This marks the third Spiderman franchise in a decade, but is it worth it?
We’ve been a little spoiled in recent years. With the development of the MCU and Marvel studios becoming a veritable comic book movie producing machine, it’s never been a better time to be a comic book lover and cinephile. We’ve seen Marvel and Disney tackle movies with all of their great, deep, rich characters so far, except for Spiderman, who may have the most complicated history in Hollywood. In the past decade, we’ve had two different Spidermen, whose movies have been of varying quality. We’ve already seen the third Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War, where he has already become a fan favorite and stole the spotlight during that airport action sequence, but we haven’t seen him exist out on his own without the amazing Avengers cast around. Now, with the first of three spinoff films, we get a chance to know the new Spiderman, but with two Spidermen in recent memory, is he worth knowing? Spoiler, it’s a resounding yes.
It’s nice to see the approach director Jon Watts and Marvel took with this film. They kept the character of Spiderman very rooted in his comic book roots in an entertaining way while still perfectly solidifying his addition into the MCU. Watts also does the justice of firmly rooting Peter Parker’s Queens upbringing as an aspect of the character’s personality, opting to shoot several sequences throughout different locations in Queens. Tom Holland’s spider man is a mix of Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s renditions of the role, who’s nerdy yet sarcastic without being too much of either, which was a fault for both Maguire’s and Garfield’s versions. In addition to that, it’s also good to see Spiderman return to being a high school aged student, who deals with the very human experience of being a teenager balancing school, family, and his superhero secret. It’s very interesting to see how these factors play out in this film as well as how it will play in coming movies.
There are other great characters in this film, including the unexpected hit of the character of Ned and other great supporting characters such as Flash and Michelle who serve to fill out the interesting high school student cast without falling into outdated tropes. These characters will go unnoticed by some, but it’s certainly worth noting that coming up with characters that resemble a teenager in this decade that is compelling and fun to watch is another great accomplishment. Michael Keaton’s performance, while good, leaves something to be desired. It lacks grit and doesn’t accurately portray the reality that the character he’s playing would be in.
Jon Watts and the other writers on this film deserve credit where credit is due. It’s no easy feat to make a character, whom audiences have seen in 5 1/2 movies so far, seem new, refreshing, and worth watching a trilogy over. To do all of that while still incorporating Spiderman into a post Avengers New York and making all of these moving parts work is incredible. It’s also worth mentioning that the story is extremely cohesive, which is a key for a universe building film. The screenplay is full of great quips that are essential to the vernacular of a good Spiderman. In addition to that, the film constantly keeps you on your toes as you wonder what the next step is. Despite it being a superhero movie, nothing is predictable or even expected.
I’m also glad to say that there are no issues with this film. It’s filled with nothing but good and average scenes. However, it does suffer from the same symptoms that other Marvel films, aside from the Avengers, suffer from. At this point it’s a disease we can diagnose as Marvel Movie Disease. Some signs a Marvel film suffers from this include no real threat of a character on the side of good dying or suffering irreparable harm, unless they were first on the side of evil, a dialogue sequence where one character is unresponsive to the other’s attempt at making conversation, oftentimes involving weird food items, villainous characters who may one day join the side of good, Tony Stark being a tool and mentor, no scene that leaves the audience feeling sad, no deep character developing moments, and many more. That’s just a few things you’re bound to find in every single Marvel movie, including this one, which does make it feel less like a unique movie and more of a Spiderman flavored Marvel movie.
While this film won’t be winning any Academy Awards anytime soon, it is a very entertaining film to watch. Make sure to check this film out as soon as you can because it is one of the best spin off films in the MCU, second only to Guardians in my opinion.
The film hits theaters on July 7.