You know those reviews that start out with the line about this movie being the best movie ever, that gush over every aspect of the film and then build it up to an impossible level of hype that ruins the film before you walk in? We hate those reviews. So listen very carefully when we say that Spider-Man: Homecoming is the BEST SPIDER-MAN MOVIE TO DATE!
Yes, I think everyone was a bit sceptical with the initial casting in Captain America: Civil War until that trailer moment when Spidey took Cap’s shield. But being the 3rd reboot of one of the most recognisable Super Heroes in the world (even before he had 5 movies under his belt) we were cautiously optimistic that this time it would work out.
In the lead-up and press for this film, there was some talk of this current Marvel/Sony collaboration being a one time with future Sony drive films being apart from the MCU. And while we don’t completely understand the horse-trading that goes on for character IP in the film world, there is no doubt that the richness of the MCU world is so deeply tapped into in this movie that trying to make a Spider-Man movie without it would be sheer madness.
Homecoming is the Spider-Man movie we have always wanted. Starting at the beginning by keeping Spider-Man to his early High School era roots, really keeps this film focused on the Friendly Neighbourhood parts of Spider-Man than the Spectacular or Amazing. This movie definitely happens within the MCU with aspects of Civil War, Age of Ultron and even the first Avengers Battle of New York being important to the timeline of events early on.
While the MCU is present throughout the movie and Tony Stark, I mean Robert Downey Jr., may be key to a lot of the movie but it is definitely a Spider-Man story and not as Iron Man/Spider-Man team-up as the trailers may suggest (although there is still plenty of Avengers in it). Oh, It also scores a heap of points by not showing use Uncle Ben get killed again.
There is still some creative license taken here and there which feels like it has been done to push how diverse they were in casting, but there are elements that do work for it even if you wonder why they didn’t just use existing diverse characters that already exist in the comics. Point in case for anyone who has read Brian Michael Bendis’ take in Ultimate Spider-Man with Miles Morales you may be wondering why everyone is calling Ganke ‘Ned’.
If we were to try and pull out an issue with the movie it might be the high school casting. We love Ganke/Ned for Peter to have a friend and love the fact they haven’t gone for using Harry Osborn again so quickly off the bat. The approach to the rest of Peter’s classmates does feel odd. Having the story set firmly with Peter being High School age and not quickly skipping through ala the first Spider-Man movie, makes this character work and we hope that this continues past the first movie. Things like Flash Thompson as the ‘dumbest’ guy on the “Academic Decathlon” competing at national finals or Peter’s high school friends being less diverse than say a Harry Potter movie, are some of the movies rare flaws.
Overall this is a great movie, and the level to which it is integrated with the MCU makes us feel that any mention of something from the comics like The Prowler or Mac Gargan are no longer Easter Eggs but rather more of the world building for things to come. While the previous Spider-Man movies may have paved the way for the MCU to exist, without this rich world to call on so transparently, it is easy to see how far behind previous movies fell short.
Wrapping up while trying to not to give too much away about the actual movie (we didn’t even get to mention how awesome Michael Keaton is in this), this is definitely a movie you need to see as it has Spidey done right using the MCU. It’s not about dropping cities out of the sky or inter-dimensional invaders but rather something a bit more on the scale we loved Ant-Man for.
The question isn’t should you go see it. The real question is how many times are you going to go see it.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is in cinemas across Australia from today