Saturday, July 8, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017): Review

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Spider-Man: Homecoming was an absolutely fantastic, fun, and must see action/ superhero/big budget blockbuster movie. It exceeded my expectations, which I had difficulty keeping in check and I cant wait to see it again. It is by far the best Spider-Man movie that has been made and I liked how the movie maintained the same tone thought-out, was a lot of fun but still clever, had a great cast, kept to one villain, and had character motivation for the choices they were making. It was not an origin story (thank goodness) which I think everyone will agree with all the Spider-Man movies that have come out since 2002 (this is the sixth live action one) we did not need another Peter Parker becomes Spider-Man movie.

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In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tom Holland plays Peter Parker, who has just returned from assisting Iron Man aka Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr, in the events that happened in Captain America: Civil War (click her for review http://myreviewsbyjane.blogspot.com/2016/05/captain-america-civil-war-2016-review.html ). Peter has been filing in a vlog style the events and I enjoyed the way that Peter's experience with these events was summed up and shown from his very exited, teenage perspective. He is now back at school and regulated to being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man by Tony and is being monitored by Happy, played by Jon Favreau. He is frustrated that he is not being given any "real missions" and is just keeping an eye on the small area of New York where he lives. One night he discovers that a bunch of criminals are using high tech weapons infused with alien tech but feels that no one believes him. He seeks out to find and bring down the makers of these meapons and end up discovering Vulture aka Adrian Tooms, played by Michael Keaton. While all this is happening he is discovered and then assisted by his best friend Ned, played by Jacob Batalon; is trying to keep his superhero identify and shenanigans secret from his Aunt May,  played by Marisa Tomeri; having a weird crush/ interactions with Liz, played by Laura Harrier; and funny interactions with fellow student Michelle, played by Zendaya, and trying to be taken seriously by Tony and Happy. Also staring Herman Shutlz,, played by Bokeen Woodbind, who works with Vulture.

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This movie was absolutely fantastic and I was really hoping that the it would be good due to liking the writers of the screenplay (seeing their panel at Motor City Comic Con this year just added to my hope that it would be good) and really hearing all the hype about this version of Spider-Man. Tom Holland was great in Captain America: Civil War and since last year I had wanted to see him in his starting role. I generally am not a fan of Spider-Man as a superhero and have not believed the previous movies were anything super special (although some of them were enjoyable). The interactions between the characters and script in Homecoming is a lot of fun, the direction and pacing of the movie works and kept me involved throughout. The tone remains consistent and it feels like one solid movie, not a bunch of movies or ideas thrown together. Not being another origin story really works, especially with the over saturation of Spider-Man movies since 2002, and keeping to a one villain and linear plot really helps the movie stay on track and just having it be a fun experience where me I don't have to try to understand or follow what is happening.

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The tone of the movie was fun and lighthearted but also has underling character interaction and motivation to move the story along. What the characters did made sense for the them and the movie flowed. Were there moments that were obvious? yes, but as everything was fun and I was kept interested in what was going on this doesn't bother me. It is a family film (PG-13) that although there is violence in it didn't try to be something it wasn't. The movie owned what it wanted to be and this made it all the better for it.

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I really enjoyed that there was only the one villain, Vulture, and that the movie didn't waste time really going into his origin. There was enough to understand how he got to be the bad guy and why he wanted to destroy Spider-Man but didn't spend time going over how he got there. Overall the casting and interactions between the characters was great. The only ones that I didn't really like are Liz and Flash, played by Tony Revolori. His interest in Liz makes sense at the beginning of the movie and him crushing on her is fine but their ion, especially towards the end of the movie, feel forced and really unlikely. It is just because that connection point was needed for the plot and story to get where it end up but it doesn't in any way feel realistic. I understand the choice, I just don't like it and feel like on subsequent watching I am going to continue to think it is more and more stupid. Flash, who is a bully at school and constantly makes fun of Peter just doesn't work. I understand wanting to add the Peter is not a cool kid and on the outskirts of the school but Flash doesn't add anything to the movie. He could have been completely removed and nothing would have changed in the movie. Peter being on the outs was conveyed with him only having Ned and comments by Michelle. Flash's sequences were over acted and just didn't work. I am also not sure how i feel about this version of Aunt May, Peter just doesn't seem to have a real connection to her.

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I really enjoyed some of  smaller and supporting characters. especially Donald Glover as a criminal who Spider-Man ends up interacting with after he tries to purchase guns off of Vultures gang; and Hannibel Buress as Coach Wilson. I really enjoyed Chris Even's Cameo as Captain America/ Steve Rogers and think that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe his cameos are the best.  There is the required Stan Lee Cameo but I think it could have been better utilized.

Going into Spider-Man Homecoming, I was very worried that this would end up being a half Spider-Man half Iron Man movie (like in Civil War) especially as Tony Stark was heavily used in the trailers but I am glad to say that he was used sparingly and whenever he was on screen it fit with and pushed forward the plot but the focuses was still always on Peter.  I am just very glad it didn't become a Tony movie and that he was only in about 10-15 minuets of the whole thing.

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Overall the movie was great to watch and the cinematography and CGI done very well. There were moments during the first third of the movie where the CGI was obvious and this tended to be in moments where everything on screen was CGI (the cityscapes and Spider-Man). I noticed this a few times but it wasn't too bad to really mark down the movie. I saw this movie in 2D and am sure it was much worse in the 3D version. The main thing that I didn't like was all of the unnecessary destruction that Spider-Man created as he crashed through the city. I understand that he is suppose to be goofy and not quite polished in his abilities but having him destroy peoples property and then just leave it with no consequences or repercussions I didn't like and think was unnecessary. Things going wrong while he is trying to help out is not what I am speaking of because that is due to him being young and trying to help but still having growing pains but just destruction for comedic effect that is immediately left behind was distracting and unnecessary. The movie would have been the same without these moments.

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This movie was fantastic and fun, and I cannot wait to see it again. It is not just a good superhero movie, it is a good family action blockbuster. I liked some of the campy aspects of it and was glad that it was set around Homecoming time at school, because the dork in me wanted a movie about a high school superhero with Homecoming in the title to have some aspects of a high school homecoming in it, but it becoming the focus would have been too much.  This is a movie to go see and definitely worth watching on the big screen. It is one of my top movies so far this year and the best Spider-Man movie period.

My Rating: 4-

As this is a Marvel movie make sure to stay to the very end of the credits for a post credit scene. This one you will either love or hate. I thought it was funny and liked it but it could be very frustrating for others.

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