Thursday, 6 July 2017

'Spider Man: Homecoming' Film Review

It was a rare cinematic moment when the collaboration between Marvel Studios and Sony meant that we could see the friendly neighbourhood hero Spider Man debut in the MCU in Captain America Civil War, with Tom Holland, playing an even younger version than we've seen before. 

Continuing such collaboration in Marvel's Phase 3, Spider Man Homecoming is yet another retelling or reboot of the Spider Man story in what could be another attempt at a trilogy with Holland in the lead. With the reputation of Marvel backing these new Spidey films, success would seem inevitable, but I still felt something was missing from the film.

Returning home from the events of Civil War, Peter Parker (Holland) is thrilled to have been a part of the Avengers, and under the mentorship of Tony (Downey Jr) and Happy (Favreau), expects to be part of more missions soon. But when he is told to keep a low profile, Parker is determined to prove himself by investigating a mysterious group crafting and selling alien weapons.

I loved the opening scenes/ tie in with CA:CW and it gave us a glimpse of the personality of Holland's Parker, and under the Marvel banner, the whole film feels grounded in the MCU, but at times, it feels like the MCU is strangling this reboot of a reboot, through its cameos and through the overarching power struggle between Iron Man and Peter. 

Whilst the themes of Tony acting as a father figure are hinted at, this dynamic is never fully realised, and could have been explored further. Instead, Stark feels more like a 'boss', controlling what Spidey can and can't do. The reasoning behind this power struggle is also thin. It doesn't seem likely that the whole conglomerate of Stark industries would ignore Peter's discovery of alien weapons on the black market. 

Additionally, the costs of Peter's high school life also never fully feels worthwhile. You don't truly care for any of his 'friends', other than Ned, and his relationship with Liz never truly develops, undermined by the fact that Zendaya's Michelle should really be the true star in the series.

Whilst I tried to watch this for what it is, it is difficult not to compare it to the five Spider Man films that came before this. And the biggest problem for me with Homecoming is that Holland lacks truly deep relationships with its other characters for there to be an emotional cost. The cost of losing Aunt May, Liz, Ned. . . should be the driving force behind Peter's actions- to protect them. Instead, Peter is driven by a [selfish?] desire to join the Avengers, to be part of the Team, ignoring those that he should care about.

That said, this version of Spider Man definitely had some of the coolest tech, and though it lacked such iconic scene as Spiderman's upside down kiss, it does make reference to it. Additionally, the Staten Island Ferry action sequence was pretty darn great. 

Tom Holland- Peter Parker/ Spider Man
Robert Downey Jr- Tony Stark/ Iron Man
Marisa Tomei- Aunt May
Michael Keaton- Adrian Toomes

Also stars Jon Favreau, Zendaya with cameos from Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Evans.

~~~OVERALL 7/10~~~
Spider Man: Homecoming is firmly rooted within the MCU, even if it does feel slightly strangled by Iron Man's constant interference. Whilst Holland brings a younger fresher take on Spider Man, there is a lack of emotional cost to the film that sees Peter focus more on proving himself than on protecting the people around him. 

On a side note, that ending cameo from Gwyneth Paltrow was a sure highlight of the film, and what the MCU failed to do in 3 Iron Man movies, finally delivered the fan service in few minutes of Spider Man, again as great as this scene was, sort of stole some of Spidey's thunder.

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