I’m about to get very unpopular right now. I hated the first three Spider-Man films. Why? Because I hate Tobey MaGuire. I’m sure he is a perfectly nice person, and I have seen movies with him in it that I like, such as Pleasantville. However, I do not like him as an actor. How he was able to carry the role in the aforementioned film is beyond me. Maybe they got that one director in a million. I don’t know. Whatever the case, he was insufferable as Spider-Man. There is the meme about the many faces of Tobey Maguire, well, that’s all I can think of when I watch those movies. Andrew Garfield was a little better in the role. At least in the first film he starred as. I at least felt like he was trying to fit into the role of the character. Still, he ended up being destroyed by studio interference. Though, that’s what happened to the original films too. Huh, there might be a clue about Sony and their vicegrip on this franchise in there somewhere.
But for the first time in, roughly 15 years, I actually feel like I have watched a Spider-Man movie. It’s finally happened! I knew it would be after I saw this actor in the role in Civil War. Tom Holland was perfectly cast. He looks the part. He sounds the part. Everything about this kid just screams Spider-Man. I really liked this movie. Is it perfect? Hell no. But as far as doing justice to this character and making a good Spider-Man film, this movie is the closest we have ever gotten, and part of me is worried that Sony is just going to fuck that up down the road. Let’s talk about it.
The plot picks up 7 months after the events in Civil War, where Parker is back in school and trying to balance being a superhero and desperately hoping to be involved in something larger by Stark once-again. Meanwhile, there is a villain who actually has a pretty neat motivation secretly working toward a goal, and Parker is the only one who can stop him. It’s pretty standard superhero fare, but man is it all in the execution.
Once-again, Tom Holland rocks this role. I feel like I am legit watching Spider-Man live up to his namesake! The acting is great all-around. Holland rocks the main role. His buddy Ned is pretty fun too. He’s funny. He plays the sidekick role really well. Plus, you actually believe that him and Parker are friends. Their friendship all comes through due to the chemistry of these actors. Next up we have Aunt May, who is featured much less than I thought in this movie. They also gave her glasses for some odd reason. But you actually feel her compassion for Parker. The love interest in the film is actually a pretty nice character. I don’t care that they changed her ethnicity. It’s all good to me. I liked her character.
A role that stood out to me was the villain. Everyone knows it’s the Vulture, so I’m not spoiling anything there. But he is a pretty neat character. So many superhero films lately have a problem of boring antagonists. We actually get to see where this man’s motivations come from. Is he super deep? No. But it’s a hell of a lot deeper than the paper-thin villains I have seen in some of Marvel’s movies. Plus, he is played by Michael Keaton, who totally owns the role. He is nefarious and in it for himself, but you can see where he’s coming from. And I like how they were able to get past the whole “we’re not so different” angle in this film in a pretty clever way.
But there is one performance that just bugs me – Mary Jane. Do I care that they also changed her ethnicity? No. Not even a little. What I do care about is the fact that they made her into the biggest garden-variety SJW ever! She’s annoying. She’s preachy. I half-expected her to talk about her Tumblr page, it’s that bad. How Peter is going to get past that and want to be with her in future films is beyond me. This character was downright insufferable. Is this a nitpick? Absolutely. It didn’t hurt my enjoyment of the film overall. See, I can handle SJW pandering so long as it’s in a good movie. But whoever directs this next, can we PLEASE make this character a little more likeable?
Tony Stark also comes back, and I was a little disappointed in this. Robert Downey Jr was fine and all, but I was kind of thinking that Stark was going to go at this from the angle of him trying to become a father-figure in Peter’s life. They framed it that way in the trailers. There is one exceptionally-good moment where he is castigating Parker, but that’s pretty much it.
Finally, I have to talk about something which is a minor spoiler. Spider-Man unlocks an AI program in the suit Stark left him, and she is entirely too much fun. The scenes where her and Parker are arguing about stuff are just great. Desperately hoping this character becomes a mainstay of the series.
The effects and action in this movie are pretty good, but since this film is really character-driven, I honestly don’t have much to say about that. Vulture was a pretty good villain. Seeing Spidey doing his thing is pretty awesome.
The final thoughts on this movie is that it’s loads of fun. It’s not perfect. It’s being held back by the fact that it has some scenes that drag and an SJW-tastic character who was grinding my gears every time her preachy ass was on screen. But overall this was loads of fun, and it is my favorite Spider-Man film to date. But here is where I am worrying. Sony has said that after the last Avengers film, they are cutting ties to Disney’s Marvel. Please don’t. These people know what’s what! Having their input has gotten you so much farther. Let them stay involved. Granted, Kevin Feige is leaving the MCU after this, which is when I plan on tuning out, so maybe it’s all for the best. We’ll see what happens, but at least I finally got ONE good Spider-Man film that makes me believe this character is Spider-Man.
8 out of 10