Let’s get this out of the way. I loved hearing the 60s Spider-Man theme played over the Marvel Studios logo. Is it in the movie itself? No. Instead, they used an original theme. It’d be fine if they didn’t use the 60s song at all but because they did I wish it was in the actual movie or only in the credits. The fact that it was in the logo will pretty much overshadow the original theme you’re trying to shill. Krispy Kreme presents Saban’s Power Rangers clearly had use of the Mighty Morphin’ theme, but fumbled it badly. Yeah, it was in the movie but only for 15 seconds at a time that wasn’t the most appropriate to use it. Then there was 30 seconds in the credits mixed into the movie’s theme. I hate to belabor this point, but when certain songs become this iconic and movies like these keep coming out, it’d be nice to have them used at appropriate moments in the film and less as afterthoughts or simple references. It’s one thing if you can’t use it, don’t have the rights, or it doesn’t fit the movie’s tone, but the 60s theme totally works here.
The film itself was pretty darn good and lots of fun though I suppose part of that is because it’s the first Spider-Man movie since the poorly done Amazing duology. In terms of character, they got Peter Parker and Spider-Man down where in the past Tobey Maguire got Peter Parker down and Amazing got Spider-Man down. I need to see it again to compare properly but while Homecoming was still a really good time I think I cared more in Spider-Man 2.
There was no mention of Uncle Ben. No “With great power comes great responsibility” but we get a different line that’s pretty relevant and it’s a fine line. It’s unfortunate that it came from Tony because it further proves a point I’ll make later. No Harry. No Gwen. No Mary Jane. No Jameson. Instead we get Ned who was really annoying. His dialogue was repetitive and he wasn’t the wingman Peter needed. They gave him things to do so he could have things to do. Liz might be one and done. Flash is the opposite of the typical jock I’m used to and he was annoying too. Honestly I didn’t care much about the school scenes. I understand Peter has to go to school, but there’s several scenes of him waiting for the bell to ring so he can leave and I’m waiting for him to leave too. Whenever he’s at school I wanted the film to get to something else because those were the least interesting parts.
There’s a lack of Spider-Sense in the movie and if it is in the movie, it’s very downplayed. His dodging looks more like reflexes and when bad guys get the drop on him I think “The real Spider-Man wouldn’t get hit/caught by that.” Kevin Feige says it’s in the movie but the director says it wasn’t explored. I believe the director more, but the audience seems to think Peter hasn’t developed them properly or the suit serves as his Spider-Sense.
Speaking of the suit, the more I think about it the more I don’t like how involved Tony Stark is and I’m not talking about screentime. In that department, he doesn’t overstay at all but Tony’s pulling the strings too much in furthering Spider-Man. That’s not to say Peter isn’t independent at all, but when Spider-Man’s “standard” suit has an A.I. in it like Iron Man and through the suit he’s handed things over developing them himself, I have to ask where’s the line? The self-made hero angle was important to Spider-Man.
I think Vulture was fantastic but only towards the last third. For most of it there wasn’t much to him or his motivation. He just wanted money. It’s thanks to Michael Keaton’s brilliant performance and a certain plot twist that really sold the villain. He’s intimidating even out of the suit and his speech to Spidey was solid. I just wish I knew why eight years of doing what he was doing still wasn’t enough money. His family lives in a fancy house and I honestly don’t know what else he needs. It’s also important to note that he’s the second(?) Marvel Studios villain to not die. That means he can return for the Sinister Six they seem to be setting up and we can see how his VERY interesting relationship with Spidey will play out. Plus, I can’t say no to more Keaton when he gave his all here.
I’ll close with this. At some point, Peter messes up and Tony’s giving him a talking to. Peter says something along the line of “Is there anything I can do?” and I was hoping Tony wouldn’t say “I think you’ve done enough.” because that’s what any other movie would’ve used. It’s Tony Stark. Please write something else for him. So, what does he say? “I think you’ve done enough.” Rargh.
I highly recommend the film. I may have outlined a lot of “problems” but they’re mostly nitpicks and involve changes from what I’m used to with Spider-Man. They don’t really ruin the movie. It hits a lot of the right notes when it comes to comedy, action, and Peter Parker/Spider-Man himself. It has a pretty strong villain which we’ve been lacking for a long time with superhero movies. It deserves a lot of the praise it’s getting and I hope they do well with the next one.
There is a scene after the credits so make sure to stay for it.