Spider-Man: Homecoming Review. Finally a great villain thanks to Michael Keaton

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Review by Camilo Bohórquez (@cabobe). Translation from Spanish language by Sandra Milena Ríos (@sandritamrios)


Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, is one of the most popular and beloved characters from comic world. Its first appearance in film industry was in 2002 under the direction by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire. Thanks to this film and others like “Blade” by Stephen Norrington and “X-Men” by Bryan Singer Hollywood, realized about great potential to produce superheros films by taking advantages of technological advances in special effects, besides the opportunity to tell great stories based on comic books.

Sony Pictures has the movie rights of Spider-Man and being a beloved character for so many fans, the studio has tried to find perfect formula to bring a robust franchise. Unfortunately, Sam Raimi’s work was marred for a soft third movie that brought down any possibility of a next sequel. After that, Sony tried with a reboot and giving a tone very close to the original in its last times, with Andrew Garfield in the leading role that had a great first part, but the second one was affected with over-saturated promotion and didn’t get to capture the attention of audience. Another possibility to expand arachnid universe had brought down too.

While all these were happening, Marvel Studios was starting its Cinematic Universe without Spider-Man, but IronMan and Avengers got to become in one of the most successful franchises in film history. Between fervent petition of fans to see Spider-Man with Avengers and difficult situation for Sony with this wonderful character, on February 2015 Sony Pictures and Marvel announced Spidey would make part of Marvel Universe and Sony would keep the rights of the character for film industry. Both studios will work together to show us a new Spider-Man starring Tom Holland and making a fresh start.

First appearance of new official Spider-Man was in the film “Captain America: Civil War”, where in few minutes was clear the juvenile tone of this new phase, a Spidey who is still in high school and has short time working as superhero and jumping all the prior events about how he got this powers and all motivations to be who he is – we really thanks the decision to avoid to tell the same story for third time. Spider-Man: Homecoming follows the story of Peter Parker returning to home after his adventure with the Avengers and with an awesome suit made by Tony Stark under the warming to keep out of big fights and problems. The days pass by and Peter is just thinking in one thing: coming back to avengers team. While he continues his studies and leaves his social life for being available in the case IronMan calls him, Peter Parker uses his new suit to help others and being a friendly neighbor in Queens, New York, until one day he finds a group of thieves who are using weapons developed with some pieces of a technology found in the debris of Chitauri Invasion and Ultron (events seen on Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron). So then, Peter feels this is a great opportunity to surprise to Tony Stark, to show he is not still a boy and becoming an official member of avengers finally. It is time to act by his own.

Before the release of this movie this weekend, three things concern to fans: first one is the tone of the film because it is settled in the school and Peter Parker is only a 15 years old boy. It is told Spider-Man: Homecoming would have the same style of John Hughes’ films. The second one, is to see how many surprises can offer after the quantity of details about the plot given in so many trailers and spots. The third one is about IronMan because promotional material has shown many scenes with this character, which made some fans told it would apply as IronMan 4. The great news is there is nothing to worry about all these concerns. Director Jon Watts makes a great job doing a fresh, nice and entertainment film, there isn’t boring moments and juvenile topics have their limits. Besides, all things showed previously, film has more surprises including important twists in its plot and IronMan has only short and occasional appearances as mentor of Spidey. He is a supporting character clearly.

Spider-Man: Homecoming has great performances specially the fantastic job by Michael Keaton. After many superheros movies with mediocre villains, without true convictions and extremely weak, we have to Vulture, a worker who lost everything after events at Chitauri Invasion, and for that reason he decides to take the technology found in the ruins and gain some money. Vulture is a cruel and ambitious criminal who lives, in contradiction, as normal person who can do whatever possible to protect his family. The sense of humanity of this character, his impressive suit and the great performance by Keaton, become to Vulture a great villain to keep on mind and a big challenge to this franchise for next sequels.

Tom Holland makes also a great job as Spider-Man/Peter Parker. It is evident his effort and works really well the team with his best friend, Ned (plays by Jacob Batalon). On the other hand, the usual comedy in all Marvel Studios films are natural and limited which is something to thank. The work of Michael Giacchino in the soundtrack has a great quality with some chords of the mythical song of this franchise.

Although Spider-Man: Homecoming has good thing, there are others don’t work because it is missing some elements like a more conflict in its plot related with the evolution of the character as a superhero. Film can feel too much for a familiar or young target and it is missing also iconic and emblematic elements like to see to Spidey swinging by skyscrapers of New York. Film has good action scenes, but some of them are limited to simple places like his neighborhood. Other aspects of Peter Parker are shown but without any surprise because promotional material. Maybe, some audience can feel uncomfortable with this version of a young Peter Parker who doesn’t develop his potential at all, in fact, sometimes he turns too much innocent. This has his own logic in front of the new reboot, but we expect more about the character in next films. Finally, regarding Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Homecoming adds nothing new to this universe, the film doesn’t affect the events that we are waiting in the production of Avengers and the future of this franchise, which we have one single reference in one of two post-credits scenes. We can feel this because Marvel has accustomed us to include some references of its next sequels.

Spider-Man Homecoming works as an entertainment film, besides it offers a new version of Spider-Man, more innocent, young and comic. It is a nice movie, but it is less spectacular than the last ones. Although Sony and Marvel have made a good try to forget the last films, we can’t forget them. Spider-Man: Homecoming is in the same level of “Doctor Strange”, a light film into Marvel Cinematic Universe. We hope Spider-Man may evolve and may be, in the near feature, in the same mood of rest of Marvel’s stories and characters.

Cast & Crews

  • Director: Jon Watts
  • Screenplay: Jonathan Goldstein, Chris McKenna, John Francis Daley, Erik Sommers, Jon Watts
  • Running Time: 133 minutes
  • Cast: Tom holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei
  • Cinematography: Salvatore Totino
  • Music: Michael Giacchino
  • Edition: Dan Lebental, Debbie Berman
  • Country: United States
  • Year: 2017

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