Spider-Man: Homecoming – Meaningful Narration Meets Lackluster Visuals
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Spider-Man: Homecoming tries to achieve many appreciable things. Some of its tries lift off the ground and some stay back reeking of lackluster. But just for its crowd-pleasing efforts, it has to be appreciated even whilst throwing the film under critical radar. In a time where some superheroes are overpowered by their gigantic wings, Jon Watts paints the picture of modesty as Spiderman too encloses his vulnerabilities.
The film begins right after Spider-Man’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War. An excited Peter Park makes a home-style film out of his airport showdown with the Avengers. He is a teenager who is still coming to terms with his super-heroic alter ego. Spider-Man: Homecoming is Peter Park’s embracement of Spider-Man under the majestic mentorship of Tony Stark. The film circles around Park’s uncertainties and vulnerabilities and paves the way for his entry into the Avengers franchises. As an unavoidable necessity for any super-hero movie, this one too has a villain. Its villainy ends and begins with an intimidating Vulture.
Director Jon Watts sticks to a “Win some, Loose some” formula throughout the film. For instance, the way Spider-Man: Homecoming focuses on its characters and their development instead of flashily succumbing to trumpeting heroism is admirable. The entire selling point of Spider-Man is the fact that he is so vulnerable. He is your average teenager who is still wrapping his head around the fact that he can shoot webs and fly across sky-scrapers. This coming of age awkwardness gets a refreshing twist in the film. Through this perspective, Peter Parker is never a one man army. He is made stronger by the team surrounding him. Bringing in this angle of story-telling definitely makes the story more believable.
But what the director fails to achieve is a balance. When you throw out unwanted jazz, chances are you might come off bearing lackluster too. This is where Jon Watts goes wrong. In an ambition to scrape off the universe-crumbling sequences, he scraped off the film’s inherent tension too. There is never a nail-biting moment in Spider-Man: Homecoming. If equilibrium was drawn between luxurious indulgence and bare necessities, the director would’ve achieved what he intended to.
Tom Holland wears the Spidey suit far better than his predecessor Andrew Garfield. His ability to bring in shades of excitement and naiveté to his character strikes a chord with the audiences. But it is still too soon to tell, considering this film is just about laying the foundation. As Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr’s presence in the film is as charming and snarky as ever. His repeated appearance is justified.
As Vulture, Michael Keaton’s appearance makes an inside joke on his previous embodiments but his character is sketched to be just the right amounts of intimidating.
Visual story-telling in the film is cut down to bare necessities; this is not acceptable in a super-hero film. The lackluster visuals could’ve been jazzed up to a reasonable scale to withhold suspense in a firm manner.
On the whole, Spider-Man: Homecoming is lacking in bedazzlement, at the same time, its simplicity is also meaningful in significant moments. Considering its half-hearted predecessors, this film definitely fares better.