by Jai Hutchison
“Just a typical Homecoming on the outside of an invisible jet, fighting my girlfriend’s dad." Peter Parker
Director Jon Watts
Story by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley
Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers
Based on the Marvel comic book characters created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko
There have been a range of Spider-Man movies on the television and in cinemas for 40 years now, each film or series of films bringing something different to the franchise. My favourite to date are the Marc Webb directed ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2’, starring Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man. My reason being is that there was a darkness to these movies, and I like a super-hero movie with a strong villain and a darkness to it. Spider-Man: Homecoming however is very different, very lighthearted, and it has a lot of humour throughout.
Straight out Spider-Man: Homecoming does something a little confusing and annoying with the MCU timeline. It begins by going back to the Battle of New York, in 2012 but this time we meet Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture, portrayed by Michael Keaton, whose company are contracted to clean up the city after the Avengers and Loki have caused a great deal of destruction. However, the clean up operation is taken over by Tony Stark’s Department of Damage Control. On a quick side note Marvel actually released a series of ‘Damage Control’ comics in the 1980’s that were about a construction company who were responsible for the clean up of property destruction caused during conflict between superheroes and villains. CHECK THEM OUT. Infuriated by this, Toomes instructs his employees to keep the Chitauri technology that they already have, and then use it to make advanced weapons that they can then go on to sell. We then fast-forward eight years, which apparently brings us to the present. “Insert confused face” I’m guessing the Marvel team was absent that day of school. Timeline aside, as villains go Toomes is pretty small scale. A family man who has a plan, not to take over the world or destroy the Avengers, or anything on a grand scale actually, but to just keep making weapons from Chitauri technology and selling them on the black market so he can provide for his family.
With Homecoming there is no origin story, which I found really refreshing. I mean we’ve seen it all before, we don’t need a repeat of it every time someone new takes a shot at making these movies. There is a scene in the movie that references Peter Parker’s transformation into Spider-Man after his friend Ned discovers his secret identity and he is given a quick catch up, and that should be enough really for any newcomers to the franchise or world of Spider-Man. This movie is more about our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man trying to balance his high-school life and his crime fighting life; being Spider-Man, not becoming.
We first met our new spidey, played by British actor Tom Holland, back in 2016 when he was recruited by Tony Stark to team up with the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War. At just 19 when he appeared in Civil War, he is the youngest Spider-Man we have seen to date, with Nicholas Hammond being 27, Donald F. Glut 25, Toby Maguire 27 and Andrew Garfield being 29 when he starred in The Amazing Spider-Man. Parker and Stark maintain their connection throughout this movie, with Iron Man appearing several times throughout as a sort of mentor type to the young superhero. Stark also provides a pretty sweet suit for Parker with a fantastic upgrade and a built in A.I called Karen which is voiced by Jennifer Connelly. I really enjoyed Connelly’s role, it was really quite witty and the relationship between Karen and Peter was clever and humorous.
While in this movie we have no Gwen Stacy or Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker does have a couple of potential love interests. The main focus of Peter’s is Liz, but she does however turn out to be Liz Toomes, which is a little bit awkward. Another girl in the picture is Michelle. Michelle seems to be weirdly fixated on Peter throughout the movie, and annoyingly near the end of the movie she introduces herself as ‘MJ’. What’s that all about? In an interview with Cinema Blend Kevin Feige explains the decision behind this, stating that it was just a clever idea on their part and nothing more. I personally found it annoying, not clever.
As always at the end of any MCU movie a few people up and leave as the credits start to roll and us diehards wait with anticipation for the post credit scenes. Nothing too juicy to report: which sums up this movie really. We have one scene that shows The Vulture in jail denying that he knows the true identity of Spider-Man. A second scene shows Captain America popping up as he has done throughout the movie in a comical nature: nothing too exciting just the odd humorous cameo.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was fairly enjoyable, and I appreciated the elements of humour throughout but it really did lack in action. Unlike the Spider-Man movies that preceded it, Homecoming plays it safe and is rather small scale unfortunately.