The latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spiderman: Homecoming seems to be doing pretty well. In fact, I’ve yet to meet somebody that didn’t love it. It isn’t without its faults, but overall, the gripes I have with this one are minimal at the worst. It’s a good movie. Probably the best Spiderman movie we’ve ever gotten so far. Now, before we get started, I’ll say right here that I won’t be spoiling anything worse than a few character interactions. Nothing important, and if that bothers you, you probably didn’t even read further than the title anyway.
I’m going to say something that I’m guessing will be controversial, because I think I should get it out of the way first. I liked Andrew Garfield more than Tom Holland. That isn’t to say that I disliked Holland as an actor. I think he did very well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the only reason I liked Garfield better was the scripts they were given. It leads into the next thing I want to talk about, but Garfield felt like a more ‘authentic’ Spiderman for me.
The biggest reason for this is that in Spiderman: Homecoming, we don’t really have a superhero. We have a child. He’s still figuring everything out. In Garfield’s movies, he’s older and has more serious things on his plate.
But that doesn’t make me feel better about it, and I know exactly why. Amazing Spiderman shows us the birth of the hero and he hits the ground running. Spiderman: Homecoming, on the other hand, isn’t an origin story. He’s Spiderman from the beginning. Really, in this movie Peter has been Spiderman for far longer than in Garfield’s movie. The problem is that he feels dumb and arrogant because of the age discrepancy. And that age difference is the sole source of pretty much all the complaints I have with this movie.
The other issue I have is that a lot of the plot revolves around the fact that he’s so young. His interactions with Tony Stark and his dealings with school cause the drama of him thinking he’s ready for more when he clearly isn’t. Personally, I find that source of conflict in any medium the single most annoying plot device in the world. I hate it when the characters I’m supposed to like are being stupid, even if it makes perfect sense.
Which leaves me at an impasse, because it does make a lot of sense in this movie. Peter Parker’s position in the MCU is really cool. I like his relationship with Tony Stark and the other big characters, as well as the role he fills in the overarching story. But I don’t like what that means for his own character motivations and his own plot structures.
But, grievances aside, this movie is awesome. The plot and the script are very well put together, and every time something unexpected happened, I thought “Huh, that makes a lot of sense.” There is one big plot twist in particular that I did not see coming, and it blew me away. Part of me is a little upset that I didn’t catch it, because in hindsight it seems obvious, but I’m also glad I didn’t, because that moment was easily one of the best in recent cinema history for me.
What’s more, the Vulture is the perfect villain in too many ways to describe. (His origin story and how it fits with his character design is particularly sweet). His motivation, his actual plans, and the execution are top notch. (Minor spoilers: The part where he turns off the purple portal thing on the truck to trap Spiderman was pretty clever, and I really enjoyed seeing that happen.)
So, is this movie worth watching? Absolutely. Do I think it’s better than the other two Spiderman franchises? Undoubtedly (though, again, I liked Garfield’s Spiderman more). Go see it the next opportunity you have!