Final Grade: 6.5/10 (Thumbs Up)
Consumer tips: Rated PG-13 by the MPAA. 133 Minutes Long. Distributed by Sony and Marvel. Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Robert Downey Jr., and Laura Harrier.————An acceptable Marvel movie but not without it’s fair share of problems.
Plot copied from Google: “Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.”
Well, with that out of the way, let’s begin…
I did like this movie, I did really, but in more ways than one it’s problematic. Anyway, it’s infinite times better than the last movie I reviewed. It’s much, much better than the other Tom Holland movie I reviewed recently, Onward, which I was far too nice to. I’ll start with the good stuff first because there is a good amount of that.
I really did like the performances in the movie. Tom Holland does his job passionately as always and all the other performances are on par with his. I particularly like Zendaya’s, but Jacob Batolon almost runs off with the movie. Michael Keaton shines brightly but hey, it’s Michael Keaton. No actor phones in their work, they’re all great.
I was rarely bored in the movie. The pace is fast and lags not too often. The visual effects are stunning but I’d be lying if I said that I couldn’t get the same effect in other action movies. However, they do their job quite nicely and contribute to the intense action scenes. The scene on the Washington Monument is absolutely riveting and so thrilling I was literally on the edge of my
seat couch as is the climax. How fun this movie is to watch is what really makes it. It’s very funny, and the action is extremely ridiculous but in a good way. I suggest watching it with friends but we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic so please don’t do that.
Unfortunately, the inept way it handles how it’s supposed to make you feel puts a sizable dent in the film. It’s hard to explain but I’ll try. The point of Spiderman is the balance between being a superhero and a teenager, right? Yes, but good lord is not good at finding that balance and the results are usually painful. Not always, just usually. Take a scene early in the movie. Peter and Ned are in gym class doing pull ups. The room is crowded with people doing likewise but for whatever reason a group of kids are sitting on the bleachers chatting about Spider-man. They wonder who his true identity is, “He’s probably a 30 year old loser,” (that wasn’t verbatim, but along those lines). Ned can’t take it, he yells out “Peter knows Spider-man,” and that gets them invited to a party eventually. It seems so simple but it’s constructed in this cynical way. The language these gossiping twerps use is intended to be as callous as possible so it’ll persuade Ned to kind of blow Peter’s cover. It works but you also feel really bad for Peter. He never gets to live like a normal teenager, every meaningful social interaction gets upended so he can save the city. It hurts to see him have to suck it up and abandon it almost every time. My point is driven home a few scenes later at the party itself. Peter promises he’ll “…bring Spider-man,” with him but he ends up needing to leave to save the city. It ends with everyone at the partly gleefully shouting “Penis Parker, Penis Parker,” again and again. Peter isn’t even there, he’s all the way across town but Ned tells him over the phone and ends the scene by saying “I guess we’re losers again,”. This stings, it really does. The movie feels unsatisfying (sort of) as a result and you can’t help but wonder why Marvel couldn’t just let Peter be a teen every so often instead of carelessly tossing our investment in Peter aside. If you need clarification for this paragraph, just ask.
The only other problem I have is the subplot involving the villain, it’s pretty dull which clashes with the overall tone of the rest of the movie. Michael Keaton is really good but otherwise…………*yawn*.
It’s a shame because every other aspect of the movie is really great. That’s why I’m still giving this movie a positive review, it made it and it earns it I guess. I recommend it, the good aspects trump the bad ones enough to make this at least semi satisfying. I was just a little frustrated sometimes that’s all. It’s all good fun and this is just my silly little opinion and I must say I’d watch this film again.
Notes and observations:
- The post credits scene involves…actually I can’t spoil it for you but it’s pretty cool (it’s in the video down below).
- There is another post credits scene. You see, in the movie there is a running gag where Captain America is stuck giving PSAs for school about detention, drugs I think, etc. He appears in this very brief little scene after the legitimate credits are done rolling, he gives a little speech about the values of patience.
- Speaking of the credits, right before the first post credits scene, Marvel does the typical credits sequence (before the long, white on black list) where they animated scenes from the movie in paper or whatever while credits appear. I’ve included it below.
- I’ve included the trailer below and the Wiki page which you can find here. Bye!