Benjamin Wollmuth is a lover of literature who enjoys sharing his thoughts on everything from movies and video games to books and music.
Let's Talk About Spider-Man
Before I began, I would just like to say that my choice of choosing to watch Spider-Man: Homecoming after Civil War rather than Black Panther was a completely random one. They roughly take place at the same time, so I really don't think it matters which one you watch directly after Civil War––it shouldn't mess up the chronology. I just really wanted to watch Homecoming again, because, well... it's my favorite Spider-Man movie.
Is that a controversial statement? Maybe. But hear me out.
I am a 19-year-old dude (almost 20) about to begin my second year of college. Growing up, Spider-Man was my favorite superhero besides Batman over at DC. In fact, he still is. The hero had such an impact on me. To me, he was an inspiration. Seeing a young kid like me as a superhero? Hell yeah. Sitting in my room watching Spider-Man: The Animated Series back when I was in elementary school gave me something to look forward to in my future years: what if I could be a hero like him? Okay, that dream died in middle school when I realized stuff like that wasn't real and could never happen. But hey, he was still an inspiration.
Okay, where am I going with this? Basically, I liked Spider-Man––and continued to like Spider-Man––because he was young like me. Now, I don't remember the first time I watched Sam Raimi's Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire. But I do remember watching it again when I was older and getting into reviewing and thinking to myself, Wow, this movie doesn't capture much of the "youth." Why? Because none of the characters look like high schoolers. Not only that, but Tobey Maguire just wasn't the best Spider-Man. To me, he didn't have the wit or funny personality that Spider-Man in the comics had. He was a nerdy Peter Parker, but again, he looked way too old. I will forever love the Raimi films––especially Spider-Man 2––but after seeing the MCU's take on the character, I just can't help but think that Tom Holland is the better one. Then we have Andrew Garfield, who was a funny and witty Spider-Man but was too cool to be a good Peter Parker... and his movies are pretty meh.
Then I saw Civil War. I saw Tom Holland and how young he looked; how young he sounded; how much youth he brought to the character... and I loved it. And then I saw Homecoming, and...
Tom Holland ultimately became my favorite Spider-Man
The film was able to do what prior Spider-Man films failed to do: showcase the youth. As I said, the fact that Spider-Man is so young is why I started to love him in the first place. Tom Holland is young, looks young, and is therefore perfect for the role in my eyes. He has wit. He has nerdy vibes. He is everything I want Spider-Man to be.
Not only did Tom Holland become my favorite on-screen Spider-Man, but Homecoming became my favorite live-action Spider-Man film. Homecoming features an entire cast of actors and actresses that actually look like high schoolers. They cast a younger Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) to better fit the younger-looking Peter. They incorporated a lot of awkwardness that is very prevalent in high school. It feels like a high school movie, which is perfect for a hero who is depicted in the comics as a high school student.
On the other side of things, we have many who can argue that Iron Man being in the film took the focus away from Spider-Man. I can understand why some would be upset with that. However, I liked it. Before the MCU, we had two other incarnations of the titular hero, each focusing on the hero himself rather than the world around him because he was the only hero in his world. That is not the case for Homecoming, where Spider-Man is part of a much larger universe. This, in my opinion, is a much-needed change of pace. I personally don't think that Iron Man takes focus away from Spider-Man. I strongly believe that Stark's mentorship to Peter will make Spider-Man a great leader for a future Avengers team. Spider-Man isn't the strongest hero in his universe, and Marvel understands that. They want to allow him to fit into this universe they created even when there are many heroes and villains out there much bigger than Spider-Man. Heck, by the end of the movie he proves to Stark that he can be a hero on his own. So no, I do not dislike the mentorship. I do not think Stark takes away any focus. I think he is needed to help this new Spider-Man acclimate himself into this larger universe. The fact that Marvel is able to do this while also capturing the youth that Spider-Man in the comics had is, to me, amazing.
But now let's talk about the villain...
Now, I've talked a lot about pettiness in my Infinity Saga chronological reviews, and while Adrian Toomes can come off as just another petty villain at first, he actually has a way better motive than, say, Aldrich Killian. Killian got ignored, but still managed to grow rich and powerful. However, even after that, he still wanted to be a villain because Stark made him petty. Toomes, on the other hand, lost his freaking job because Stark wanted to take care of the issue himself. He was kicked to the side and left with no way to make money. So, he becomes a villain. And while I disagree with villainy and think that no reason is a good reason to become bad, I can understand why he would want to go bad, especially since he had the Chitauri tech to do it.
And can I just mention how insane the reveal was when we find out Adrian is Liz's dad? I don't think anyone saw that coming, and it makes it a lot harder for Peter to fight him.
Also, what perfect casing. I got Batman and Spider-Man––my two favorite heroes––in the same movie together. I couldn't ask for anything better. All jokes aside, Keaton is truly menacing and is definitely one of the most memorable villains in the MCU.
I know a few people who prefer Maguire over Holland, and that's awesome. I can understand why they do. However, I stand by my opinion that Holland is the better Spider-Man. He fits my personal preferences in who the character of Spider-Man should be. Homecoming captures the youth that made me fall in love with Spider-Man in the first place. The film also manages to create a highly memorable villain. I am just so glad Marvel was able to use Spider-Man in their universe. Sony seems to be getting the animated stuff right, but I think live-action Spider-Man definitely needed some help.
Look, I know I've been giving high ratings to the MCU films I've talked about so far, but I just love them so much. I recognize that there are flaws––I do have a critical eye––but I just get too excited when watching superhero films. I may be 19, but I'm a child at heart. Giving all these high ratings won't help me when I rank these puppies, either, but I guess I'll focus on that when the time comes. Therefore, I will be giving Spider-Man: Homecoming a 9.5/10.
Check my previous MCU review!
- 'Captain America: Civil War' - Infinity Saga Chronological Reviews
This is a review for "Captain America: Civil War," which contains spoilers for the film and the MCU as a whole.
© 2020 Benjamin Wollmuth
Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 12, 2020:
Well presented. Nice.