Skip to main content

Movie review: Spider-man: Homecoming (2017)

In Spiderman: Homecoming, director Jon Watts replaces Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire with Tom Holland. Jon’s last project was Cop Car (2015), which earned a nod of respect from some, but we aren't exactly in agreement as to how good a job he did with that one, much less what he would do with this one. Holland? Well, he was for sure a good pick, better than both Garfield and Maguire. Holland uses his kid charm and dashing good looks and makes all the impressions we hoped for. His squeaky-clean voice and juvenile insecurities serve him well. That’s all fine and good, except the movie itself is not.

Initially, we are excited at the backbone of the plot: Criminals are using leftover alien technology (from Avengers, 2012) to terrorize the world. Sounds good, but it goes nowhere beyond the safe-playing locker-room struggles of Parker who is being mentored by Tony Stark. That's what we keep getting from the movie more than anything else. Spider-man has already been making good on his crime-fighting abilities, but we don't see much of them.

Young Parker comes across a crime syndicate (headed up by Michael Keaton - as Adriane Toomes / "Vulture" - the original Batman of the 1980s, who here flies around in a large, ridiculous bird costume). Yeah, yeah, I know. It fits the comics, but it doesn’t work here. It just doesn't. And Keaton doesn’t seem real. He's too one-dimensional. Marisa Tomei is "Aunt May" this time around.

Most of the film’s time goes into the high school dramas of awkward first loves, trying to fit in at the parties of the cool kids, and the desire to find meaning in what he can contribute. All of that I can respect, believe me. But like the high school hook-ups, even the bad guys in this film go nowhere to audiences above 14 years old. They don’t grab our attention, nor do we want to learn more about them as Stark keeps checking in on Parker to keep tabs on him. A young, impressionable, and wet-behind-the-ears teen is a nice touch that displays vulnerability and makes for a more interesting character, but certainly not at the expense of a seamless and serious script. Stark assigns “Happy Hogan” (Jon Favreau) to do most of the leg-work in keeping track of Parker. And this Happy Hogan fellow is an insulting waste of screen time, like much of the film.

In this sappy-but-adolescent-friendly world, bad kids in detention are lectured at in the form of videos by Captain America. These smirk-worthy appearances of the Captain are never followed up with any supporting contexts that allow the movie to be truly funny. In fact, it’s almost humorless, despite intentions.

But we keep coming back to Holland, however, whose abilities and confidence take him beyond the writing he is given. Holland’s well-played juvenile insecurities are great. He does a damn fine job with them. He is set up to re-appear as Spidey for at least several more films. More power to him, just not to this film.

The fight sequences are woefully disappointing. And on top of that, Spidey seldom gets to strut his stuff for us like he did in Avengers: Civil War (2014). Those combat scenes that run longer don’t grab our attention anymore than the shorter ones do. The final battle is a letdown and anticlimactically positioned. This is partly because we don't take the villain seriously, but partly because it is difficult to follow the way it is laid out. Ultimately, we needed more from Homecoming, and we didn't get it here.


Popular posts from this blog

When Jesus Turns Down the Glory: 10 Worst Ever Christian Songs

It’s a sad testimony when even the creator of a thing realizes that the product isn’t what it was intended to be. Well, actually it’s a good thing. It just doesn’t happen often enough. The Christian music industry is, shall we say, not up to par with where its admirers (and even creators and ardent well-wishers) would hope it would be. And when even the average believer realizes that their music is not market-cornering stuff, all should know that there is a problem.

Now not all Christian music sucks (you might even find a few rock songs from artists like Petra on Joe Holman’s ipod that he still sometimes listens to and enjoys), but what makes the stuff that does suck suck is that what sucks sucks for a number of different reasons. We begin the countdown going from best of the worst to absolute worst...

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part I of II)

It’s a subject that is rarely tackled in any form outside of random questions on a message board, but here we will devote a sensible examination of it. Who – what – is the most powerful being anywhere in every realm of sci-fi or fantasy ever dreamt up by a finite human being? I’ve been contemplating this subject since I was 8 years old. At 39, it hasn’t left my mind. That means several things; (1) I’m a fucking geek. (2) I’ve invested enough of my life pondering this for it to qualify as an obsession.

As with all “Most” anything lists, we are faced with several problems, one of them being limited source material. A couple of these only made one or two brief appearances somewhere and that is all we have to go by. But sometimes, those situations let our imaginations go into overdrive and give us even more creative fun. The mystery tends to add to the experience of contemplation.

The Top 5 Most Powerful Beings in Sci-fi (Part II of II)

#1) The Douwds – From Star Trek The Next Generation

Claim to fame: This Douwd went from pacifist to mass murderer of 50 billion in a single moment of anger. He appears to hold the record for most murders in all of sci-fi.
Abilities: Just about unlimited.
Nature: True immortals.

Our winner, debatably edging out number #2, is a mysterious race of beings called the Douwds. We only get to meet one of their kind in a single episode (#51, season 3 - see the condensed version here) called “The Survivors.” It was one of the very best of any season. What little we know of this illusive race “of disguises and false surroundings” only adds to our fascination with them.

When the Enterprise gets an urgent distress call from a federation colony on Delta Rana IV about an attacking alien warship, they head over as fast as they can, but they are days away. By the time they arrive, it is too late. All are dead and the planet has been literally leveled…with the sole exception of one house and the small pa…