32. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Director: Jon Watts (Cop Car, Onion News Network tv series)
With Spider-Man getting his THIRD film series in my lifetime, I was both excited and terrified for Spider-Man: Homecoming. I grew up watching Tobey Maguire’s awkward mug skit across my screen, so the Sam Raimi trilogy will always have a special place in my heart. Though Homecoming didn’t have an anthem like ‘Vindicated’ (side note: I’m seeing Dashboard Confessional in concert tomorrow and if they don’t play that song I’m going to demand a refund for my ticket), it did have pretty much… everything else. Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley did fantastic with this screenplay. I think part of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s success has to do with the fact that three Jo(h)ns worked so diligently on it.
I’m so happy I didn’t have to sit through Uncle Ben dying (again) and watch Peter get bitten by some stupid spider (again). Jon, Jon, and John decided to take things in another, more refreshing direction by jumping right in and skipping all that hoopla. I suppose the facts that Spidey made an appearance in Captain America: Civil War and has to tie in with the rest of the current MCU also made a difference. But let’s keep our J-named friends in mind here.
Another refreshing (I’m going to use this word at least one more time sorry not sorry) aspect of this film is the casting. Tom Holland and co look believable as teenagers. I’m sick of seeing people who very much look like they’re in their late twenties play teenagers!!!! Not only does that add an unhealthy expectation to the body images of teens, but I also feel it contributes to sexualization of teenagers. So good job team! Also I was Personally Victimized when Donald Glover was not allowed to audition for Spider-Man in the past, so for him to be in this film felt like some justice had been served.
I took a half point off my rating because Zendaya was oversold for this film and barely had a role (or personality) as MJ. Also because there was like… no artistic vision to me as far as aesthetics are concerned. This could be because I watched Dunkirk the day before seeing this, and it’s totally unfair to compare apples and oranges, but the only creative visual play that stood out to me was the change in aspect ratio when Peter’s “home movie” was playing in the beginning.
Anyway, Spider-Man: Homecoming is as refreshing as the cool side of your pillow. This film could have easily been a disappointment, but instead it performed well beyond expectation with plenty of self-awareness, action, and laughter. It felt true to the Spidey that I love. I’m excited to see what’s to come out of the sequel… hopefully Ned gets to wear more cool hats.