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Full Version: Michael's Review of "Spider-man: Homecoming"
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Although I wrote a much longer review here I will share something I omitted from that review.

I think the "homecoming" theme was intended to be a clever pun. Not only is there a homecoming dance in the movie that serves as an anchor point for keeping track of the time, I think this was Disney / Marvel's way of saying "Welcome home, Spider-man" after finally getting back the rights to do a movie.

While I think the movie was pretty good overall I do feel it suffered a bit from obvious contrivances. On the plus side for the contrivances, however, some of them were done very well and they played out quite subtly. Instead of injecting hints early into the movie that would be recognizable foreshadowing, such as someone using a phrase that might describe a later scene, Jonathan Watts and his writing team simply introduced people and things and then tied them together later on.

This helps to keep the audience guessing but they include so many obscure references from the comic books that at times the movie felt like it was sagging under the weight of its own heritage. They could just have easily called this "Spider-man: Homages" and no one would have cared.

The action scenes were all well done. Tom Holland's take on the character of Peter Parker is exciting and engaging. He's not portraying the Peter Parker I remember from the classic comic books, but that was an older character than this one. A few reviews I have read keep comparing this movie to "Ultimate Spider-man", which I never read. I'm not surprised that more recent source material had such a heavy weight on the film.

Robert Downey, Jr. had a significant role in the film and I think he added just the right balance to it. Chris Evans is also in several scenes but he doesn't actually have a role to play in the story. It's just a running gag, the point of which I did not get. The gag includes the final post-credits scene, which you don't really have to wait around for. I did not but I read about it online and I am glad I didn't sit through the credits for that.

I think the Flash Thompson thing was overdone. They left so much of the origin story behind I don't really see why they had to revive the Flash / Peter scenario. That gets old no matter how much you update the characters. But this part of the movie was, I think, aimed at younger members of the audience. Kids who still have to contend with the social insecurity of high school may have enjoyed the whole Flash thing better than I did.

Michael Keaton's performance was very subdued, but quite articulate. You really kind of feel like this guy Toomes believes in what he is doing. This may be one of Keaton's best performances because they gave him a chance to show the character's evolution. Even though the reason for his becoming bad is yet another contrivance, the scenario almost works and Keaton makes it work for his character.

The movie introduces a new element to the MCU, the Department of Damage Control. I don't know if it's based on anything in the comic books. I don't know if they will play a significant role in future films. They appear to be filling part of the void left by the demise of S.H.I.E.L.D. This is actually a clever way to deal with the open question of how closely tied the television show is supposed to be to the movies. The TV S.H.I.E.L.D. has never recovered the depth and power (and budget) of the movie S.H.I.E.L.D. so they had plenty of wiggle room to introduce a new agency that wasn't (hopefully) tainted by H.Y.D.R.A. And, of course, the TV show has pretty much obliterated S.H.I.E.L.D. (again).

There is a lot of setup in the movie. This is the "training phrase" of young Spider-man's career. He is still naive and a bit of a loose cannon (maybe I should say "canon"). They made the story interesting enough that I didn't want to get up and walk out of the theater but I felt a bit deprived. I don't think that is the fault of the director or writers. It's just the first major Marvel film in a long time that doesn't (yet) play into the huge arc that Marvel has been unfolding. This is kind of a "meanwhile, back at the ranch" moment in a universe that is reeling from infinity stones, immortals, and celestials rocking the galaxy.

I guess it was a necessary step in the progression, made necessary (though) only by the decision to bring in a very young Spider-man. They could have gone a different way with the character. I suspect they wanted him to be young because they didn't want to introduce a super hero whose (even implied) backstory doesn't fit with the overall picture that has developed.

Captain America was the first super hero. Then we got the Hulk. Then we got Iron Man. Slowly, one by one, each of the Avengers has been given an origin story to tie them into the MCU. The way they brought in Spider-man was actually clever. Instead of showing poor Uncle Ben dying one more time, they jumped ahead to a point where Spidey was already trying to do good deeds and caught Tony Stark's attention. So the movies pick up after Spider-man decides to use his powers for the good of others but before he becomes a fully mature, accomplished super hero.

This story brings Peter Parker to the brink of maturity, and as origin tales go it's a very fresh take on the formula.
My two cents:

I really, really, liked it. Better than I expected to. I was a big fan of Toby Maguire's portrayal and was not expecting to like this as well as Spider-Man 1 and 2. I was wrong, I liked it better. Some notables of mine:

(some spoilers ahead)


-Yes, Michael Keaton was very good. I missed the opening scene with him, but even so thought his portray was great. And man, when he opened the door at Liz's house my jaw dropped- I did NOT see that coming.
- I really liked the portrayal of the romance between Peter and Liz. It seemed very genuine to me, and I found myself on more than one occasion rooting for him to stick with her rather than run off to be Spidey.
- Speaking of Liz, I guess she was supposed to be VERY loosely based on Liz Allen? Also Ned, VERY loosely based on Ned Leeds? Neither had a last name even in the credits (although I suppose we could infer Liz's was Toombs now that I think about it). The purist in me wanted to object, but both their portrayals were so charming I got over it very quickly.
- Speaking of Tobey Maquire above, LOVED the tribute to the famous kiss scene in Spider-Man. If you've seen it you know what I am talking about.
- Yeah, Tony Stark was done just about right, but again the purist in me wanted to have trouble with Iron Man of all guys being Spidey's mentor- but also again the charming portrayals all around let me put it aside easy enough.
- Happy was great and very nice to see him in another MCU again- probably the most out of any movie so far. And nice to see Pepper back for the first time since, what, Iron Man 3? Guess they're engaged now? That was a cute touch as well.
- Yes, I always though Homecoming was a play on words, and interesting how the actual High School Homecoming in the movie was only in it for a very short period. But enjoyed hearing Flock of Seagulls in it!
- Was that first post-credit scene an attempt to set up The Sinister Six? That was my impression. An speaking of credits, the way they rolled up until that point was awesome, almost as good as the movie itself!
Michael Wrote:The movie introduces a new element to the MCU, the Department of Damage Control. I don't know if it's based on anything in the comic books.
Don't know how it's handled in the movie, but in the comics Damage Control was a comedy series about the company that repaired all the damage done to the city after various superhero battles.
Knightsky Wrote:Don't know how it's handled in the movie, but in the comics Damage Control was a comedy series about the company that repaired all the damage done to the city after various superhero battles.

Yes, I remember that vaguely, that's what I thought. I don't think I ever got any of their issues, but I remember hearing about it when I was collecting comics in the 80s. Maybe Marvel could turn that into a comedy series? That could work if done right and be pretty cool.

This actually reminds me of something else I wanted to say about Homecoming- it is FUNNY. I had so many laugh out loud moments in it; I'm quite sure more than in any other MCU movie to date. Loved this aspect of it.

Also, the final scene was priceless, and hilarious- left EVERYONE in the audience just in stitches. Extremely well done by Ms. Tomei.
Well, they were definitely not comedic relief in the movie.