Spidey’s razor-sharp wit saves this reboot
Review: Spider-man: Homecoming
(M) Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover
Superhero movies are like desserts. There’s a sugar rush when your favourite hero flies in— cue the explosions, the sweetness of a love interest and finally the defeat of villains with tantalising special effects. The whole experience leaves you satisfied; of course there are some exceptions. But even with the best desserts, when you indulge too much and all the time, your stomach begins to turn and the mere thought of it will give you a gag reflex.
That’s why it’s a shame Spider-Man: Homecoming had to come out in a film climate saturated with superhero movies that have left most audiences with, well, a stomach ache.
This latest offering tries to ease the pain and its biggest triumph is the casting of Tom Holland (The Impossible), who was first introduced as young Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War. It feels like Marvel has finally found a Parker that is truer to the comic books and cartoons. The energy, enthusiasm and comedy Holland brings are all the elements lost on previous Spideys played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield.
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Parker struggles to come down from the high and excitement of the Civil War. He thinks he is ready to really be part of The Avengers team, not walk the halls of high school and try (and fail) to muster up the courage to talk to his crush. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) acts as a distant mentor and tries to keep Parker grounded, literally. The dynamic between the two translates well throughout the film and audiences can easily connect with the tough love and almost father-son relationship.
Still Spidey finds a way to prove himself by trying to bring down a ring of arms dealers headed by the flying villain Vulture (Michael Keaton). Vulture and his crew aren’t selling just any weapons, but weapons powered by the alien power sources left over from the carnage of Civil War. Parker quickly learns that he is in way over his head and has to deal with the fatal consequences of taking on more than he can handle.
Keaton (Spotlight) was let down by the script. You could see he was grasping for something tangible to convince the audience and himself that his villain character was worth a whole movie to be centered upon him. He ultimately fell short.
The story could have ended at the one hour mark and the rest of Homecoming might have been a drag, if it wasn’t for the comedy relief managing to pull the audience through to the end. And by the credits, can we say that this was Spidey’s most epic adventure? No, but Homecoming does pave the way to show the growth of Parker’s friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. With Holland in the red and blue suit, it’s a journey that fans will continue to follow.
Spider-Man emulates what we all go through, wanting to prove ourselves and forge forward. Parker struggled with knowing his limits and the fear of admitting them. This is something that can be true for both teenagers and adults. In the film, there also is focus upon the essence of having patience and being open to guidance. These same things can be said to apply to our own spiritual lives.
Maybe we know our path or we are lost but, either way, we all need some guidance – and you don’t have to look further than the Scripture in James 1:5-6. Unlike reboots, reading and finding new understandings of the Good News never gets old (no matter where you are in your spiritual journey).
Hollywood won’t be stopped from bringing out more superhero films and, in the middle of watching this Spider-Man reboot, don’t be surprised if you catch yourself thinking excitedly (or with dread) about the next Avengers movie. That’s the thing with dessert – there’s just that tiny bit of you that will still crave it. Luckily for you and me, Hollywood already has that covered and we won’t have to wait long to be sucked back into the Marvel universe.
Oh and like all Marvel films make sure you stay around for Homecoming‘s end-of-film credits.