Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily the
cutest (damn you Baby Groot!) most innocent movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unless your heart is made out of coal, it’s hard not to be charmed by the film’s “Aw Shucks” attitude. The captivating innocence is created by a combination of an inexperienced hero that’s eager to please, an idyllic high-school setting, and a wonderfully wholesome actor. In many ways, Spider-Man: Homecoming is the MCU equivalent of Glee (as a Gleek, I consider this an excellent thing).
Show choir analogies aside, Spider-Man: Homecoming is flat-out good and loads of fun. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is objectively one of the best MCU movies. Many geek tastemakers consider it one of the best superhero movies ever made. While I absolutely agree with that opinion, I’ve rewatched Captain America: Civil War much, much more. Civil War isn’t as good as The Winter Soldier, but it’s way more fun. What impressed me about Spider-Man: Homecoming was that it’s a top-tier MCU movie that’s also highly rewatchable. Prior to seeing this movie, I considered Guardians of the Galaxy to have the best blend of quality and rewatchability, as far as MCU movies go. Well move over Star Lord, because Spidey just stole your throne.
Whether you’re a hardcore comics nerd or someone with a marginal interest in teenagers that have been bitten by radioactive spiders, I highly recommend Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s a great superhero movie that will enchant you with its innocence.
Now it’s time for some random thoughts on the movie, using the RPadTV battle-tested binary system. (That’s your cue to use your web shooters to craft yourself an arachnid spoiler shield.)
Scope (Good) — I loved how comparatively small the scope of Spider-Man: Homecoming was compared to that of the other MCU movies. There aren’t any global, galactic, or universal threats here. The villain isn’t a demigod or an alien race. Instead, Spidey takes on a disgruntled cleanup demolition crew chief that’s looking to make a buck with tech stolen from the people that wronged him. Hell, most of the movie takes place in Queens — the Garfunkel to Manhattan’s Simon.
Keaton Kills (Good) — Michael Keaton is an American treasure (and not just because of the criminally underrated Gung Ho). From Batman to Birdman to Vulture, he has become a god to comics nerds. His portrayal of the Vulture is his best superhero movie work to date. He absolutely nailed it as the villain you can empathize with.
Awesome Updates (Good) — When Sexy Aunt May debuted in Captain American: Civil War, comics fans knew that Homecoming was going to be a different take on Spidey. The movie is full of wonderful updates to classic Spidey characters. Longtime comics fans know the Vulture as a geriatric villain with a lame costume. Keaton’s Vulture wields menacing tech and has an edge his comics counterpart never had. Old-school Flash Thompson was a white-bread jock that bullied Peter Parker. Homecoming Flash is a Guatemalan-American nerd that bullies Peter. Some purists will scoff at Homecoming’s multicultural updates, but to me it’s an accurate depiction of Queens. I lived in Queens and never understood how Peter’s high school was predominantly white. Guatemalan-American Flash and African-German-Scottish-American MJ are logical modernizations that make sense for Queens.
Parents Just Don’t Understand (Good) — One of the central themes in Spider-Man: Homecoming is Spidey wanting to please his father figures while being dismissed by them. He’s a superhero kid that wants to please his superhero dad (Iron Man) and his superhero dad’s…uh, not-so-super manservant (Happy Hogan). It’s a simple premise that most people can relate to (except maybe for the manservant part).
Tech Soup (Bad) — One of the few things I didn’t like about Spider-Man: Homecoming was his teched-out suit. While comics Peter was always a scientific genius, he never made a blue-and-red equivalent of Iron Man’s armor. In the “Civil War” comics event, he briefly had a red-and-gold tech suit made by Tony Stark that reflected his status as Iron Man’s bitch. I dislike that MCU Spidey is heavy on Stark tech. I don’t want MCU Spidey to be Tony’s bitch.
Nerd Easter Eggs (Good) — The movie had several Easter eggs that comics fans will adore. It was awesome that Aaron Davis was briefly in the movie and that he mentioned his nephew. Comics fans know Aaron as Miles Morales’ uncle. For the non-Spider-Man nerds, Miles is the former star of Ultimate Spider-Man that has been integrated into the mainstream Marvel Universe (Earth 616). The updated suit Tony offers Peter towards the end of the movie looks just like Spider-Man 2099’s suit. The movie even laid the groundwork for future Spidey villains, like Scorpion. Lastly, I couldn’t help but notice the girl with long white hair roaming the halls of Peter’s school. Hopefully that means Black Cat has a future in the MCU.
Hey! Ho! Let’s Go! (Good) — I loved that The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop” was used prominently in the movie. It reflects Spider-Man’s Queens roots, as well as the relative simplicity of the movie’s scope. The Ramones are from Queens and song is four chords.
The More You Know (Good) — Captain America’s public service announcements were brilliant. I would totally buy a Blu-Ray filled with dozens of them.
Pinoy Power (Good) — While his character was more Ganke than Ned, I felt proud watching Jacob Batalon in the movie. Hopefully he becomes the next young Filipino-American star, picking up where Darren Criss left off (yes, I know he’s still working).
Marisa Tomei (Good) — In addition to making Aunt May hot, Tomei closed out the movie with a fantastic line.