MCU Rewatch Issue #16: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Fresh off his first MCU appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man gets his first MCU solo film. With the help of a few friends.

tomkSpider-Man: Home-coming.

watson: Good flick. By far the best Spider-Man movie ever.
Tom Holland embodies the character better than Toby or Andrew.

tomk: You speak truth, Wat-son.
Though I liked Maguire’s take and movies quite a bit.

watson: Loved Michael Keaton as a business man who happened to be a super villain.

tomk: He’s the anti-Stark.

watson: Maguire is my least favorite Spider—-man.

tomk: You preferred Gar-field?
Jimmy’s favorite is Nicholas Hammond.

watson: Until Homecoming, the first Garfield movie was my favorite.

tomk: I still haven’t seen the second.

jonathan: This is pretty substantially better than Garfield Spider-Man 1 and Tobey Spider-Man 1. Tobey Spider-man 2 is still pretty good, but i have Tom Holland Spider-Man edging it out atop the list.

Garfield Spider-Man 2 is cheeseball crap, but might be Raging Bull compared to the abomination that is Tobey Spider-man 3.

I also appreciate that they had the first MCU Spider-man go up against Vulture, who was his first comic book super villain.

tomk: I heard Jen-ny thought Spider-Man 3 was the Iron-Man 2 of Spider-Man movies.

jonathan: She’s absolutely right.

But for the wrong reasons.

tomk: Careful when you go to bed tonight.
And wasn’t the Cham-eleon first?

jonathan: Same issue. #2.
Actually, chameleon might’ve appeared in #1
I think you’re right.
But Chameleon isn’t big enough to feature in a movie

tomk: Let’s find an expert! I summon Jim-my Im-poss-ible!

watson: Who will be the villain in the next film?

tomk: Doctor Octopus seems to be the baddest of the bad without grabbing a Goblin.

watson: Someone new or a repeat?

tomk: I got the car scene playing now, best scene in the movie.

watson: I’d rather see a new villain. Kraven!

tomk: Kraven would be a cool choice.
Not too many other Spidey villains haven’t appeared in one of these movies. All that’s left may be Kraven and Mysterio.

jonathan: I think Mysterio could be super cool if done right

watson: Mysterio seems like he’d be the villain at the beginning so we start with some action and then quickly lose so the real plot can start up.

jonathan: See, i think Scorpion fills that role as the set up to Mysterio.

tomk: What if the Rose set up Scorpion to set up Mysterio to set up Kraven to set up Hobgoblin?

jonathan: If that’s anything less than a ten year plan, it’s a little too Topher-Grace-as-Venom-for-10-minutes crammed for me.

tomk: Venom was a studio insistence. Raimi is an old school fan and didn’t know anything about Venom, but I can see the logic of the casting. Grace looks and especially sounds a lot like Maguire. Plus, he doesn’t emo dance.

jimmy: Ironically, much like when it opened in theatres I somehow am the last to watch and join in the discussion so let me try to catch up.

I like Homecoming, but I wouldn’t say it was the best Spider-Man film. I’d still put Raimi’s 1st and 2nd films ahead of it. It is easily better than Amazing Spider-Man, and if I could wipe Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 from the world’s collective consciousness I would.

That said, I found aspects of the movie to be just too Young Adult Novel for me. I don’t get why so many people have this image of and insist that Spider-Man needs to be a high school kid. Peter graduated from high school in Amazing Spider-Man #28. Which means he was that version of Spidey for just over 2 years. And we’ve had 50+ years of “adult” Spidey since. I’m sure people will point to the Ultimate line of comics or the various cartoons, but I like my Spider-Man just a bit older.

I might be alone in disliking the Karen Suit. They recently did a soft reboot in the comics to bring Peter back to basics (again), but at the time Homecoming was released, the comic version with the high tech suit matched up very closely with the suit here. My problem in both mediums is that it doesn’t feel like Spider-Man. Spider-Man shouldn’t be Tony Stark Junior. (And it was even worse in the comics where Peter was a billionaire and owner of his own highly successful tech company.)

And the fact that Ned (Leeds) was obviously Miles Morales’ best friend Ganke, drove me crazy. Just call him Ganke. Why did he have to be Ned? It’s not like they needed to make sure to get the name Ned in there as being super important to high school Peter. The only ones they really needed from that era were Liz…who was a completely different character here, and Flash, who was a bit of a punk, but hardly the BMOC super jock the original Flash was; and Betty Brant…who they also completely changed.

Zendaya bugged me, and I’m sure the hip cool kids will be shocked at that. And her “reveal” as MJ came out of nowhere and made no sense, especially when Fiege immediately said she wasn’t Mary Jane Watson. Why add this in and simply cause confusion?

Surprisingly, the best part of this movie is Micheal Keaton’s Vulture. Not only does he steal the show, but they manage to take a character that was essentially a senior citizen in a bird suit and make him believable. For an example at failing at this miserably, see The Rhino in Amazing Spider-Man 2. Or better yet, don’t.

watson: TL:DR summary: Jimmy doesn’t like young boys.
Good, Jimmy! That’s progress!!!

watson: Here’s a fun game. Rank the Spider-man villains across all movies.
Here’s the list:
Green Goblin
Doc Ock
Venom
Sandman
Hobgoblin
Lizard
Electro
Rhino
Green Goblin ASM
Vulture
Shocker

watson: I tried doing it and after Doc Ock and Vulture, there is a tier of the adequate (Green Goblin 1, Sandman…the plot stunk but he was alright…, Lizard); then a tier of unmemorable (Hobgoblin, GG ASM, Shocker), bad (Venom, Electro), and war crimes (Rhino).
As rich of a rogues gallery as Spider has, they’ve not been well utilized.

jimmy: I like Dafoe’s Goblin a little more than you, but otherwise I’d rank them pretty similarly. I thought Shocker was used here effectively, but he was more of a henchmen than anything.

And agreed about the rogues gallery. And I think they are in a tough place with who to have as the major villains going forward. “Green Goblin again?” I don’t think Kraven could carry a film as the main villain. Mysterio? Maybe. A Sinister Six style team with the aforementioned could work to bring new versions of the already used baddies in without having to go over the top reintroducing then with all their origins. But when we start getting into movies with too many villains (Spider-Man 3, Batman and Robin, etc) it usually leads to trouble.

tomk: Truthfully, I think Spidey has been consistently getting the strongest bad guys out of all the different Marvel franchises. Both Fox and the MCU have given little attention to villain personalities. It hasn’t always been successful but Sony put real effort into making the bad guys more human than either Fox or the MCU.

jimmy: I see your point. But they’ve been unsuccessful a lot.

tomk: Compared to Apocalypse? Magneto is another story, but at least Sony tried.

jimmy: Apocalypse was awful.

I think one of the problems you run into with movies are that audiences seem to expect a new villain every time out. Comic readers seem to be more forgiving when it’s another Green Goblin or Joker story. Comics also have the advantage of being able to fill in months between these major villain arcs with lesser and often forgettable enemies.

tomk: True, but as I work my way through the AFI list, one thing that stands out about movie bad guys is at least an attempt to make them more well-developed characters in better movies. I watched Shane last night, a movie that shared themes, scenes, and even a whole speech with Logan, and in the middle of the movie, the greedy cattle rancher has a speech where he explains how all the good guy homesteaders were cutting his herds off from water he needed and even though he still had committed acts of violence and intimidation and would order a man shot at the end of the movie, it was a moment to make him less than a greedy stereotype. Logan is a great movie that doesn’t have a scene like that, and such moments aren’t necessary to make a classic film, but making the villain more human makes the conflict more understandable. I think the Spider-Man movies have done that better than most other superhero movies. Vulture and Spider-Man 2’s Doctor Octopus obviously worked the best and others were far weaker.

jimmy: Vulture really works here. And there are a few hints that you notice with a second viewing, but the reveal of him as Liz’s dad comes as a huge surprise.

watson: That scene in the car where Keaton figures it out was brilliant.

jimmy: Agreed. I loved that.
And I loved that he figured out Peter’s identity. Similar to Norman Osborn figuring it out in the first Spider-Man. I hate that almost every Spidey movie ends with him with his mask off and the villain knowing his identity, but in the real world, these things would be so obvious and easy to realize.

watson: That’s like the Burton Batman franchise. He was always revealing his ID to villains and women so often, Alfred even made a joke of it.

jimmy: Yes. I get that they want the mask off to allow the lead to be seen and “act”, but c’mon.

jonathan: I really loved the scene where they used the famous Amazing Spider-Man #32-33 story of Peter being trapped under the collapsed building and summoning all his strength to lift it up and get out. Holland sold it so well.

jimmy: Yes, great scene. The split mask/face in the water was a nice touch and played to the common look in the comics.

jonathan: And I get what you’re saying Jimmy about the high school Spidey. I was just glad they used this as their jumping off point with an actor who could conceivably stay in the role for 10+ years.

I even told Jenny that I bet the next movie is called “Graduation”.

Since it will come right after Avengers 4 and Spider-Man will have graduated to a full role with the team.

Plus, graduated from high school.

jimmy: I agree with that. I was thinking the same that Holland could stick around for awhile. By the by, Ms. Impossible HATES Holland as Peter and finds him incredibly annoying. She called Homecoming “horrible” and was one of the few films during this project that she grumbled about having to rewatch.

I don’t mind Holland, though he can be a little whiney at times. I also liked Maguire and Garfield even if I hated his two movies. He just never really had much to work with.

jonathan: Yeah, i actually liked Garfield in the character more than I did Maguire. Garfield brought a kind of swagger to the performance that the other 2 can’t. Maybe Holland grows into it (I’m confident he will). After all, Maguire and Garfield were 27 and 29, respectively, when they suited up as the wall-crawler, compared to 19 for Holland.

tomk: Garfield was fine, but I didn’t want to see Spidey doing private extreme skateboarding tricks in any movie.

jimmy: Agreed. But if they want to modernize him a bit for the kids, as long as they stay off my lawn, I’m fine with that.

tomkHome-coming only seemed to try and be hip with its, er, I gonna go with “colorful” closing credits.

jimmy: Ramones baby!
All the kids these days dig the Ramones!

jenny: Man – I love Spider-man Homecoming.
It’s probably another one of my favs. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. But I do.

tomk: Wait…Jenny liked the Spider-Man movie more than Jimmy “The Hyphen” Impossible?

jenny: Well – I just went and re-read what Jimmy posted and I agree to an extent. It is weird we keep Spider-man as a teenager in all these movies, but I chalk that up to poor management by Sony, and not having a good enough runway of writing to pull the actor and character through for many years. With Marvel at the helm, in this third reboot, I feel like we’ll see Tom Holland for a while – which will be great.

Things I disliked – because the list is small:

– I wasn’t in love with how they barely used Donald Glover, and only hinted at him being The Prowler – which I guess, cool. But it would have been awesome to actually use his acting chops more than a camio of sorts.

– I wasn’t in love with the MJ scene at the end. I feel like that was Sony – SONY HAD TO HAVE THEIR WAY with one thing, and I feel like that was their doing. It felt forced, it was weird, I would have loved for that to be a new character all to gether and not MJ, blah.

– I am not in love with Aunt May. I don’t know. I love Marissa Tome’ – but something about her didn’t sell “worried” aunt, or even “aunt.”
Everything else I loved. Honestly – from the villains, to the highschool story, to rebuilding who spider-man is without having to tell the whole “bit by a spider” story again.
I thought it was fun, funny, and honestly a really great story.
I watch that movie and laugh every time – and am compelled to cry every time he has to talk to himself in the warehouse to get out from under the rubble.
Tom really embodies what I think of when I think Spider-man, and I couldn’t be happier.

tomk: Thanks, Jenny! I try my best.

jimmy: To some of Jenny’s points:

I was very happy they again avoided his origin story. Like Batman, we just don’t need to see it anymore.

I liked Aunt May less on the second viewing. I like Marisa Tomei too. I’m fine with them updating her a bit from “frail always needs her medicine” Aunt May (the comics have too in most respects), but this time around “sexy” Aunt May felt more forced.

Why does everyone LOOOOVVVEE Donald Glover so much? Granted, this might be the only thing I have ever seen him in, but I thought his role was plenty big. Having him as The Prowler/Miles Morales Uncle (hinted anyway) was fun, but that’s about it. I can’t believe people want him to play Miles, he’s 34 (and looks older) and Miles is supposed to be younger than Peter.

tomk: Jenny is a Childish Gambino fan.

jimmy: I recognize those words are English, but…

tomk: That’s as much as I recognize too. My students refer to Glover by that name.

watson: Donald Glover’s production company is Donglover. For that alone, I love him. His funny role in The Martian is an added benefit.

jimmy: Right. That I saw as well.

watson: Rich Purnell is a steely eyed missile man!

jonathan: TROY BARNES 4EVER!

jonathan: I could talk about my love of DonGlover all day. He’s a seriously gifted rapper (7 mixtapes and 2 studio albums), Grammy-winning soul singer, hilarious stand-up comedian (check out his special on Netflix “Weirdo”) and sketch troupe comedian (Derrick Comedy), Emmy-winning actor & director (Atlanta), Writer’s Guild Award winner (30 Rock), and, most of all, one of my Mt Rushmore sitcom ensemble characters, Troy Barnes from Community. All before the age of 35.

jimmy: I’ve heard of 30 Rock…

Well, we’re running out of time for this week before we move onto Ragnorak. Shall we grade?

tomk9 out of 10 moments when you give your super villain boss the wrong gun.

jimmy: I’ll go with 8.5 great uses of the cartoon theme song out of 10.

tomk: Yeah that 90s cartoon theme was used well.

jenny9 Lego deathstar building scenes out of 10

jonathan: I’m going to use my Fractional Grade Lifeline!
8.75 out of 10 “Guy In The Chair” spins

jenny: 8.75? Man – how did I marginally like this movie more than you? It was the 80’s music, wasn’t it?

jimmy: Watson’s in China, so he’ll probably respond in 14 hours.

jonathan: Because it’s not quite a 9 for me, but not as low as an 8.5 either
It’s more that I’m trying for accuracy in my grades

tomk: Watson says 8.75 isn’t a thing, but he’s clearly wrong about that.

jimmy: I’ll allow it. Especially since it pisses off Watson.

watson: I’m in Japan now…where Spidey is huge. On behalf of my Japanese hosts, and because I actually slept ten hours last night, I am feeling generous.
I give Spider-Man Homecoming 9.5 “Smooth High School Fedoras” out of 10.

jimmy: I had the lowest score. 🙂

watson: You practically hated Spiderman

jenny: Jeeze Jimmy… what the actual fuck?
How can you call yourself a fan?
😉

jimmy: 8.5 is a good score!

tomk: I said the same thing when I gave that score to Force Awakens.

watson: That’s like when Mrs Impossible calls it a “good size”! It’s a euphemism!!!

jimmy: Anyway…let’s take a look at our overall scores…

Captain America: The Winter Soldier 10.0
Iron Man 9.4
Guardians Of The Galaxy 9.4
The Avengers 9.3
Spider-Man: Homecoming 9.0
Captain America: Civil War 8.9
Captain America: The First Avenger 8.7
Thor 8.0
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 7.8
Ant-Man 7.8
Avengers: Age of Ultron 7.6
Doctor Strange 7.4
The Incredible Hulk 6.7
Iron Man 2 6.6
Iron Man 3 6.6
Thor: The Dark World 6.6

MCU overall 8.1
Phase 1 8.1
Phase 2 8.0
Phase 3 8.3

Phase 3 doing well. And that should continue next week (and then with Black Panther).

jenny:  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH
That’s exciting
Phase 3 has been pretty stellar.

jimmy:  That’s because they stopped making Iron Man movies. :-p

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