Last Week in Geek-dom: Spiderman 6 – Return of the Reboot

Spiderman: Homecoming was awesome. I loved it.

The movie was two hours long, but every scene was fun and engaging. A big part of this was not including an origin story. No living spiders, only mechanical; no mention of Uncle Ben, only young, pretty, and cool Aunt May; no pearl necklace clattering to the ground – sorry, wrong franchise. And no “with great power comes great responsibility.” Marvel expects the viewers to know Spiderman’s origin by now, so they jump us right into the action.
Rather than an origin, this is a coming-of-age story. It’s less than a year after Peter Parker started his vigilante career and a couple months after Tony Stark gave him a cool suit. Peter is still very much a kid. This is illustrated by a) the genuinely portrayed high school setting, b) the excellent performances of Tom Holland, Zendaya, and everyone else, and c) the fact that Peter is still really bad at being a superhero.
This isn’t just Iron Man crashing into a parked car after his First Flight or Thor getting backhanded by a fire-breathing metal giant. Spiderman spends most of the movie screwing up and causing collateral damage, from drainpipes to smacking the wrong guy in the forehead to…well, if you’ve seen the trailers you have some idea.
Any superhero antics are going to involve collateral damage, but in this movie it’s framed as Spiderman’s fault in particular. This emphasizes Tony Stark’s point that Spidey should stick to his friendly neighborhood.
Okay, let’s talk about Tony Stark. If you’re going to include Peter Parker in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, doing it by way of Tony Stark is…well, true to comic book canon. But for the first half of the movie, Tony makes it clear that he considers Spiderman an asset and an ally. Then, seemingly out of the blue, he starts acting like he considers himself Peter’s surrogate dad, or at least his mentor. Unlike GotG Vol. 2 (see Isaac’s post), this time it doesn’t work. It should have worked; it would have been a nice touch. But I don’t think it did.
On the other hand… I say Spiderman is bad at being a superhero, but there are some parts he’s good at. He has the classic Spiderman wit (“Yoink!”) and the stubborn determination, for worse or better. And like OG Spiderman, he’s wonderfully relatable.
10/10, would recommend, will watch again.

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