and forced Raimi to include the popular Spider-Man villain Venom into the story. This began a spiral of Raimi’s heart not being with the movie like it was before, as well as create a convoluted and excessive story that the series has avoided until this point. Spider-Man 3, despite all the greatness of Raimi’s previous Spider-Man films, failed to live up to the expectations of the series.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films have done a fantastic job of showing how being Spider-Man affects Peter’s daily life, as well as exploring Peter’s relationships with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), and Harry Osborn (James Franco). Harry being the son of Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin and villain of Raimi’s first Spider-Man film, blames Spider-Man for the death of his father. After Harry finds out his best friend is also his worst enemy at the end of the previous film, it puts an obvious strain on their relationship, particularly when Harry takes his father’s villainous mantle as the New Goblin. This creates yet another layer in Harry and Peter’s relationship that we have seen develop over the last two films.

Also tying into Spider-Man’s history is Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), aka Sandman. Marko was present during Uncle Ben’s murder, the defining moment of Peter becoming Spider-Man. Again, this personal relationship is used to explore Peter’s character even more, giving him new emotional depth and growing on what has been seen from him in the series so far. Despite all the issues with this film, it did not fail to continue to grow and examine Peter’s character.

The first of many mistakes this film makes is casting Topher Grace as Eddie Brock. Eddie Brock is supposed to be a physically intimidating character, someone you don’t want to get into a fight with, even before he bonds with the symbiote. No offense to Topher Grace but I didn’t feel that; He didn’t have the build for the Eddie. Also, the way he was written did not fit the personality of the comic book version of the character. Not only was Eddie Brock / Venom miscast, but his character development was rushed as well. For a series that thus far had developed its characters and had deep and emotional back stories, it really dropped the ball on creating a truly terrifying version of one of Spider-Man’s best villains.

So far I’ve talked about three villains: New Goblin, Sandman, and Venom. Attempting to fit a trio of antagonists into a film like this only hurts all three. Harry spends most of the time in a with memory loss, only appearing as the New Goblin at the beginning and end of the film. Sandman gets an interesting story arc as a father who only wants to provide for his family, as well as ties into Peter’s history with Uncle Ben. He gets a few good moments before he disappears for a while before showing up for the final scenes. With the symbiote attached to Peter for the first two acts, Venom doesn’t appear until the final third of the film, stifling any significant development. There are just too many villains to successfully develop all of them.

While the first two films did a good job of using practical effects as much as possible, this movie fell into the same trap that many action films began falling into during this time period: it used CGI too heavily and was too reliant on it. Given the skill-set of the villains, it’s not surprising. I’m sure the CGI was good at the time, but it hasn’t aged well, especially scenes that required fully rendered people. Throughout the movie, Spider-Man has fight while falling through the air once with each villain. Not only does this feel repetitive but it showcases all the worst parts of the CGI of the film.

I thought Spider-Man 3 was OK 😐 Mark this as another case where studio intervention creates a sub-par film. With Raimi’s guidance, Sony’s Spider-Man series was on an upward trajectory. While it is doubtful Spider-Man 3 could have been a better film than Spider-Man 2, we will never know since its true potential was stifled.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Sam Raimi – Director / Writer
Ivan Raimi – Writer
Alvin Sargen – Writer
Christopher Young – Composer

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Kirsten Dunst – Mary Jane Watson
James Franco – New Goblin / Harry Osborn
Thomas Haden Church – Sandman / Flint Marko
Topher Grace – Venom / Eddie Brock
Rosemary Harris – May Parker
JK Simmons – J Jonah Hameson
Bryce Dallas Howard – Gwen Stacy
James Cromwell – Captain Stacy
Dylan Baker – Dr. Curt Connors
Bill Nunn – Joseph ‘Robbie’ Robertson
Bruce Campbell – Maitre D’
Ted Raimi – Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks – Betty Brant
Elya Baskin – Mr. Ditkovitch
Megeina Tovah – Ursula

Spider-Man 2 Review

Spider-Man 2 movie posterSynopsis
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is having difficulties balancing his life as Spider-Man with his life as Peter Parker. Meanwhile, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is tasked by Harry Osborn (James Franco) to hunt Spider-Man for revenge for his father’s death.

Review
After the success of Spider-Man, Sony didn’t waste any time getting into Spider-Man 2. As with X2, since the character introductions were out of the way, the film had the room to just jump right into the story. No need to set up the characters and no need to give exposition. Spider-Man 2 takes the best of its predecessor and makes it even better.

As I said in my review of Spider-Man, one of Peter Parker’s defining characteristics in the comics is his attempt to balance his duties as the wall crawler with his desire to maintain a personal life. This film showed Peter’s struggle to balance his two lives better than any Spider-Man movie before or since. It deeply explores what being Spider-Man means for Peter and the sacrifices he has to make to uphold his responsibilities. Not many other superhero movies truly explore what being a superhero means and its costs the way Spider-Man 2 does. To me, that is one of the many reasons that this is not only one of the best Spider-Man films but one of the best films in the genre.

Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus, is a terrific followup to Green Goblin. He is another one of Spider-Man’s biggest rogues, maybe even surpassing Green Goblin over the last several years. Alfred Molina played Otto wonderfully. Spider-Man’s best villains are the ones with tragic backgrounds. Otto doesn’t want to be the villain and actually has a noble heart, looking to use his brilliance to create for the benefit of mankind. After losing his wife and being bound to his mechanical arms in an accident, he goes crazy when the AI from his arms negatively influence his mind. Whether it is the innocent and cheerful Otto or the more sinister and villainous Doc Ock, Molina is brilliant. His acting elevates what is already a well-written character. Watching this and Spider-Man after the Batman movies of the 90s, I began noticing that when superhero films have only a single villain, it (usually) creates both an improved story and better villain.

Director Sam Raimi has a history in horror, so his pick to direct this action-oriented superhero series might have seemed like a strange choice (one that he has managed to prove was the right one). Throughout the film, Raimi had the chance to flex some of his horror roots. Several scenes contain sequences similar to something you might find in a horror film rather than a superhero one. The scene with where the doctors try to remove the metal arms after they fused with Otto in particular stands out as one where you can feel Raimi’s previous horror experience. It’s exciting to see him bring his own personal touch from other genres into this film.

When your hero can jump around doing all kind of aerial acrobatics and your villain has mechanical arms fused to his body, there’s going to be CGI in some capacity. However, where possible, this film uses practical effects. And it makes all the difference. Especially in the early 2000s, when films where just beginning to utilize the technology much more after the Star Wars prequels used it so prominently, it can not look the cleanest. So by using practical effects at every opportunity, the movie looks so much better and not nearly as fake as it could be for a film about superheroes.

I thought Spider-Man 2 was GREAT πŸ˜€ I wish I had a higher ranking than great because this movie is more than great. It’s fantastic, it’s spectacular, it’s amazing, it’s perfect. Not only is this one of my favorite superhero films but it is up there as one of my favorite films of all time.

Favorite Quote
Betty Brant: Boss, your wife’s on the line, she said she lost her checkbook.
J. Jonah Jameson: Thanks for the good news!

Favorite Scene

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Sam Raimi – Director
Alfred Gough – Story
Miles Miller – Story
Michael Chabon – Story
Alvin Sargent – Screenplay
Danny Elfman – Composer

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Kirsten Dunst – Mary Jane Watson
James Franco – Harry Osborn
Alfred Molina – Doc Ock / Dr. Otto Octavius
Rosemary Harris – May Parker
JK Simmons – J. Jonah Jameson
Donna Murphy – Rosalie Octavius
Daniel Gillies – John Jameson
Dylan baker – Dr. Curt Connors
Bill Nunn – Joseph ‘Robbie’ Robertson
Ted Raimi – Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks – Betty Brant
Elya Baskin – Mr. Ditkovich
Megeina Tovah – Ursula
Bruce Campbell – Snooty Usher

Spider-Man Review

Spider-Man movie posterSynopsis
On a school field trip, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is bitten by a genetically engineered spider causing him to develop spider-like powers. When the Green Goblin (Willen Dafoe) begin terrorizing New York City, Peter must step up with his newfound powers and stop him.

Review
I grew up with Saturday morning cartoons. Moreover, I grew up with Spider-Man. The Spider-Man television series that aired in the 1990s (along with the X-Men and Batman animated series) was my gateway to superheroes and comic characters as a whole. There was just something about Peter Parker that intrigued me. I can’t say it was the everyday guy thing he had going because at the time, I was a kid and couldn’t relate on that level. The interesting rogues gallery, the cool powers, the exciting stories, it had me hooked. When I heard Spider-Man was going to have his own movie, I was completely on board, especially after how much I enjoyed X-Men. Spider-Man was exactly the superhero movie the genre needed to prove that X-Men was more than just a fluke and that superheroes besides Superman and Batman could have hit films.

If you boil it down, the single most thing that makes this film work is its superb casting. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and Willem Dafoe all just glide right into their parts. Maguire captures the more science-y side of Peter, as well as the awkwardness of the character. Dunst was born to play the girl-next-door archetype. Franco has great chemistry with the entire cast and Dafoe absolutely seeths deranged villain. Of course, I can’t talk about the Raimi Spider-Man films without bringing up one of the most perfectly cast parts in any movie ever made. I’m talking more perfect than Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, more perfect than Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, and even more perfect than Tony Stark as Iron Man. I am of course talking about JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. He steals every scene he’s in. Hell, he steals the entire movie. Simmons gobbles up the part with his quick talking and spot on interpretation of JJJ. Once I saw Simmons in the part, I could not imagine anyone else in the role.

The Green Goblin was a great villain to start with in the first Spider-man film. He is an iconic Spider-Man villain, being the center of many major and popular Spider-Man stories. Also, Norman Osborn has a personal connection to Peter, being the father of Peter’s best friend Harry and serving as a surrogate father of sorts for Peter. With Harry being a prominent supporting character throughout the Sam Raimi films, his hatred of Spider-Man but closeness to Peter makes for an interesting dynamic between Harry and Peter that gets explored throughout the entire series.

Before Marvel Studios perfected their movie formula, there was Spider-Man. Spider-Man shares similarities with films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I’ve been of the belief that there aren’t too many ways to effectively do an origin story so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t differ too much from Iron Man or Wonder Woman. One thing you won’t find though is a CGI slugfest between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin at the end. This was released before CGI took over Hollywood, at least to a large extent, after all. The final showdown is mostly done with practical effects. Better yet, it isn’t a simple fight between the hero and villain. Since Norman Osborn is an important figure in Peter’s life, there was a lot of sentiment during their battle. It wasn’t just a physical battle, it was an emotional battle as well.

Part of Peter’s character that makes him so endearing is his desire to balance his personal life with his hero duties. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t balance out and his hero duties often gets in the way of his personal life. This movie doesn’t delve too deep into the struggle between Peter’s two lives (this is an origin movie after all) but it does show glimpses at how the two conflict and also sow seeds about how this can become a larger issue for Peter down the line.

In the comics, Spider-Man is always cracking jokes and is overall very chatty, particularly during fights with his rogues. However, that aspect of the character isn’t captured very well in this film. During his cage match with Bonesaw (Randy Savage), he made a few quips… but that was it. I wouldn’t call Peter’s demeanor β€œserious,” but it definitely lacked the playfulness and wit of the comics version.

I thought Spider-Man was GREAT πŸ˜€ I can’t express the joy of seeing my favorite superhero finally on the big screen back in 2002. Director Sam Raimi and writer David Koepp skillfully bring the wallcrawler to life and capture many important aspects of the character. An excellent cast complements Koepp’s script and Raimi’s direction. Modern day superhero films can look towards this film as an inspiration on how to successfully translate a character from comics to film.

Trivia
SpiderMan was the first film to gross $100 million in its opening weekend alone. At the time, no movie had done so, even when adjusted for inflation. (via IMDb)

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Sam Raimi – Director
David Koepp – Writer
Danny Elfman – Comoser

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Willem Dafoe – Green Goblin / Norman Osborn
Kirsten Dunst – Mary Jane Watson
James Franco – Harry Osborn
Cliff Robertson – Ben Parker
Rosemary Harris – May Parker
Jk Simmons – J. Jonah Jameson
Joe Manganiello – Flash Thompson
Bull Nunn – Joseph ‘Robbie’ Robertson
Ted Raimi – Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks – Betty Brant
Michael Papajohn – Carjacker
Randy Savage – Bonesaw

Spider-Man: Far From Home Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home movie posterSynopsis
While on a vacation to Europe, Peter (Tom Holland) is recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to help combat β€œelementals” alongside the mysterious new hero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Review
This review contains spoilers for the end of Avenger: Endgame.

Spider-Man: Far From Home closes out the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU’s) Infinity Saga, the large, overarching narrative Marvel Studios has been telling since Iron Man. In a way, Spider-Man was the perfect character to close out Phase 3. For years, he was (and probably still is) Marvel comic’s flagship character, much like Iron Man was for the MCU. Spider-Man is also now the only character beside Iron Man to have two solo movies in the same phase. But most importantly, Peter Parker became an adoptive son to Tony Stark. No other character is more suited to reflect on what it means to not have Tony around than Peter.

I thought Spider-Man: Homecoming did a good job of integrating Tony Stark into the story; he was present but didn’t take over the story. However, his presence could still be felt in the peripheral, just out of sight. Even in his own movie, Peter still felt like he was in Tony’s shadow. Peter didn’t make his suit or all of the gadgets it contained, Tony did. Even when Peter messed up on the ferry, endangering civilian lives, Tony was there to fix it. Now with Tony gone, Peter has the opportunity to step out on his own. Tony’s presence is still felt in this film but a different way than in Spider-Man: Homecoming: Peter is shadowed by Tony’s legacy.

This movie focuses on Spider-Man’s interference with Peter’s personal life more than Spider-Man: Homecoming did. Peter trying to find this balance between the two was one of the strength’s of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and has been lacking in the Spider-Man films since. Constantly throughout the film, Peter is put in situations that forces him to choose between pursuing a relationship with MJ (Zendaya) or his responsibility as Spider-Man. These moments along with his reflections of living up to Tony’s legacy grow Peter’s character in leaps and bounds, creating some of the best emotional character moments since Spider-Man 2. For the sequel Spider-Man: Back Home (100% guess on that title), Peter can finally step into his own role instead of working under Tony’s shadow.

I’ve said in other reviews and in podcasts that in a market saturated with superhero films, superhero films cannot be traditional superhero films. They have to do something different or be something different and Spider-Man: Far From Home does just that. Given that Peter is still in high school, this movie is a superhero film wrapped in a teen drama, which is perfect. Peter is a teenager trying to find his way through courting MJ. He’s awkward, not perfect, and trying to find his place in the world. You know, typical teen stuff. Peter just happens to be a superhero. This is the kind of film the superhero genre needs to stay fresh.

One of the best things about Spider-Man: Homecoming was the cast. Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, and Michael Keaton were all wonderful in their parts. We can add another well-cast member to that list: Jake Gyllenhaal. Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio was everything I could have hoped for from the character. His Quentin Beck was much more charismatic than his comic book counterpart but just as petty and resourceful. Gyllenhaal also had fantastic chemistry with Tom Holland, making their scenes together entertaining.

I thought Spider-Man: Far From Home was GREAT πŸ˜€ Peter has taken the steps to get out of Tony’s shadow and is set up for a Spider-Man movie properly about Spider-Man in the inevitable sequel. This series continues its outstanding casting choices adding Jake Gyllenhaal to the list. I am extremely excited for the future of my favorite wall-crawler.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Jon Watts – Director
Chris McKenna – Writer
Michael Giacchino – Composer

Tom Holland – Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Zendaya – MJ
Jacob Batalon – Ned Leeds
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Cobie Smulders – Maria Hill
Marisa Tomei – May Parker
Jon Favreau – Happy Hogan
Jake Gyllenhaal – Quentin Beck / Mysterio
Tony Revolori – Flash Thompson
Angourie Rice – Betty Brant
Remy Hii – Brad Davis
Martin Starr – Mr. Harrington
JB Smoove – Mr. Dell
Numan Acar – Dimitri
Dawn Michelle King – EDITH (voice)


There’s still time to join this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon! Entries are due at the end of this week. To find out more, check out the post here.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie posterSynopsis
Shortly after Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider, he meets Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), the Spider-Man from another dimension. Miles works with Peter to learn how to be Spider-Man and to stop the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) from tearing apart reality.

Review
There is nothing left for me to say that I haven’t said before on this blog about my love for Spider-Man. And after 6 live-action movies (7 if you include his appearance in Captain America: Civil War), which include three origin stories, since 2001, you would think Sony wouldn’t have anything left to say about the character either. However, Sony dug deep and gave us a new look at the character. In doing so, they circumvented any expectations you might have had, delivering their most memorable and faithful take on the character yet.

The first thing you’re bound to notice when watching this film is its gorgeous animation. I can truly say I have never seen anything like it before. It looks like you’re watching a moving comic book. What blows me away is the way the backgrounds are animated. If it’s not the focus of the shot, it’s blurry and often the colors go outside the lines, like something you might have seen back in the early days of comics. To also go along with the classic comic book style, this movie pulls a 1960s Batman and shows action words with the heroes’ punches and kicks. And if they are tapping something, squiggly lines appear so you know there is contact. I can’t say enough good things about the animation style; I love it!

Miles Morales is a fan favorite character, so it was brilliant to finally tell a story centered around him. Peter Parker is the Spider-Man we all know and love but we’ve gotten to know him and love him on the screen plenty since 2001, so it’s probably time for him to let another spider hero take the spotlight. While this is yet another superhero origin story, and contains many of the tropes you might have come to expect, it still has a lot of heart. As a result, there is a lot of familiarity but it manages to feel different at the same time.

Much like Paul Rudd in Ant-Man, Jake Johnson is not a name I would have picked to portray a super hero. However, Johnson’s take on Peter Parker is great. His voice fits the older version well. I wouldn’t have expected Johnson to ever play a superhero, let alone be a good one.

One of Spider-Man’s signature characteristics is his quips and jokes both in and out of battle. And honestly, as great as several of the live-action films have been, Spider-Man’s humor is something they have consistently missed to varying degrees. However, Into the Spider-Verse nails it on the head. I think this is why Johnson ends up fitting into the role so well. If you’ve seen him in the television series New Girl, you’ll know that he has good comedic timing, which he uses to create a Peter Parker that is more like his comic book counterpart than any big screen iteration of the character to date.

Another thing that I love about this movie is the amount of spider heroes it introduces. Not only did it stray away from having Peter Parker being the main character and not only did it introduce Miles Morales, it introduced a whole group of new characters. Other fan favorites like Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage), and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) made appearances and played decently significant roles in the film. I can’t see this kind of story being adapted in a live-action setting so kudos to Sony for using an animated film to tell this story and bring these characters together. The door is now open to the literally endless spider men and women that can show up in future sequels. Personally, I can’t wait to see more.

I thought Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was GREAT πŸ˜€ It blows away any expectation I had going into it. I’m excited to see Miles finally getting his own movie, while also bringing in other popular alternative spider heroes. While taking a back seat to Miles, Jake Johnson’s Spider-Man is the most like the comic book of the version character that has been brought to the screen. In taking a chance on doing something different, Spider-Verse has given us the best representation of Spider-Man and the Spider-Man universe on film yet.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Bob Persichette – Director
Peter Ramsey – Director
Rodney Rothman – Director / Screenplay
Phil Lord – Story / Screenplay
Daniel Pemberton – Composer

Shameik Moore – Miles Morales (voice)
Jake Johnson – Peter B. Parker (voice)
Hailee Steinfeld – Gwen Stacy (voice)
Mahershala Ali – Uncle Aaron (voice)
Brian Tyree Henry – Jefferson Davis (voice)
Lily Tomlin – Aunt May (voice)
Zoe Kravitz – Mary Jane (voice)
John Mulaney – Spider-Ham (voice)
Kimiko Glenn – Peni Parker (voice)
Nicolas Cage – Spider-Man Noir (voice)
Kathryn Hahn – Doc Ock (voice)
Liev Schreiber – Wilson Fisk (voice)
Chris Pine – Peter Perker (voice)
Oscar Isaac – Interesting Person #1 (voice)
Greta Lee – Interesting Person #2 (voice)

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

Spider-Man: Homecoming movie posterSynopsis
Two months after helping Iron Man in Berlin, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) tries to balance his life as a high school student and fighting crime as the masked hero Spider-Man. When he learns that the Vulture (Michael Keaton) has been stealing alien technology and re-purposing them into weapons and selling them to criminals, he tries to stop the Vulture’s operation despite his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) telling him to let it go.

Review
Spider-Man is one of my all-time favorite characters. So of course, I am always excited to see a movie with him so I don’t exactly feel the over-saturation of the character that others might be feeling. But with that said, how does Spider-Man: Homecoming compare to the other iterations of Peter Parker we have seen since 2002? Well I’d say pretty damn good!

Each actor who has donned the red and blue tights have brought a different flavor to the character. Toby Maguire set the tone of what to expect from an on-screen Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield brought a little more humor to the character, and now it’s Tom Holland’s turn to bring his own take on the character. Holland’s Peter / Spider-Man feels like the best of both Maguire’s and Garfield’s versions, mixed with his own unique elements. His Peter is very innocent and excitable. He gets awestruck when he sees the other super humans, despite being one himself. He’s awkward around girls and gets frustrated for being treated like a kid. This might be the most accurate portrayal of Peter that has graced the silver screen yet.

As great as Holland was as Spider-Man, Michael Keaton was equally as great as The Vulture. Keaton is sinister without feeling melodramatic, yet he still has a family-man side to him. When he first confronts Peter face-to-face, his demeanor switches like that (imagine me snapping my fingers) and it’s amazing to see Keaton make that switch so seemingly effortless. His Vulture is a much more grounded villain in terms of his ambitions than other villains from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). He just wants to make money, plain and simple. Other than maybe Darren Cross in Ant-Man, most villains in the MCU have world-dominating plans. But not, here. The Vulture is much more street-level, which fits very well into the roots of the character, both the Vulture as well as Spider-Man.

I was really excited to see how many elements from the comics were brought into the film. For example, the shot where he holding the boat together with his webs has been done many times in many forms of media throughout Spider-Man’s history. Another iconic moment is when Peter is buried under rubble and has to use all of his strength to lift it up, which is taken straight from The Amazing Spider-Man issue 33. It’s the small things, too. Like running out of web fluid and changing his web cartridges mid-fight, leaving his clothes webbed against a wall when he suits up, or going to great lengths to hide his secret identity, even from his friends and family. There are many more but my point is it feels like there was more attention spent bringing more of the little things from the comics into the movie.

For me, and I’m sure many other Spider-Man fans, one of Spider-Man’s greatest draws in the comics is that, for the most part, it is very lighthearted. Every now and there may be a darker story or narrative, depending on the writer, but it usually doesn’t last long before the book is back to its bright, cheerful self. Spider-Man: Homecoming took inspiration from this and kept its story bright and cheerful, too. There were scenes were the movie became became more serious but never a point that I would call β€œdark.” Soon after these moments, the film would shift back to the fun, bouncy story.

There wasn’t much that I can complain about it this film but I did find it a little disappointing that his suit is decked out with all of the bells and whistles of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit. It feels too good right now. I understand that it was Tony who created Peter’s suit but Peter is smart and ingenuitive and it would be cool to see him create much of that on his own at his own pace. The portion of the film when Peter was in his original homemade costume was cool because it showed he can operate on just his powers alone. Maybe this is small but I think he should have gradually gotten there amongst his movies rather than get it right off the bat.

Speaking of his powers, I was bummed that Spider-Man’s spider-sense wasn’t more prominent. His spider-sense is one of his most unique skills and it is hardly on display, at least not in an obvious way. If they make it more apparent in future films, I can see viewers who are not that familiar with the character thinking this is a feature of his suit and not part of his inherent power set.

As a long-time fan of the character, it was strange to see much of Spider-Man’s supporting cast changed in some way. MJ has a very different personality than her comic counterpart, Gwen was nowhere to be found, and Liz Allen isn’t one of Peter’s love interests. The best friend role is fulfilled by Ned Leeds instead of Harry Osborn, who is traditionally Liz’s love interest and also happens to be missing. Adrian Toomes is more like Norman Osborn, Harry’s father, than Adrian Toomes and Flash Thompson is more of a rich prick instead of a stereotypical sports jock. I have another more to say about why I don’t like this version of Flash very much but I should wrap this review up soon. In any case, there is a lot of character changes to process for die hard Spidey fans such as myself.

I thought Spider-Man: Homecoming was GREAT πŸ˜€ My pal Curt said this feels like Spider-Man: Year One rather than Spider-Man: The Beginning, which is a great way to describe this film. We don’t get another version of Peter learning with great power comes great responsibility. Instead, we get a movie where he is already embraced his role, where is is learning his place in a world already filled with superheroes rather than how his powers work or how he should use them. There have been aspects from the previous iterations of Spider-Man I have enjoyed but Spider-Man: Homecoming finally gives the most accurate and consistent version of the character yet. And personally, I cannot be happier.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Jon Watts – Director / Story
Jonathan Goldstein – Screenplay / Story
John Francis Daley – Screenplay / Story
Christopher Ford – Screenplay
Chris McKenna – Screenplay
Erik Sommers – Screenplay
Michael Giacchino – Composer

Tom Holland – Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Jacob Batalon – Ned Leeds
Laura Harrier – Liz Allen
Zendaya – Michelle
Tony Revolori – Flash Thompson
Marisa Tomei – May Parker
Robert Downey, Jr. – Tony Stark / Iron Man
Jon Favreau – Happy Hogan
Michael Keaton – Adrian Toomes / Vulture
Bokeem Woodbine – Herman Schultz / Shocker #2
Michael Chernus – Phineas Mason / The Tinkerer
Michael Mando – Mac Gargon
Donald Glover – Aaron Davis