Spider-Man Homecoming was a nice surprise to introduce the web slinger into the MCU capturing the spirit of the classic character while giving him new life. It certainly provides an enjoyable and engaging narrative but in giving its new life there are definitely some flaws. This article takes a look at the greatest aspects and flaws of Spider-Man Homecoming.
Great Aspect: Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
This was an enjoyable casting and Holland has some great chemistry with his fellow stars. He’s a believable high school student and actually FEELS like a nerd in that while he is somewhat of a dork, he actually has friends that are fellow nerds. That is something that lacked in the Rami movies. Holland’s performance captures the excitement being a superhero, the prospect of being an Avenger, and being a kid perfectly. And what makes it so enjoyable is that through all this excitement, it gives some layers to Peter in that he is still just a kid and has limitations that he’s not fully aware of. In having great power, he doesn’t fully understand the great responsibility to the people and things around him and it results in some legitimate consequences. But as the film furthers Peter understands the great power and great responsibility he has which makes his decision at the end, although predictable, all the more moving. He understands that being an Avenger and Spider-Man is not what makes him. It’s him that makes him being Spider-Man and (eventually) an Avenger. This movie is a great example of showing the classic “with great power comes great responsibility” by showing it in practice as a coming of age story without actually saying it. Peter’s decision at the end to go after Toomes and leave Liz shows that through all that shows that in keeping to his roots, he can’t have it all. In including Peter into the MCU and tying in good couple of longtime MCU heroes, the movie still focuses on Peter and the troubles he’s going through.
Great Aspect: The villain
Michael Keaton as the Adrian Toomes the Vulture is easily one of the greatest MCU villains out there. While he looked fine in the costume the greatness of his character comes more from him being human. He’s not being villainous just to take over the world: He’s a relatable character in that was completely screwed over by the rich and powerful and is just trying to do his best to provide for his family. On top of that he’s an honorable man. He gives Peter a chance to walk away for saving his daughter’s life and protects his identity while in prison as a thanks for Peter saving him. The twist of him turning out to Liz’s father is an amazing scene, as at first it seemed like they were going to go the usual trope of him having found out who Peter is and is holding Liz and her family hostage. But as realization dawns upon Peter and Toomes puts two and two together through Liz’s details as he drives them both to the dance you can’t help but feel the same horror and helplessness Peter is feeling and it culminates in an amazing conversation between the two.
Great Aspect: Ned
Jacob Batalon gave some brought some amazing excitement in this role and will no doubt continue to do so in the future. While he finds out Peter’s secret pretty early on, it helps further their friendship and supplies a great deal of comedy and fun in him getting to be a major part of Peter’s journey all culminating with him getting to be “the guy in the chair.” For me what makes Ned better than Harry Osborn, is that he feels like a legitimate friend on the same level as Peter. Yes they fight crime together but also do other dorky activities together as well. He’s not a best friend meant as a means to framing a villain, which gives more time to enjoy their friendship.
Great Aspect: A nice slice of life
The montage with Peter going around as Spidey in the first third and Peter’s life at school and home gives a good insight into life as Spider-Man being a friendly neighbor. Yes he’s a hero in that he stops crimes like bike thieves and mistakenly stopped someone he thought was a car thief but also shows himself as a friend to the people by doing stunts for fans and helping an old lady out with directions. Stuff like this is what being Spider-Man is all about. It’s the little things he does that define him. As Peter we get some insight into his life at school and his classmates, his love interest in Liz, the people he befriends, his relation with Aunt May, etc. Does it fully delve into the depth of some of these things? No. But as I stated before, hopefully as the films continue, they can work backwards into some of them.
Great Aspect: The romance
While not fully explored and nowhere near well executed into unlike Peter and Gwen in the Amazing movies, Peter’s love interest Liz still proves to be a moderately interesting and likable character. The romance isn’t too cheesy or too awkward nor is it too dramatic. It’s a believable first high school romance for a believable high school. While it ends on a tearful note, it shows that while Peter has come of age as a superhero he still has yet to come of age as Peter. And this hopefully will give way to a more in-depth romance. Can Peter involve a romantic partner in his life of being a hero? If so how will she play to it?
Great Aspect: The fun
You can debate whether or not this is the best Spider-Man movie but it is easily the most fun Spider-Man movie out there. This movie knows how to provide enjoyment and energy in its scenarios and in its character. Yet at the same time in its own way, it gives just enough time to let its own emotional or heavy moment sink in. When the emotional and heavy moments do have to happen, it doesn’t happen out of nowhere. It feels like a genuine aftermath of dealing with the consequences of being a hero.
Major flaw: The hi-tech suit
To be fair this is something that makes sense given the way they’ve used Stark to introduce Spidey. Sometimes the hi-tech features can work such as the ability to take the suit off rather quickly by pressing the emblem, some of the web-shooter combinations, a utility belt to store spare web fluid, web wings for gliding, video footage, a communications system, or eye lenses to help him with the stimuli or allowing him to encase an environment. But then you have things like spider homing beacon and a reconnaissance drone, which really feel much more distant from what being Spider-Man is all about and makes him too dependent. In regards to Karen the AI, that comes down to personal preference. Personally while it is distant from being Spider-Man the two do have an enjoyable friendship and it’s nice for him to have someone he can fully open up to. A smart way to improve on this in the sequels would be to have Peter gradually modify the suit taking out some parts and keeping others. Save some features for when he officially becomes Iron Spider.
Major flaw: The action
This is a disappointing aspect of the movie that hopefully improves in the sequels. Stuff like the Washington Monument scene, the ferry scene, and the final battle while they are engaging it more comes from the characters rather than the action. The action is rather lackluster, looks fake at certain moments, and it doesn’t feel nearly as intense as those from the original Rami trilogy.
Major flaw: Trying too much to earn Stark’s approval
While Tony Stark as a mentor figure to Peter is great and truly showcases the Stark’s development in addition to an amazing father/son relationship between the two, Peter’s desire to do it just so he can get a bigger mission from Stark, really overshadows Peter’s main motivation of doing what he does because when he can and doesn’t and bad things happen it’s because of him. Thankfully the movie would come back to the roots of Peter’s actions and follow through with them in the last third. Hopefully in future, movies can use these roots to work backwards craft more of the character’s layers such as his relations to the classic characters.
Are there any other great aspects or major flaws? Any you agree or disagree with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.