Spider-Man: Homecoming - Avengers: Infinity War Marvel MCU Movie Marathon
As always, before we start, there are spoilers in this blog.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a historic collaboration with Sony and Marvel Studios teaming up to bring this film to life. Sony is actually the studio that owns the film rights to Spider-Man and they finally allowed Marvel to let them bring him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I noticed that the Sony logo came first and then the Marvel Studios logo came after the prologue. But an orchestrated version of the 1960s Spider-Man animated show played over the Marvel Studios logo which was pretty awesome.
I love how they explain the events of Captain America: Civil War from Peter Parker's (Tom Holland) point of view in a video diary. Its humorous and fun and established Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) as mentor and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) as point man.
I've got to say that Tom Holland is the perfect Peter Parker. I can't even imagine anybody else playing him anymore. It was wonderful seeing them bringing Peter back to the basics as a student in high school. And as a believable high school student. He can't even drive yet. He was an eager beaver and nerdy awkward. Like any teenager, he wants to be taken seriously. And when he fights, he is verbose and quippy exemplifying both his nervousness and confidence.
His getting ahead of himself tends to get himself in trouble. The ferry battle is a good example of this where Spider-Man stepped in without knowing how to shut down the operation properly and, therefore, endangering all the people on the boat. I would imagine as a teen, you could resent Tony for not listening to him. But, Tony is still reeling from the events of Sokovia and the consequences of action. Tony tells him, "If someone died, that's on you. If you died, well, that's on me."
But despite all this, Spider-Man is a hero with heart. The scene when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) trapped Spider-Man under tons of rubble was intense. Holland's performance really accentuates the gravity of the situation. He sounds like your son or nephew crying out for help. But, when he sees his mask and remembers Tony saying, "If you're nothing without this suit, you shouldn't wear it." Its from this that he draws strength and cheers the hero inside of himself on. Such a wonderful scene.
Unlike the other Spider-Man movies, Spidey's eyes are animated so he can emote. In the comics, they did the same which was a nice touch. Also, this costume is closer to the classic costume, including an homage to the original web wings that Steve Ditko designed for the web head.
As with the other Marvel films, Marvel Studios announced that Spider-Man: Homecoming would be like a John Hughes movie. And, amazingly enough, it was. The structure was simple. Awkward kid with special abilities trying to make it through high school. He's got his best friend to support him and a weird girl who gives him a had time. He wants to go to Homecoming dance with his love interest, but it turns out her father is his arch-enemy. Total John Hughes film. They even have a whole "get ready for the Homecoming dance" montage and an homage to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
I loved the diversity of the student body at the school. Back in the 60s, the diversity probably wasn't as great. But, these days, a typical high school in Queens is going to have people of all races.
As an Asian American, I am in love with Peter's best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) who reminded me a lot of me in high school. That geeky kid that thought (and still thinks) Star Wars is cool. Interestingly enough, whether purposely or not, Ned was based on a character named Gahnke from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic which featured Miles Morales as Spider-Man. I'm not sure why they didn't just give him the name. Batalon is hilarious as the "Guy in the chair" and, to me, stole the show.
Liz (Laura Harrier) is the popular girl who Peter is in love with. And, she happens to be a braniac and serves as the captain of the Academic Decathlon. She's very sweet and into Peter as well because he's the smartest guy she knows.
Flash Tompson (Tony Revolori) is the bully. In the comics, he's always been this big blonde football player who bullies Peter Parker. But this Flash Thompson is more like the smart ass who would probably bully you on social media. He punches with words rather than fists.
And, Michelle (Zendaya) is the weird girl. She would be the Ally Sheedy if these kids were in The Breakfast Club. She seems to keep tabs on Peter, perhaps because she has a crush on him. We learn later that her nickname is M.J. which, as we know, is the nickname for Peter's most famous love in the comics Mary Jane. Whether it turns out to be her or not remains to be seen.
This movie also has a new take on Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) who was first introduced in Captain America: Civil War. She is much younger than what we're familiar with in the comics, but it actually makes more sense for his aunt to be younger given Peter's age. While her role is minimal, I enjoyed Tomei's performance in the role.
Now for the Vulture. Wow! Marvel Studios took, perhaps, one of the lamest super villains in comics (he is a bald old man that flew around in a bright green vulture costume) and made him not only one of the coolest villains, but one of the best in terms of story and motivation. From the very beginning of the movie, we get a sense of whom Adrian Toomes is. We see he has a daughter who he loves. He is a regular Joe just trying to make a living and keep his men employed. So, to have everything pulled out from under him, you can understand his motivations. He decides to use reclaimed Chitauri and Ultron tech to build weapons and sell to criminals out there.
He was pretty much keeping everything under the radar until one of his employees got a little cocky and attracted the attention of Spider-Man. Spider-Man's constantly getting in his way and his ability to support his family makes him want to kill him, but becomes indebted to him in because Spider-Man rescued his daughter at the Washington Monument. For Toomes, family means everything.
When I first saw the movie, I was floored when it was revealed that the Vulture was Liz's father. For the next several minutes is a tension that just had you at the end of your seat. They make the whole awkward meeting the dad thing into one of the most intense "fight" sequence. Without punches or super powers, all with looks and words and tone. But, that moment when Toomes realizes who Peter is, Keaton channels his old Batman nemesis in Jack Nicholson's Joker. His expression is terrifying. But, even then, because of his debt, he gives Peter an out to walk away and just have a good time with his daughter at the dance. But, because Peter is a hero, he can't just ignore what the Vulture will do.
My big question is I wonder if, in the mid-credit scene, Toomes feels he still owes Peter a solid for saving his daughter or him at the end and that's why he's not giving his identity away or does he have a nefarious plan of revenge?
I have to point out the giant continuity error in this film. The film is obviously post-Civil War, but we see Happy busy the entire film orchestrating a move from Stark Tower in Downtown New York to a facility in Upstate New York. The thing is that it was already open at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron with Captain America and Black Widow inducting the new members of the team. It was also featured in Ant-Man and Captain America: Civil War, so it doesn't make sense that they were still moving in. But, its definitely not anything that ruins my experience.
There are lots of cameos in this movie. Obviously, Captain America (Chris Evans) has some hilarious cameos in these student instructional films you found so boring in high school. The best one comes at the end credit scene when he talks to us about patience.
Another is Aaron Davis (Donald Glover) who is a criminal in his own right named The Prowler and is also the uncle of Miles Morales, who was first introduced in Ultimate Spider-Man and then was introduced into the regular universe. Davis says he has a nephew, so it will be interesting if they ever introduce Miles in the future.
And then Karen, the artificial intelligence in Spider-Man's suit, is voiced by Jennifer Connelly, the wife of Paul Bettany who is The Vision (and was the voice of JARVIS).
And, finally, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts is back as CEO of Stark Industries and was set to introduce their newest Avengers member to the press, but Peter turned them down. So, it looks like Tony was going to propose to Pepper to give the press something to write about instead.
Stan Lee Cameo: Guy shouting at Spider-Man from the window.
I really enjoyed this movie when I first saw it, but I think I am going to move it up my list. Maybe even in my top 5. The scene when Peter realizes who Toomes is and vice versa and the scene where Peter musters the strength to save himself under tons of rock are such excellent scenes that elevate the film for me.
We're getting close to the end of our marathon. Next film is Thor: Ragnarok!