Iron Man in 2008 might have started this epic journey of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but it’s Spider-Man from 2002 who played a crucial part of boosting the new generation of superhero movies. And I couldn’t be happier about the choice. Spider-Man had always been my favorite superhero. He’s just this kid from New York who got great powers and wanted from the bottom of his heart to do some good. Fifteen years, six movies and two reboots later, I think we finally found our Spider-Man. Okay, Tobey and Andrew fans, slowly drop your tomatoes, let me explain.
I loved Tobey’s Spider-Man. He perfectly captured the sincerity and dorkiness that is Peter Parker. He’s adorable and he was capable of making audiences root for him. We are not going to discuss the horridness that was MJ in the trilogy, nor are we discussing the emo dancing scene from the 3rd movie. But the first two movies, especially Spider-Man 2 remains the very best Spider-Man movie ever, and it’s very high up on the best superhero movie list. It was patient and deep character development, we witness the struggle of Spidey and Peter living a double life. Like life itself weren’t bad enough. But those movies, I feel like that in those Spider-Man and Peter Parker were two different people. Spider-Man is known for his talkativeness, he would talk non-stop while fighting a bad guy, much like his comic buddy Merc with a Mouth Deadpool. Of course, Peter is probably less sarcastic and more PG13 but no less humorous than Mr Pool. That part of the Spider-Man didn’t come through at all in the original Spidey series. And no, I simply can’t get over the fact that he is shooting the webs out of his fucking wrists. Apart from that, from the Spidey sense to the incredible action scenes, the original Spider-Man
trilogy 1 and 2 were excellent. And what comes to the movie number 3, man… I don’t know what happened but it was a fucking trainwreck. Thus the fourth movie never happening, thus Sony insultingly rebooting its lucrative franchise merely five years later.
I do not blame them for recasting. Tobey was already 27 when he played Spidey the first time in 2002, although ever the baby face, it would be crazy to have a 37-year-old play Peter Parker the teenager. Entered Andrew Garfield, who was actually 29 when The Amazing Spider-Man came out. You would have thought that Sony would have learned something. No offense to Andrew, he is a brilliant actor. I blame the failure of his Spidey entirely on the writing. Not that the movies are that bad, they were pretty entertaining and the chemistry between Peter and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy was unreal. Of course, dating in real life must have helped. What bothers me the most, apart from making the exact same mistake in the second movie as they did at the 3rd in the originals, was Spider-Man and Peter Parker’s character. Peter Parker was way too cool, albeit a little hermit-ish already in the beginning, defending weaker ones from bullies. But apart from playing the very reluctant looking hero, he was actually an asshole. And it just got blown out of proportion after he got into those blue and red tights. Especially in the scene when he caught a burglar in the parking lot, am I the only one that got a little offended of how they decided to portray the sweet Peter Parker? Like a douche bag wearing a mask, therefore, zero accountability. I like Andrew, I love Emma Stone as always, and I enjoyed the action scenes which look incredible, but I resent what they have done to Spider-Man and Peter.
Then they announced that Spidey is coming home to Marvel, joining the Avengers and that his first outing would be in the Civil War. I have such mixed feelings. My nerdy feelings were hurt. And although I saw that Andrew was not most suitable for Spider-Man, it was still a very shitty thing of Sony to do to cut him loose like that. Those two Spidey movies should never have been made at all. Reuniting Spider-Man with the Avengers should have been in the stars from the get-go. So with careful optimism… hell, I would take just not sucking, I don’t even need him to be good. But he kinda impressed me. Which was unreal now that I think of it, cos we didn’t get to see his face at all in that massive airport fight. But all that talking, that extremely nerdy sense of wonder for everything even during the midst of fighting and explosions… Tom Holland’s Spider-Man brought a strong presence, a very teenager, and very endearing presence. I like him instantly, and although I didn’t want to admit, cos I felt some sense of loyalty to Tobey and Andrew (Tobey mostly), I secretly felt that Tom has been the Spidey I’ve been waiting for.
Then came the time to go watch the movie. Sir Atticus was so reluctant at first to come with me, He had been hurt one too many times by Spidey. But He eventually came with me, and I like to think that He is grateful that I dragged Him to see it. Anyways, Spider-Man: Homecoming… what can I say but welcome home, Peter. I love that Tom Holland was really a teenager. The naivety, the bright eye wonder he portrays so well, I have to wonder how much of it is actually acting. 😀 I mean playing Spider-Man might have been as miraculous as being him. This time around, there weren’t two persons, Spider-Man was Peter Parker and vice versa, and with or without the suit, that fact was very present. It’s him talking non-stop, showing his personality fully, and you can feel his young age showing. From him filming everything and just being a kid. I love it.
They did an outstanding job at building the Peter/Spidey character, as well as the best friend Ned’s character (which I adore btw), but the rest of the bunch needed a little more. Like aunt May. I mean what’s the point to cast the super hot Marisa Tomei if you’re not gonna give it a little more character building. Well, maybe in the next movie. Also, they really tried to give character to the main villain played by the magnificent Michael Keaton. He was intimidating, scary even and so so good at his role. Maybe he’s too good, cos I wanted to get to know him better. Like what he was like before becoming the Vulture, or even the gradual change into the crueler version. I know, the movie was already hella long, and they did make the right choice to focus on Peter.
How about the suit and Tony freaking Starck? Well, they have to tie it to the Avengers somehow and Tony’s presence never bothers me. 😛 And I love Happy, who doesn’t? First I was bothered by the suit’s appearance, it’s a wee bit too bright? I know, nitpicking. But the tech though, after I got used to the thought, it was pretty fucking awesome. Maybe a bit too much, but the suit lady Karen is pretty cool though.
One major problem I had with this otherwise great outing of Spider-Man, is the fights. Not the little fights like the one in the bank quite in the beginning, that was freaking awesome. I’m talking about the big fights, especially the ones with the Vulture. They look so CGI that it was almost painful to watch. Spider-Man movies are always known for their breath-taking fights. Of course there have to be CGI, but when is Hollywood going to learn, that less is more. I mean the less we see, the more we get to see. The CGI used when I can’t tell, that’s where the magic happens.
Oh and lastly, the moment of Spider-Man: Homecoming. You know the moment, right? They are known for in superhero movies. It’s the moment when the world inside or outside the movie or preferably both bend to the side of the hero. Like in the original Spider-Man 2, there was the train scene. You know, the one where Spidey used all his strength to stop the train full of passengers and he did it just before the train would fall off the bridge. And when he himself was about to fall from exhausting, several arms shot out from behind him to catch him and then carrying him rock star style to the safety. At this point, he had lost his mask and all the New Yorkers in the train marveled how young he was and they vowed to keep the secret of his identity. That was a moment. And they attempted it again in the Amazing Spider-Man with the cranes but it wasn’t nearly as effective. So what was the moment in the newest Spidey. This time it was the emotional scene [SPOILER ALERT] where Spider-Man was trapped under the concrete, seemingly impossible amount of concrete. When he failed to get out of it a few times and started to panic, I as an audience started to panic with him. When he yelled out for help, his 15 years of young age so blatantly in display, that scene broke my heart. I got choked up when he cried. It was an extremely hard scene to watch, and that’s when you know they succeeded in making a moment that didn’t require nothing more than a piece of concrete and Tom Holland’s excellently portrayed raw emotions baring his soul. That’s extremely rare in superhero movies, hell, in any movies. And that was the moment, I believe, that got the audience to his side, if they weren’t there already. And like Robert Downey Jr will always be the Iron Man and Hugh Jackman will always be the Wolverine, that moment was when Tom Holland became the Spider-Man.
My IMDb rating: 8 stars out of 10