Most millennials have grown up in an era where superhero movies have completely subsumed into the public consciousness, with especially the last 15 years witnessing a remarkable surge in such spandex-clad glory. Both Marvel and DC have splurged millions to establish their respective cinematic universe, both on the silver screen and on TV. Of all the superhero characters that we know, three are guaranteed money spinners, no matter how many prequels or sequels you make- Superman, Batman and Spiderman.
This is precisely the reason why we have a new Spiderman movie in theaters right now while no stand-alone film has been made for Hawkeye, Black Widow or even The Hulk. How does Spiderman: Homecoming stand against the previous flicks of our favorite web slinger and what role does it play in the Avengers universe? Let’s deconstruct the pros and cons:
**No Spoilers** Chill.
Tom Holland Revives Spidey In the True Spirit of the Comics
A major grouse I had with the Sam Raimi trilogy was that it was quite short on humor and Peter Parker/Spiderman always seemed emotionally conflicted between his duties as a superhero and his love for Mary Jane Watson.
In Spiderman: Homecoming, Tom Holland is your proverbial schoolkid, all awkward, wide-eyed, filled with repartees and a zest to prove himself as a possible fit for the Avengers. His best friend is his sidekick and the two provide some of the funniest moments not seen before in any Spiderman movie till date. There is no annoying superhero angst to deal with, and almost all characters in the movie chip in with perky one-liners, making it a hilarious watch.
This does not mean that there isn’t any character development for our Spidey-kid. The second half of Homecoming deftly deals with
A Solid, Though Underutilized Antagonist
After Birdman, it seems like Michael Keaton directly swooped into his new role as the Vulture, the primary antagonist of Spiderman: Homecoming. He is not your usual villain bent on world destruction but a disgruntled blue-collar worker who is simply looking to provide for his family, albeit through illegal means.
Keaton’s role, however, seems a bit watered down, maybe to keep in sync with the overall friendly and light-hearted tone of the movie. It just seemed that a great opportunity to introduce a solid antagonist, instead of any run-of-the-mill villain was wasted in a bid to rush up things. After all, this is only a filler movie in the larger scheme of things viz. Infinity Wars 1 and 2.
Actions Scenes Don’t Pack a Punch Like Before
A major highlight of the Sam Raimi Spiderman movies, as well as the Marc Webb ones, was the brutal and visceral action involving the webslinger and the villains. There were relentless, pulse-pounding furious adrenaline-fueled sequences that put one on the edge of their seats.
Compared to that, Homecoming has action scenes that don’t make Spidey look superhuman, instead making him seem like a novice still trying to learn the ropes (or the webs?) of his trade. Though logically it makes sense, because Peter parker is only 15 years old in this movie, it also robs us of the opportunity to watch Spiderman engage in some death defying stunts.
An Unnecessary Addition To The Marvel Universe
My first reaction after watching Spiderman: Homecoming was of sheer wonderment. What purpose did this movie solve? Just to develop Spiderman’s character? It certainly didn’t add much to the Avengers arc and was probably snugly fit in to satiate the audience, who can’t get enough of the endless sequels and reboots (evident from the rip-roaring box office business).
On a positive side, this might be the best Spiderman to have graced the silver screen and would have probably done better had it been a stand-alone movie (Tony Stark is actually like an overbearing father to Peter in this one so you understand where I am getting at). Let’s just hope the ever-expanding bloated Marvel universe does not end up making things too repetitive, because then well-made movies might also seem like a rehashed version of the numerous titles that have already released.