I’ve booked the week off work – that’s seven days dedicated to nothing but boozed-up parties until the wee hours of the morning, where I’m snorting cocaine off of a hooker’s breasts.
Or – and bear with me – I could book an early ticket to see Spider-Man: Homecoming. I’ll probably settle for the latter; I’ve got a cold – I think the coke would just agitate it.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the sixth piece in Marvel’s recent bout of movies dedicated to the web-slinger. Some have been incredible, like Tobey Maguire’s first two portrayals of the hero, Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2. Some have been straight up eye-gougingly dreadful, but the less we say about Jamie Foxx’s stereotypical nerd falling into a tank of eels and acquiring the power of electricity, the better.
This is the second time – since Andrew Garfield’s reprisal in 2012 – that Marvel have rebooted the story of Spider-Man, and the MCU have nailed it, creating the third best Spidey movie to date.
Firstly, Tom Holland’s an incredible addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe – not only is he incredibly athletic; having trained as a gymnast from a young age, but he’s also very charismatic and looks the part of a 14-year-old Peter Parker. Unlike when Andrew Garfield tried blending in with minors, and looked like an episode of To Catch A Predator.
I’ve been fortunate enough to talk to Tom about his incredible breakout role – by which I mean I got to murmur half a sentence in his general direction, as he prepped himself for an interview which I was helping produce – but he said that he was often throwing out various suggestions to the director, Jon Watts, in an attempt to grow his character. Admittedly, he did attempt to cram in several sex scenes too, but I just don’t think Michael Keaton would be game with that.
The rest of Tom’s supporting cast are a bit hit-and-miss. Jacob Batalon plays Peter’s best friend, Ned. He’s your classic comic relief… And it works. He’s a stereotypical nerd; he’s overweight; he wears dodgy hats, and he plays with Star Wars LEGO. (Now that I’ve said that aloud, he’s sounding more and more like me.) Ned doesn’t have the quick quips of Spider-Man, but instead makes silly, more cringe-worthy comedy – including a “I was looking at porn” line that even Stevie Wonder saw coming, but it still got a good laugh in the cinema.
Unfortunately, I didn’t share the same love for Tom’s rumoured off-screen bae, Zendaya. Why was she there? The MCU isn’t a tiny struggling company that would die to have a big name attached. Did they need Zendaya? Answer: no. The Disney Channel star appeared as Michelle, an emotionless, straight-faced student, who cropped up in every other six scenes just to say “Meh” and flip the middle finger. It’s good because, erm, she’s angry. It works on so many levels. And much like my fellow learners while I was at school, there’s even more students I just don’t get along with in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
I understand Peter has to be an outcast, but when I was at school, I was tipped upside down in a bush, robbed of my shoes and them had milk poured down my trouser legs until it reached my crack. And if you’re reading this, Sean Butler, that was a funny one. Hahaha. Keep up the good bullying, bro. But Peter’s main antagonist, Flash Thompson, is just a bit annoying. We get it – he’s mean. He makes a chant of “Penis Parker” which lasts about 16 penises too long. But Flash was written to such an extent that his meanness was just passed off as laughable. As the school kids nearly plummet in a lift, he pushes himself past Peter’s love interest, to get out first. URGH! I GET IT! YOU’RE MEAN! It would have taken a lot less time to just tattoo a swastika on his chest.
In terms of pacing, Spider-Man: Homecoming is much better to its Andrew Garfield predecessors. We all know the story of Uncle Ben; both the Spider-Man character and the rice brand, so its a pleasant relief not to have to see another old man pop it on-screen, as we’re introduced to Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May, alone. Unlike other superhero flicks, we’re also presented with the movie’s main antagonist from the beginning, as Michael Keaton opens the movie, and we see his motive for becoming the terrifying (and dreadfully named) The Vulture, before we’re even introduced to the titular character.
Watts also does his bit to make this a more memorable instalment in the Spider-Man franchise, by adding new elements, including new gadgets – from his wings, to chest drone.
Don’t even get me started on the grand finale. Sheesh. No. Seriously. Don’t get me started, because during the screening, I got a barrage of emails saying I needed to call work ASAP, and had to miss the final few scenes, where Peter confronted antagonist, Adrian Toomes. I can only assume that The Vulture defeated Spider-Man by sliding a huge slice of paper beneath him and trapping him under the world’s largest glass? That’s what I’d do.
While I’m getting a tad bored of MCU characters crossing over into each other’s movies, this one finally made Spider-Man fun again. On a good day, it’s the third best Spidey movie, but riiiiiiight now, I’m saying it’s Spidey’s second best outing to date.