A complete waste of your time and money.
Film Review © 2017 by Trip Reynolds
Action/Drama/Science Fiction/Comics Book Superhero
Directed by Jon Watts; Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers; Screen story by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. "Spider-Man" created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. "Captain America" created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.
Starring: Tom Holland (as a wimpering Spider-Man/Peter Parker), Michael Keaton (who's on screen presence literally stole the show, as the villian "Vulture," a.k.a. Adrian Toomes); Robert Downey Jr. (as "Iron Man," a.k.a. Tony Stark); Maria Tomei (as Peter Parker's whatever, May Parker), and Jon Favreau (Tony Stark's personal assistant, Happy Hogan), Gwyneth Paltrow (as Tony Stark's girlfriend, Pepper Potts), Jacob Batalon (as Peter Parker's "politically correct" overweight Asian best friend, Ned), Laura Harrier (as Spider-Man's "politically correct" Black pseudo-girlfriend, Liz), Donald Glover (as a stereotypical Black criminal), and a robust supporting cast which really doesn't matter whatsoever.
Here again we have another unnecessary, poorly scripted, ugly re-boot of a Marvel Cinematic Universe film franchise. With the exception of every scene featuring Michael Keaton, (1) this film is bereft of entertainment and excitement, (2) it greatly deviates from the comic book source material, and (3) in an on-going effort to appear "politically correct," it panders to patronizing images and dialogue.
The story in a nutshell: Spider-Man has to defeat a winged villian, the Vulture, who uses alien technology to sustain his criminal enterprise. That said, it's the perfunctory practice for "superhero" films to use special effects to drive the storyline; so "Spider-Man: Homecoming" offers absolutely nothing new in this regard. Spider-Man swings, he jumps, he climbs, yada, yada, yada. Consequently, given the heavy reliance on special effects the film should have, must have an intriguing script to lift the film from a state of mediocrity. The three-(3) films with Toby Maguire as Spider-Man successfully provided a positive synergy between story and special effects, while also being very faithful to the comic book source material.
Conversely, this re-boot completely ignores any synergy between story and special effects, and particularly annoying, the film abandons the comic book source material.
- Contrary to this film, Iron Man had absolutely nothing to do with Spider-Man's origin; Tony Stark did NOT design Spider-Man's suit/costume; and even as a high school student, Peter Parker excelled as a science student and became an accomplished scientist. Given Tony Stark's presence throughout, the film should have been titled, "Iron Man Butts In," instead of "Spider-Man: Homecoming." Plus, most importantly, Spider-Man's greatest power is not his ability to swing from building to building, or to stick to almost any surface, but his greatest power is his "spider-sence," which functions as a warning system to enable him to accurately anticipate danger. In this film, Spider-Man's "spider-sense" is ignored and replaced by a high tech suit designed by Tony Stark. This is blatantly contrary to the comic book source material, it makes Spider-Man less powerful by ignoring his "spider-sense." As detailed in the Marvel Universe Wiki: His spider-sense provides an early warning detection system linked with his superhuman kinesthetics, enabling him the ability to evade most any injury, provided he doesn't cognitively override the autonomic reflexes. Spider-Man's powers are greater than Tony Stark's high tech web suit, which he does not need, and Stark's technology encumber Spider-Man's physical powers and intellect. Equally insulting, script has Tony Stark and Happy Hogan constantly degrading and belittling Peter Parker's powers and intellect; and script ignores Peter Parker's own scientific brilliance and especially his creativity as an accomplished inventor. Here again, the Spider-Man films featuring Toby Maguire are superior.
- With this re-boot, Peter Parker doesn't have an "Aunt May," instead absent is any respect for the values of and salutation given to an "older generation." Therefore, Peter Parker is just living with someone named "May Parker." Here again, the Spider-Man films featuring Toby Maguire are superior.
- There's absolutely nothing wrong with interracial relationships, AND equally important, there's absolutely nothing wrong with relationships between two people who share the same race. This film completely ignores the "foundation" that defined when, how, and where Peter Parker established relationships with Mary Jane Watson (or Gwen Stacy), and instead, as with Marvel's lousy reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise, this film manufactured a "politically correct" token pseudo-relationship with a tall Black female student who clearly lacked any on-screen chemistry with Peter Parker. As with casting an overweight Asian geek as Peter Parker's stereotypical best friend, this film panders to patronizing "racial images," which is not only an unnecessary distraction but insulting. Why is this an issue? The "whitewashing" in film is an accepted Hollywood casting practice where White actors are cast in historically non-white roles, such as Elizabeth Taylor as the Black queen Cleopatra, or Chuck Connors as legendary Native American Chief Geronimo. To reverse this practice is just as insulting. In 2018 Marvel will release the "Black Panther," which is a story about the highly advance and technically superior Kingdom of Wakanda, a race of Black people who've intentionally hidden their existence from the world (i.e., White people). Given that the Wakanda's are Black people, it's NOT "politically correct" but "racist" to cast White people in roles that are inherently defined for Black actors or other people of color. Likewise, it's equally racist to cast Black actors in roles inherently defined for White actors. The aforementioned is not a racist statement, because like it or not, the "inner circle" for an individual's professional and personal relationships are primarily defined by an individual's race, sex, and location. And yes, there are some exceptions, such as casting Laurence Fishburne as Perry White in the Superman film franchise, because it's "possible" but highly unlikely, but possible that a Black man could rise to become the editor and chief of a "major metropolitan newspaper." Here again, being faithful to the comic book source material, the Spider-Man films featuring Toby Maguire are superior.
Spider-Man Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man 3 The Amazing Spider-Man The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Spider-Man Homecoming
Released 2002 Running Time 121 minutes Budget $139 million Box Office $822 million Bottom Line Very Successful
Released 2004 Running Time 127 minutes Budget $200 million Box Office $784 million Bottom Line Successful
Released 2007 Running Time 139 minutes Budget $258 million Box Office $891 million Bottom Line Very Successful
Released 2012 Running Time 136 minutes Budget $200 million Box Office $758 million Bottom Line Successful
Released 2014 Running Time 142 minutes Budget $200 million Box Office $709 million Bottom Line Under performed
Released 2017 Running Time 133 minutes Budget $175 million Box Office $572 million Bottom Line Under performed
As documented by the above graph, films starring Tobey Maguire generated much greater revenue than the two re-boots with Garfield and Holland. Nevertheless, despite diminshing returns, yet another re-boot-based sequel is planned for release on July 5, 2019. Why? Back in August 1962, Marvel writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko created "Spider-Man," and the Marvel archive literally has thousands and thousands of stories that easily function as better source material than the uninspiring script-by-committee-of-six who wrote this film. Instead, of re-booting this franchise, re-cast Toby Maguire as Spider-Man and use the original Spider-Man comic book series "Marvel Team-Up" (#1 through #150, from March 1972 to February 1985) as the source material for all films. There's a much greater depth and maturity to Peter Parker/Spider-Man in this comic book series.
The acting performances in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" are solid. The single standout is Michael Keaton, who literally steals every scene he's in. Against an onslaught of mediocrity, Keaton singularly makes the film worth watching. As usual, film ends with a pretentious, over-the-top pseudo-climatic battle. Yawn.
Film features uneventful color-by-number direction by Jon Watts. Film has slow, boring running length of 133 minutes, and due to the lousy script, this made-for-tv film should have been trimmed by at least 43 minutes.
Recommendation: Again, go buy "Spider-Man" films starring Tobey Maguire (as Spider-Man). You can buy a box set of all three films at Walmart for only $8.67.