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‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ Review: Well, At Least It’s Better Than ‘Spider-Man 3.’

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming Review: Well, At Least It’s Better Than Spider-Man 3.

Tom Holland is the third actor in fifteen years to play the world famous web-slinger. I wasn’t sure how I felt about Holland as the new and younger Spider-Man but I was willing to give him a shot. Holland was first introduced as Spider-Man in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. After seeing Civil War, I knew I needed to see more of the character before I could honestly judge Holland’s take on Peter Parker and Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Homecoming opens eight years prior to the events of Captain America: Civil War. We are introduced to Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a blue collar electronics engineer, whose job is unexpectedly terminated leaving him no choice but to turn to a life of crime. Now, eight years later, Adrian runs a successful underground alien weapon business and has created a suit that turns him into a metal bird-like creature known as Vulture. Meanwhile, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has been recruited by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and is struggling to find a balance between his complicated teenage life and being Spider-Man.

For the majority of the film, Peter is trying to impress Tony Stark with the hopes that one day he will become a member of the Avengers. Peter feels that the only way he can prove his worth to Tony is to stop crime from happening all across the city. While trying to be the best neighborhood Spider-Man that he can be, Spider-Man stumbles upon Toomes’ men selling illegal alien firearms. Feeling determined that he can take down Toomes/ Vulture and his operation, Peter recruits his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) to deactivate the GPS tracker from his Spider-Man suit which unlocks all of the suit’s advanced features.

I can understand why some people were upset about rebooting the franchise again especially since it was just rebooted in 2012. The truth is people love their superhero movies and Spider-Man is without question a fan favorite. Homecoming starts off strong with a great introduction to Toomes but quickly gets lazy, uninspired, and repetitive. I had so many issues with this film that unless this 1500-word review somehow becomes a 3000-word review, I probably won’t touch upon everything that I disliked about it. With that being said, I will try my absolute hardest to point out the major issues and why I felt they didn’t work.

Spider-Man

Spider-Man: Homecoming attempts to be a John Hughes movie whenever the story focuses on its high school characters or setting. You can tell this was something that Sony and Marvel Studios were very proud of since it was part of their marketing campaign. They released a teaser trailer and a photo that paid homage to The Breakfast Club. The attempt to recreate what made John Hughes films so great felt incredibly forced. It was so obvious that the writers were doing it that there was nothing clever about it. The film even shows a clip of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when Spider-Man is running through the neighborhood. It was almost like the writers didn’t think the audience would be able to connect the dots so they had to show a clip that implied, “Hey look stupid, Spider-Man is doing the same thing that Ferris Bueller did.” There was absolutely no need for this clip to be shown. If younger audiences didn’t get the reference, parents could have easily explained the scene but I doubt it would even have come up in the first place.

One of the big things about this film is how diverse the cast is. A typical high school in New York City looks exactly like the young cast in the film. While I am glad that almost every nationality that comes to mind appeared in the film, it doesn’t dismiss the fact that their characters all lacked development. To be honest, all the high school characters are either one-dimensional or a stereotype. Tony Revolori’s Flash is just a bully for the sake of being a bully. He constantly mocks Peter and called him Penis Parker (how clever *sigh*). Liz played by Laura Harrier has zero chemistry with Holland despite being his love interest. Harrier as a character is nothing more than the pretty girl in high school and is never developed any further than that. 

Ned is the annoying fat friend who just so happens to be a genius. Ned hacks Tony Stark’s computer system which just felt incredibly formulaic and unbelievable. In fact, I found Ned as a character to be super annoying and irritating to watch and listen to. I pretty much hated every moment he was on screen which unfortunately was quite often. There is a scene where Ned is hacking into Peter’s phone and a teacher walks in and asks what he is doing. Ned responds with “looking at porn.” I seriously cringed and looked at my wife rolling my eyes immediately afterward.

There are a lot of other students in the film but again nothing about them stand out so it would be a waste of time to mention all of them specifically. The only student that I enjoyed besides Peter was Zendaya as Michelle. She was spunky and entertaining. I loved her sarcastic tone and felt as a character she deserved more screentime. There is something that happens with Michelle towards the end of the film which hints at her being a bigger part of the sequel. If Zendaya keeps playing Michelle, the way she played her in Homecoming, I am sure she will quickly become one of my favorite characters in the sequels. 

The film attempts to be funny but rarely did I find myself laughing. The writers attempt to make a joke and instead of doing it just once, they proceed to do it over and over again. There are multiple PSA videos that feature Captain America. I get that the writers thought they were being clever by incorporating Captain America into the story but honestly, these PSA videos were lame and just a lazy way that the writers could remind audiences that they were watching a film that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Very early on in the film, Tony Stark assigns Happy Hogan to look over Peter because he obviously doesn’t have the time or patience to babysit a 15-year-old. Peter calls and texts Happy quite often and every single time Happy is shown, he is annoyed with Peter. This happens easily five times throughout the film. It wasn’t funny the first time and it certainly wasn’t funny the fifth time. Another example of this is Peter’s best friend Ned who keeps trying to get Peter to tell him things about Spider-Man even though Peter repeatedly requests that he is not allowed to answer any questions.

The story and characters lack logic and common sense. Peter is a sophomore in high school but randomly disappears periodically throughout the day. Where are the teachers? Why does no one seem to notice that Peter randomly disappears beside Liz?  Let me not forget to mention that people like Tony Stark and Happy Hogan just randomly show up and talk to Peter in public areas. Like no one is wondering why these people are on school property or why Tony Stark is talking to a 15-year-old boy? I understand that I am not supposed to over analyze these types of films but the way that the writers tell this story makes it seem as though everyone around Peter is either blind or stupid. There is even a scene where Peter walks into an alleyway and changes into his Spider-Man costume in the middle of the day in New York City.

Spider-Man’s costume looks old school and I liked the look of the suit. This version of the Spider-Man suit looked like the first of many more advanced suits to come. What I didn’t like about the suit was the voice operator that Peter names Caren. Why is it that every film nowadays has to have some sort of computer system that reminds the audience of Siri or Alexa? I thought the whole general idea behind Spider-Man was him learning how to use the suit and discover the powers. Now, the writers cheapen it by giving Spider-Man a guiding voice that can help him learn his suit and provide him information. This sucked a lot of the fun out of Peter trying to use the unlocked features in his suit. There is never any real sense of danger in this film because someone is always there watching over Peter.

The visuals effects in Spider-Man: Homecoming aren’t up to Marvel movie standards. If you look at all my previous Marvel reviews, I always praise the visuals and say that Marvel and Disney continue to up the ante in the visual department. The effects in Spider-Man: Homecoming are ok but lack the gusto of the previous films. The non-action sequences are well shot but the action scenes felt more like watching a video game than an actual movie. The scene where this sticks out the most is the face-off between Spider-Man and Vulture at the end. In a lot of ways, the effects feel dated.

I do agree that Tom Holland playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man is a good casting choice. My issue isn’t with Holland but how poorly written the character is. It is like Holland was trying to deliver a well-rounded performance but the writers didn’t give him much to work with. I feel bad bashing this film because Holland does seem like a talented young actor who brought a sort of childlike sense of wonder to the web slinger that we have never seen before. I just can’t ignore the fact that the material he was given wasn’t good. Holland does have some moments where he shines above the script but sadly these moments are few and far between. I can only hope that Infinity War and the Spider-Man sequels are better written and help showcase Holland’s untapped talent. He does make a great Spider-Man/Peter Parker and I hope within his next few appearances, he gets to shine.

My favorite thing about Spider-Man: Homecoming without question is Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes. Keaton is just a skilled actor that stood out every time he was on-screen. He somehow managed to stand out even with the little character development he was given. Keaton’s performance is great and deserved a much better film. He is one of the better Marvel villains and stood out among the rest of the film. It almost felt at times like Keaton was in a completely different movie. I guess it shows that a great veteran actor can outshine even the weakest of scripts as long as he is passionate about the project.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is better than Spider-Man 3 but not by much. Holland and Keaton try their best but the film’s script is the biggest issue. The six writers try so hard to make Spider-Man: Homecoming into a John Hughes film but they don’t seem to understand why his films are so timeless in the first place. Hughes created likable and relatable characters that stood the test of time. Besides Peter, the high school characters aren’t anything more than one-sided caricatures of what the writers believe high schoolers are like today. They lack character development and aren’t amusing to watch. Spider-Man: Homecoming proves why Disney needs to be involved with Marvel projects. They might follow a formula but at least the formula works. Spider-Man: Homecoming is one of the biggest disappointments of the summer as well as the year.

Scott “Movie Man” Menzel’s rating for Spider-Man: Homecoming is a 4 out of 10. 

4
Poor
Written by
Born in New Jersey, Scott D. Menzel has been a film fanatic since he was three years old. Growing up, he watched as many movies as he could and was highly influenced by Tim Burton, John Hughes, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg. Scott has an Associates Degree in Marketing, a Bachelors in Mass Media, Communications and a Masters in Electronic Media. He has been writing film reviews under the alias of MovieManMenzel since 2003 and started his writing career as a contributing critic at IMDB.com and Joblo.com. In 2009, Scott launched MovieManMenzel.com where he posted several of his film reviews but in 2011 decided to shut down the site when he launched We Live Film.com, which he founded. In 2015, We Live Film became We Live Entertainment. The domain name changed occurred after months of debate but was done so that he and his fellow staff members could write about anything and everything in the world of entertainment.

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26 Comments

  1. Lol, salty Tobey-Andrew fanboy that bitch about new spider-man.

  2. So Transformers is better than this!

  3. I wouldn’t go that far. Homecoming just left me wanting a lot more than what I got.

  4. Most sites are giving glowing reviews. I’ll listen to them.

  5. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion… but to go as far as comparing this new MCU gem to the disaster that was ‘Spider-Man 3’? Nope. Your review instantaneously lost all credibility for me.

  6. And yet you are here. Complaining instead of on those other ‘sites’. And you have a grand total of NINE comments in four years. Well, one thing is for certain…no one should listen to you. lol

  7. Wait a second, I want to have an intelligent conversation with you. So it’s ok that many critics are calling this the best Spider-man since Spider-Man 2, but me saying it’s better than Spider-Man 3 which is also not part of the MCU, loses me credibility? Please explain this to me. Thank you

  8. I think the point he is making is Spider Man 3 was horribly bad. Yet you’re saying Homecoming is just a bit better; meaning that its really bad.There is a disconnect between that and the glowing reviews many others are writing.Then again, its your opinion, right..

  9. You clearly don’t need to be reviewing movies. You can’t judge it as a whole because little things annoy you for some odd reason. Just out of curiousity, what’s your opinion on some of the other Marvel movies? Was Civil War bad?…….the original Iron Man?

  10. you delete this shit, whack ass review

  11. Isn’t it better to just wait and see the movie with your own eyes to decide who do you agree with? You are just picking who is telling you what you want to hear, it makes no sense.

  12. I reviewed Civil War and gave it an 8 out of 10. Said it was one of the better Marvel Movies. Iron Man is terrific and could quite well be the best Marvel film to date.

  13. I respect everybody’s opinions, but with that of mr Menzel I disagree. As a 16 year old high-schooler this movie was so relatable and to me the high school parts didn’t feel forced at all. The kids were stereotypes, but man they were really spot on! Personally I thought this movie was really, really fun. I feel sorry for mr Menzel, because he’s either too old or too grumpy to find this movie amusing. I enjoyed it and I think many others will enjoy it too.

  14. I also saw Homecoming and this review is just wrong-footed. It’s by far the best Spidey movie so far. It’s played very much for laughs, but that’s no bad thing. The insecurities of being a teenager while also having super powers are covered well. I really don’t know how you could have come to this review from the movie, which is teenage superhero shenanigans at its best. Also, It’s perfectly possible to give people an idea of what a movie is like without putting so many plot points into your review.

  15. Another non top critic twit.

  16. ‘Spider-Man 3’ has gained a lot of negative buzz over the years, almost to the point of having that same level of notoriety as ‘Batman & Robin’. So although I haven’t watched ‘Homecoming’ yet (still waiting for July 7th), and also that it surely isn’t the perfect movie that most positive reviews describe it to be… I’m already pretty confident that its overall quality far surpasses the quality of ‘Spider-Man 3’ to the point of being incomparable. So to better understand your review… what actually are your thoughts on ‘Spider-Man 3’?

  17. Hey man. I’ll explain something to you since you’re responding to comments (Which is sort of a no-no but I run a (Sports) site myself and do the same so I respect that). I am not some fan boy, I haven’t seen the film, just some honest (constructive if you take it that way) criticism. Your review is thorough, and it deserves marks for that. However, it reads as really smarmy and mean and thus very hipster-ish. Words like “lame”, “fat friend” and “rolling your eyes” aren’t criticisms or even great ways to convey why things weren’t funny, you do point out the repetitive nature of some of the jokes but as someone tasked with an objective and impartial (as much as that’s possible in a subjective field) gig, simply saying that his fat friend is annoying or that X, Y, or Z was “lame” honestly just ends up looking strangely mean spirited and thus makes it seem like you have something against the movie (which, I inferred to be an anti super hero thing, since that’s all the rage of hipster (I’m mean spirited too!) reviewers.
    Not saying you’re a hipster that that was how it felt reading it).

    Also, I know you’re responsible for a lot of reviews and can’t know every little detail but some of the things you didn’t understand were in the movie, or in movies for characters in this film. Example, the voices in the suits pre-date Siri, started in 2008’s Iron Man and since he designed the suit, it makes sense. He also designed a suit like this around the civil war arc in the comics called the Iron Spider, this is an homage to that and why Peter loses it and has to use his old suit in the third act. Also, it makes sense for him to meet with Stark or Higan in public because he’s clearly using the Stark internship as an alibi for his Spider-ing. So, I guess I just wanted to give you my two cents.

    When you insult more than explain or compare a film that is getting universal praise to the worst of the incarnations thus far (not that you have to follow suit, but when you’re one of a handful of reviews on RT to give this a rotten score, and your review is peppered with, again, lazy insults instead of well thought out critiques, it just reads as smarmy and condescending and I doubt that’s your goal. Again, not your job to agree with the consensus or to even know what that consensus is but if you are one of the few detractors, you might want to convey impartiality or less stuff like: Ned was the fat friend who was annoying and lame. Type stuff. I hate PC stuff myself, so it’s not about saying he’s fat, he is, it’s just lazy and doesn’t really matter in terms of story).

    Wrote this on my phone so I apologize for any typos. Not ripping you, as a writer myself I know how hard it can be to read your own stuff as anything but something that you created so if you’re looking for feedback, which it appears you are, there you Go!

  18. By no means does Spider-man 3 have the notoriety of Batman of Robin, and nor was it a disaster. It was criticized, yes, but SP3 still had cinematic substance.

    Fun fact: The average review for SPM:3 is a 6.2, and SPM: Homecoming’s is a 7.6. (granted, time will tell whether or not that average rises or lowers) 76 and 62 are comparable, no?

    The reviewer’s 4/10 may seem harsh, but his criteria for which components make up a great movie may differ from many critics. Just because he compares SPM:HC to a flawed movie (that featured heavy studio involvement, which, most Disney Marvel movies do) does not invalidate his critique.

  19. I don’t understand your statement, “you clearly don’t need to be reviewing movies.” Who needs to be doing anything? Maybe it is necessary to his financial well-being or introspective satisfaction. Then, he would (by your definition) “need” to do so. Just because he reaches a different conclusion than you or others does not push him from the movie critic realm.

    Mr. Menzel makes a holistic judgment based off all the positive and negative components (“little things” have the capability of adding up, btw). Wouldn’t ignoring the “little things” be incomplete instead of whole? Just trying to understand your logic, here.

  20. “wanting a lot more”

    Like views ? Because this is a clickbait bullshit review

  21. This is a very unprofessional review. Bad writing – constant repeating of the same words and phrases and no solid reasons for many of the things that he found “wrong” with the film. It seems like the writer lacks a bit of fun and finds himself easily annoyed. Not top qualities in a reviewer.

  22. Oh boy, the reviewer loved Zendaya as Michelle because she’s “spunky” and he “loved her sarcastic tone.” How completely different from every single other modern movie with young adults in the cast.

  23. No, I don’t believe that “HOMECOMING” was better than “SPIDER-MAN 3”. The latter wasn’t perfect, but it was a hell of a lot better than this. I’m not saying that “SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING” was terrible, but I was not impressed. Too much sloppy writing.

    Hell, I couldn’t even tell whether Peter Parker (without the Spider-man suit) was an introvert or extrovert. What does Aunt May do for a living, considering that they live in Queens? And Spideer-man’s portrayal in this film was inconsistent with his portrayal in “CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR”. He is less stronger in this film. Why?

    Michelle Jones is a revamped Mary Jane Watson? Why? Why even bother revamping Mary Jane? Michelle seemed to be a completely different character. Worse, she is another introvert . . . like Peter is supposed to be. Two introverts in a relationsihp? BORING! And why is Peter only allowed to be involved with girls who are interested in science? What is this? Some kind of propaganda campaign that people who are not science oriented lack any intelligence? Or that couple HAVE TO share the same interests? What utter nonsense!

    Why is Tony Stark in this story? Why was Pepper Potts in this story? The way the Tony/Pepper romance was handled in this film? Sloppy. Just as it was sloppily handled in “Civil War”. If this was supposed to be Tony Stark’s idea of being a mentor, he sucks. And why does Hollywood keeps putting Peter Parker back in high school? Why? The best years of the Spider-man titles featured Peter in college at Empire State University.

    Worst of all, whoever wrote the screenplay for this movie did a lousy job of handling the MCU timeline. “Civil War” was set eight years after the events of “The Avengers”? What the hell? And the Captain America PSAs . . . why? Why in God’s name did they allow this in the film? God!

  24. It seems you’re already “too mature” to enjoy this movie, which is sad, actually. Or you just haven’t got the message it gives.
    I’ll try to explain the movie to you.
    Peter is a teenager! So when he got the opportunity to get in a big league, he was totally thrilled by it (as his vlogs show it pretty well). Then Stark just threw him back into his common boring high school life, but left him with big hopes.
    Peter waits for call, but the call never comes, so he tries his best to make the superhero thing, hoping he’ll be somehow able to prove himself to Stark and Avengers. He is cocky, overly self-confident, with “I was fighting along with Avengers, what do I still do in this stupid school?” attitude. Which is totally natural and realistic for teenager who’s experienced what he’s experienced.
    And the same natural thing is, that the more eager and cocky he is, the more mistakes and fails he does.
    IronMan is there to be his guardian angel and also to take him back to the ground. When Peter fails a big time, Tony takes the suit from him, saying “if you’re nothing without a suit, you shouldn’t have it”, which means that at first you have to find the superhero inside of you, on the ground level – how to manage your powers, how to help people, but without hurting anyone or destroying half of town – before you can use some overpowered improvings. In other words, he should find some responsibility for his actions.
    This is not movie about full-fledged Spidey, this is a story about him finding his true hero self.
    And it’s great.

  25. What a cunt, deleting comments…

  26. What lol

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