Spider-Man: Homecoming Review

Ok let me start this by saying im going to be pretty negative about it.

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In fact im pretty negative about all of Marvels movies these days but dont worry, thats why we have Niall on the team. He loves all the movies, so if you’re looking for a positive review then you’re bound to get one from him (as if there arent enough positive reviews anyway).

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Background

Im a pretty big spiderman fan. I grew up on the 90s cartoons, along with X-Men and Batman, as im sure most people did. Hes one of my favorite characters by far so my expectations are fairly high i guess. With that being said, I enjoyed Raimi’s Spiderman 1 and 2 (3 was awful, even at the time) and I surprisingly enjoyed The amazing spiderman 1 and 2. I fully expected to hate the first TAS movie and was pleasantly surprised by it and quite enjoyed the second one (even if the villains are pretty terrible). So even though i didnt think i would like Homecoming, I’ve been wrong before.
To keep this short, I didnt like Civil War. I didnt like Spidermans appearance and put simply, Tom Holland just doesnt feel like my Spiderman.
So expectations for Homecoming were low.

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(Seriously that poster is fucking hideous. Why is MJ even in it?)

The movie
The move is … fine. I mean its a pretty standard Marvel movie at this point.
Marvel are fantastic at making THEIR comic book movies. Movies that appeal to a mass audience who most likely dont know much, if anything, about the comics the characters are based on. Their ability to take these properties and make movies that appeal to such a huge audience is impressive and no one can discredit that.
But they dont interest me. Im so completely bored of the paint by numbers storytelling that happens in every one of their movies (i’ll do an article on it soon).
As a typical Marvel movie it has everything youve come to expect. Humor, some action, some drama, and of course, Robert Downey Jr. Every, fucking, movie.
Peters best friend Ned is pretty entertaining, MJ is entertaining and Tom Holland isnt bad, just not Peter Parker to me.
Which brings me to my first problem.

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The dynamic between Peter and Tony Stark/Happy infuriated me. As amusing as some of the moments were, it felt more like I was watching Tony Stark and his annoying nephew, not Peter Parker. For someone like me who grew up with the comics and the cartoons, Spiderman was always above the Avengers. As nerdy as he was, he was always too cool to join them. He was more likely to make a joke about them than ask to join. And yet this whole movie is Peter jumping through hoops to impress Stark. The complete opposite of what im used to.
And thats before we get to his superhero persona.
Again Spiderman is someone who accepted the responsibility of his powers and put them to use. Alone.

He created his web shooters by using his scientific knowledge. He uses his intelligence to outwit his opponents. His spidersense and abilities are the bonus on top of that.

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None of that was evident here.
He doesnt appear to be a scientist, and he doesnt appear to be a photographer.
In fact, when it comes to hacking the Spider suit, Peter isnt even the one who does it, its Ned! And later on in the movie Ned becomes “the guy in the chair”, helping Peter.


So instead of a courageous nerd accepting that “with great power comes great responsibility”, we got a clueless boy in a high tech suit. Ugh.
And with that, everything that makes Peter a hero is missing.
He says it himself, “But Mr Stark, without the suit im nothing.”
And that is entirely the problem with this version.
Tom Holland isnt Spiderman. Hes mini Iron Man.

You could argue that this is the theme of the movie, Peter learning to become a hero without the suit. But didnt he do that before Civil War? Remember he was a hero working on his own before he met Stark. Why is he now suddenly useless and having to learn to be a hero without the suit Stark gave him? Did he forget about being a hero before he met Stark? Or did the writers just forget? Either way, this simply did not feel like Spiderman at all to me.

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Villain
Michael Keeton is a pretty decent villain, a step above their usual, but that isnt really saying much. Its quite clever how they reimagined the vulture, I will give them credit for that, but to be honest its not that much different to the cartoon. And he is at least different in that hes an understandable villain, almost sympathetic. But thats all. Never does it feel like he has the menace that Willam Dafoe had or the intimidation that Alfred Molina had. Theres never really a situation where i feel like im watching a fully fledged villain, as oppose to Michael Keeton in a flight suit. William Dafoe’s Norman Osborn is almost identical to Keetons vulture (more on that later), but when Dafoe puts on the goblin suit, he becomes the goblin. He feels like another character. Keeton doesnt, and because of that, it never really feels like he gets out of 2nd gear in terms of being a memorable villain.

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Deja vu

Its inevtibale i guess when you consider this is the 6th Spiderman movie, but there were alot of moments where I sat and thought “Ive seen this before?”
The aforementioned Vulture is pretty much the same as the first Green Goblin.
The conversation between Keeton and Holland in the car is the same thing we see in Spiderman 1 with Peter and Norman, and the same thing we see again with Peter and Captain Stacy in Amazing Spiderman 1.
The holding together of the ferry felt very similar to Peter holding the train together in Spiderman 2.

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Supporting Cast

Ok so where do I begin with this? The supporting cast was … interesting.
I noticed something about the supporting cast that intrigued me.
Alot of ethnic minorities.
OK OK, Put your pitchforks away and let me finish before you start sending hate mail my way and accusing me of racism. Far from it. Allow me to explain.

Marc Benardin, the journalist credited with the idea of having Donald Glover play Spiderman (resulting in the creation of Miles Morales) once remarked that “Peter is from Queens. Have you ever been to Queens? Not a lot of white people there”.
Interesting point, and with that in mind it makes sense to include more ethnically diverse characters.
But where Marvel have chosen to have characters of different races and the complete miscasting that has resulted from it is what I have a problem with.
The teachers and every day people can be whatever race you want, it doesnt really matter to me.
When I think of The Shocker and The Scorpion, I think of the outfits, so again race doesnt matter. All fine so far.

With the absence of Harry Osborn, Peter needs a best friend and I thought Ned was one of the highlights of the movie.
With him simply being a best friend created for the movie (as far as im aware) his race is irrelevant to his role. All of this is perfectly fine.

But Flash Thompson was AWFUL.

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This is Flash Thompson. Look at him.
I mean. I cant even.
Flash Thompson. The big, strong, intimidating bully of the school was played by the small, weedy lobby boy from Grand Budapest Hotel.
He was more pathetic than intimidating.
I spent the whole time thinking “why doesnt Peter just punch him in the face? Or Ned? Look at the size of him!”
Now, Flash doesnt need to be white.
Hell, cast Terry Crews and I’d be fine with it.  But hes got to be big and intimidating, hes a bully! Really dont understand this casting.

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Another highlight of the movie was MJ, but if she was intended to be a reimagining of Mary Jane Watson then she was woefully miscast. Again.
Despite bearing no physical resemblance to the character, her character itself was nothing like the fiery redhead.
Dont get me wrong, Zendaya’s character provided a nice dynamic to the movie, but shes not MJ in the slightest. Not even close.

So why make her MJ in the first place? Why not create a new and original character?

I guess you could say that my problem with these characters being miscast has little to do with their race and more to do with the characters personalities and to some extent their appearance. And you’d be right. But why change them in the first place?
Anyone whos paid attention to Marvels comics knows that theyve been making an effort to include more culturally diverse characters.
So much so, that they completely rebooted their comic line with most of the white male characters now becoming bi racial women. I have no doubt that this attitude has been imprinted onto this movie too. And in a lot of ways it worked.


Despite the miscasting of Flash and MJ, it was nice to see a more diverse cast on screen.

But this brings me to my final point.

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If Marvel are looking to bring more ethnically diverse characters to the big screen then why isnt Miles Morales Spiderman?
We’ve already had 2 series with a white Peter Parker, fighting the same old white, villains, defending his white family and friends.
If the idea with this spiderman was to bring us something new and different, then why not give us the bi-racial spiderman so many fans have been calling for?
Personally I honestly would have had far more interest in a Miles Morales movie.
And with it being so soon after the first 2 Spiderman series, now would have been a better time than any to give us someone different.

But nope.
For whatever reason Marvel stuck with Peter Parker.
In a movie where they were all too willing to change the ethnicity of characters no one asked for, they didnt fancy changing the race of the on character fans were calling for.

Interesting.

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