We’re taking a break from Spielberg this week to add another entry to Marvel By Numbers because I FINALLY got around to watching Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Overview: Peter Parker reeeeeally wants to be an Avenger, but Tony Stark thinks he should stick to being a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” instead of going after big supervillains. But a supervillain shows up and Peter decides not to listen.
I’m glad this film keeps things grounded. The story is very focused on Peter’s growth as a person, not really as a superhero, and that works beautifully. Everything leads up to Peter’s choice at the very end when Stark offers him everything he’s ever wanted, and I think he makes the best choice.
The characters are all given great moments, and the story keeps the focus where it should. Even though this movie is hilarious, there aren’t any extraneous moments that are added just for laughs. It all contributes to the story.
I love the intro with the handheld camera recording everything. I love how it returns the entire MCU back to its roots with the improvised style of Iron Man that set this whole thing going. It also connects back to some previous moments in the MCU, giving this one deep roots that keep it from feeling as though it’s just tossed onto the top of an increasingly precarious stack of films.
I like how this film was able to set up Peter’s Spidey suit as a very different animal from those appearing in previous Spider-Man films. It has its own personality (and “suit lady” AI) and seeing Peter figuring out how all its bells and whistles work is really a highlight of the film.
There weren’t any real crazy iconic visual moments save for the rather silly scene with him trying to hold the ferry together (even though it should have sunk easily pretty fast), but there weren’t any distractingly odd visuals either.
The Villain: 9/10
I love Michael Keaton, and I was really surprised by his take on Vulture. His motivations made sense, and his beef with Spider-Man had some genuine depth, which I appreciated. Having him end up being the dad of Peter’s homecoming date was a nice twist I didn’t see coming, and it really helped to make this film feel more grounded.
One of the post-credit scenes added a HUGE other layer to his character in that he has a chance to get rather brutal revenge on Peter, but chooses not to for unknown reasons. I loved that.
He’s a guy you could genuinely like. His methods get a bit extreme, but he doesn’t strike you as a “bad” bad guy. He’s not a nice guy, but you still want to know what makes him tick.
There were a few explosions, but they really weren’t the focus of the film. I kind of wanted more, but I was so entertained by the snappy dialogue and soul-squeezing wholesomeness of Peter’s penchant for being distracted by really cool stuff all the time that i didn’t mind so much.
Favorite explosion: I honestly can’t remember any. I know they happened…
The Hero’s Journey: 9/10
I loved Peter’s arc. He goes from goofy kid to mature superhero, and it doesn’t feel forced or silly. The moment where he’s trapped under the collapsed building is a great metaphorical low point for him because he isn’t able to rely on anything and he panics. But then he’s able to calm down and figure out how to get out of it.
I also liked how he lets his real life slip while clinging to the chance that his superhero life might pick up soon, but then realizes what he’s been missing. The superhero stuff is cool, but it doesn’t fulfill him in the same way that his friends support and encourage him, and I like that he ultimately walks away from a life as an Avenger in order to focus on himself more.
He’s just a really well-written character.
Score and Rank
- Captain America: Civil War (49/50)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (46/50)
- The Avengers (45/50)
- Iron Man (43/50)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (43/50) RT liked Iron Man a little bit more, but still, Top 5, baby!
- Doctor Strange (42/50)
- Iron Man 3 (42/50)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (41/50)
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 (41/50)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (40/50)
- Thor (39/50)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (39/50)
- Ant-Man (38/50)
- Thor: The Dark World (36/50)
- The Incredible Hulk (34/50)
- Iron Man 2 (33/50)
Next week, we’ll be getting back to Spielberg. And I promise to see Thor: Ragnarok soon!