13 Things to Love About SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

Seen it? It was cool, right? Well, here’s what we thought really stood out…

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Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is back where he belongs…in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here are 13 things I loved about the long-awaited Spider-Man: Homecoming.

And if your Spidey-Sense is tingling, it’s because there are SPOILERS AHEAD!

1. Tom Holland. Holland made an…amazing debut as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, and he ably fills the screen as the star of his own movie. No slights intended toward Nicholas Hammond, Tobey Maguire, or Andrew Garfield, but Holland is already my favorite live-action Spidey.

2. Michael Keaton. Amid all the pimply, teenaged faces in Homecoming, I loved looking at Keaton’s leathery mug throughout the movie, especially his best scene, which is…

3. Car Ride to the Dance. As Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture, Keaton gives us a more fully real villain than in most of the previous Marvel Universe films. The look on his face when he pieces together that his daughter’s date and Spider-Man are one and the same reminds me of a similar moment Keaton had in Batman Returns, when Bruce Wayne figures out that the woman he’s dancing with (Michelle Pfeiffer) is Catwoman. Keaton is a fiercely intelligent, reactive actor, so when he gets scenes where his character is figuring something out in front of us, he knocks it out of the park.

4. The Shocker. In addition to the Vulture, we get a glimpse of a goon who decides to call himself Shocker, one of Spidey’s…less renowned bad guys, let’s say. In the next movie, I look forward to appearances from Hammerhead, the Mirage, and Will-O-The-Wisp.

5. “I’m looking at porn.” ‘Nuff Said.

6. There Are Consequences in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. No one expects gritty realism in these Marvel movies, but I liked seeing that the after-effects of these massive Avengers battles are still being felt in the larger world, eight years later.

7. Spidey With His Mask Half Off. For whatever reason, I could watch Spider-Man sitting on a building ledge, eating a churro, as the sun sets, all day. We never get to see these people eat or drink (other than that one trip to the shawarmaplace for the Avengers), so I like these little human moments.

8. Spidey Lifts A Hunk of Junk. In a scene taken directly from a Lee/Ditko classic issue of Spider-Man, our hero has to summon every ounce of strength to free himself from being crushed by tons of rubble. It’s one of the most iconic moments of the character, and it was pulled off with real, er, heft.

9. No Daily Bugle. Don’t get me wrong—I love that whole aspect of the Spider-Man mythos, and J.K. Simmons as JJJ was one of the finest bits of casting ever—but I appreciated that the movie didn’t try and do too much, and jam in every famous Spider-Man supporting player in 133 minutes.

10. Coach Wilson. Comedian Hannibal Buress gets a couple of hilarious one-liners as the endlessly bored Coach Wilson. After showing his class one of Captain America’s PSAs, he mentions the Star-Spangled Avenger “being a war criminal, or something” and in detention he doesn’t bother to stop the tape of Cap, allowing his lectures to roll on, appropriate of the audience or not. I had teachers like that.

11. The Final Scene. Recalling the go-for-broke final scene of Iron Man, this film detonates the long-held trope that Peter has to constantly hide his Spider-Man identity from Aunt May. Cutting just as she blurts out the F-word was a great way to end the movie.

12. The DIY End Credits. Set to a song by the Ramones (not, strangely, their cover of the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon theme song), they had a scrappy energy that recalls the slick graphics usually seen at the end of the other Marvel movies, but done in a cheaper, drawn-on-notebook-paper style more according to Peter Parker’s limited budget.

13. Captain America’s PSAs. I love that my whole theater waited to see the final post-credits scene, only for Captain America to break the fourth wall a bit, Ferris Bueller-style, none-too-subtly suggesting we wasted our time. I’d like to see more of this kind of thing in future Marvel movies.

While I didn’t think Spider-Man: Homecoming was perfect, it underscores something we all knew — that Spidey belonged back in the hands of Marvel. Let’s hope the House of Ideas can work out similar deals for the Fantastic Four, the X-Men and whatever other characters of theirs that might be floating around in contractual limbo.

Rob Kelly is a writer/artist/comics and film historian. He is the co-host of Aquaman and Firestorm: The Fire and Water Podcast, the host of The Film and Water Podcast, and the host of TreasuryCast. He wants a Spider-Buggy in the next movie.

You can Rob’s REEL RETRO CINEMA columns here.

For the complete SPIDER-MAN WEEK INDEX of features, click here!

Author: Dan Greenfield

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1 Comment

  1. Seeing a teenage boy fighting crime in his mentor’s high-tech, skin-tight suit for two hours really made me pine for a Batman Beyond movie, especially with this cast.

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