mostly talking Spider-Man

10 Jul

Monday mornings definitely leave something to be desired. It’s not that I’m not getting things done, because I actually am today; it’s just a bit of a struggle to have much in the way of investment or motivation. My give-a-shitter, as they say, is broke.

Over the weekend, though, I got some stuff done. Had a couple of nice bike rides, took care of a huge amount of laundry, got some nice stuff at the farmer’s market (though nothing’s in the cards the likes of last weekend where everybody was clamoring for my sweet potato recipes), and of course, saw Spider-Man: Homecoming which was pretty much everything I hoped it would be.

I kind of suspected they were on the right track after Captain America: Civil War, though this film hit all the right tonal notes for me – they finally, after fifteen years of actual films existing (and probably another twenty of trying to get them made based on ideas that rightfully were not made), they finally got it right.

There’s a couple of choices I wouldn’t have made, of course, but overall, this felt like the Spider-Man I grew up being a big fan of, which can’t be said of the previous five films (though each had moments). A lot of that has to do with Tom Holland, who gets both wise-cracking Spider-Man and (more importantly) Peter Parker. He feels real (in this hyper-real movie universe), both as a modern teenager, and as someone who totally buys into “with great power, comes great responsibility” (which isn’t uttered in the film, or the origin more than alluded to briefly – it doesn’t have to be, because this Peter embodies the idea so completely), tries to do the right thing, but doesn’t always get the results he wants in life because of the sacrifices he makes to that ideal.

All the classic “Spider-Man” moments are there, though – the wit, the social struggles, the relationship with May, the summoning of internal fortitude to accomplish a seemingly impossible task, and the personal connection to the adversary, which has always been a Spider-Man hallmark in the comics (at least for Spidey), but is used too much and often badly in superhero films. Avoiding spoilers, this one does it in a way that feels organic and logical and, like everything else, just feels right in line with the definitive Spider-Man tone. I suspect a lot of this has to do with Michael Keaton, who is always great, but really knocks it out of the park here.

The story’s also of the appropriate scale as well – Spidey sort of straddles the line between street-level and universe-leveling, but always works best “closer to the ground”. This plot hit that just about right, while still remaining relevant and connected to the established film universe (in ways that, say, the Neflix series’ haven’t managed to quite yet, given internal Marvel politics). I might have done with a little less of Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark, who’s really not in here all that much, to be honest, but given his current position as the fulcrum of the MCU, has a lot of influence on the proceedings, which makes sense, even if I’m maybe a little weary of Iron Man at the center of almost everything since 2008.

In any case, it’s safe to say I enjoyed it in a way that I haven’t really enjoyed all the other Spider-Man films – sure, it takes liberties (as they all do), but unlike the others- this one really got the character in ways the others didn’t.

Also, it goes without saying – stick around for the post-credit scenes.


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