I strongly believe Spiderman: Homecoming was just okay. And that’s okay!
As an action movie, sure it was entertaining enough, its coming of age elements were spot on, and even as a movie made to fit into the MCU, it was pretty well done, but I’d be willing to bet I wasn’t the only person who left the theater feeling a little short changed.
Maybe I did this to myself; I’d eagerly been waiting to see the web slinger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for literally 10 years. I mean can you blame me? I had to sit through two movies worth of this:
And the time had finally come! We got an awesome taste of what to expect from Civil War, and although the advertising campaign seemed to give a little too much away, everything we’d seen had looked incredible. But when it came time to actually watch the movie, it just wasn’t the story I wanted.
Just humor me here – what would you say are the three biggest character defining moments for Peter Parker; getting bit by the spider, watching Uncle Ben die, and having Aunt May find out that he’s a super hero? Me too! I mean glossing over the whole “ohhhhhh my best friend’s dad is my arch enemy” thing, hell yeah those are Spider-Man’s biggest moments. And did we get any of them in Homecoming? No. Two happen off-screen and one is put in as a joke during the literal last frame of the film.
And besides making a meaningful Spider-Man movie, what about his formal introduction into the MCU? I was excited to see if The Defenders would make an appearance considering both Spidey and the Netflix stars share the same city. I was also curious to see if they would mention the blue gunk that made an appearance on Earth during Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two. But most importantly, I was ready to see how the world is hanging on after the events of Civil War. The advertisements leaned so hard on Robert Downey Jr. so I was really looking forward to seeing how he feels after his fall out with Cap. Did we see any of that? No (well not if you include Hannibal Buress making a joke about Captain America being a war criminal).
A lot of the reasons I wasn’t incredibly happy with Homecoming were the same reasons I wasn’t thrilled with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two either. With Guardians I wanted to see how Thanos was prepping for the inevitable Infinity War, or if Thor or the Hulk would make a surprise appearance as we move into Ragnarok. Instead, writer and director James Gunn gave us a side story about the fairly throw-away villain, Ego.
It wasn’t until my second viewing of both Volume Two, and Homecoming that my mind was changed. Not every single installment into this grand Marvel Cinematic Universe needs to be so epic! Think about where comic books originated from: 25 cent magazines loaded with advertisements geared towards kids about off-the-wall superheroes and their villains. It’s a little weird that today they are cultural cornerstones as is! It’s more than okay to have a side story with its only intention to be a deep dive into a beloved character (in Homecoming’s case, Spider-Man, but for Volume Two, Star-Lord).
Allow me to shift gears and take us over to Warner Brother’s DC Extended Universe. Besides Wonder Woman being a masterpiece, what were the key reasons their previous three movies were slammed by critics? The fact that they took themselves way too seriously. Without giving their audiences any time to breath, they established such a crazy world with infinitely high stakes.
Of course, the DCEU has its fair share of fans, but there is something to be said about Marvel’s approach to things. In the next couple of years, two of the biggest cinematic events will be taking place in Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel, but what separates the two films? Ant-man and the Wasp, staring Paul Rudd.