Right in the beginning of the film, Tony Stark tells the enthusiastic Spiderman who now wants to audition to become an Avenger,
“There’s a little grey area there” Stark gestures with his thumb and forefinger separated by barely an inch, “that’s where you operate, alright?”.
And then he proceeds to hug him, only it’s not a hug, he’s reaching out to open the door so Peter Parker can get off the car.
While everybody seems to be in a battle between Marvel and DC comics in talking about Spiderman, I think the best way to look at Spiderman Homecoming is look at Spiderman Homecoming alone. So, I am leaving the superhero bits aside and talking only about the film and of course the things in a film that always interest me more – the script, the character and (often) the music.
Here are the 4 ‘GREY AREAS’ that I absolutely loved in Spiderman Homecoming.
As usual, I have a huge soft corner for great scripts (okay maybe three corners). I think Marvel does a good job with it. But what I really liked about this is that it was absolutely bang on, in terms of the age of the ‘teenage’ Spiderman’ his mates and the ‘grown-ups’ in the movie AKA Tony Stark and the Vulture. And of course the sideways humour! A good example? Towards the end, Tony Stark is about to announce Peter Parker as the Spiderman. And he says: “Just beyond these doors are 50 journalists waiting – journalists mind you not bloggers!”
Taking off from the earlier point, the age-appropriateness of the script, the narrative and the dialogue.Moving from Tobey Maguire to Tom Holland, in my opinion was a good start! That makes the teen behaviour credible. Teens will be teens. They will rebel. When told not to do something, they will do it. (And probably not do it right) The entire plot of Spiderman rests on the fact that here was a starry-eyed teenager all set to do big things (“This is my chance to show the world…) and now he is told to toe the line and behave! If you’re a mother of a teenager (or even an Aunt May of a teenager) you know what I’m talking about! To top that, the conversations around the girl he likes, the conversations between Ned and Peter Parker and the laconic MJ – all make it very credible.
The Human and the Superhuman
In earlier films, you always saw Peter Parker as either Peter Parker or Spiderman. In this version, he is both – human and superhuman – and no one is afraid to show that. Which is why we see him pull off his mask while he perches himself somewhere high to catch his breath or make a call. In one of the scenes, even friend Ned is wearing the mask while they chat easily in his room! So, he is a superhero but he is also a teenager and a buddy, and that’s what makes him even more endearing.
Finally, I love the fact that the Spidey technology has moved into the modern times. When Stark, annoyed with Peter Parker’s failed attempts at rescue asks him to give up the suit, Peter Parker says:
“I’m nothing without the suit”.
Honestly, I wouldn’t want to give up that snazzy suit either! (Yes, I’d change the design and colour scheme a bit but) I love the fact that it’s so cool and hi-tech.
The suit fits like a glove with a touch (I have to make repeated visits for alteration!)
Then the suit has a built-in voice activated system: The ‘Suit Lady’ later renamed Karen, aka Jennifer Connelly. And she is cool. Her quips are better than her directions plus she has a decent sense of humour.
And that drone! I loved that the suit has a built-in Spidey drone that does little smart things. (I could do with one too! Even if it is just to entertain the cats!)
What’s not to like?
Well, I like superhero movies to reach a point where you feel nothing can be done, or where you sit on the edge of the seat and try to fathom how the superhero will manage to save the world from the villains. Doesn’t happen here too much.
Of course, the smart Marvel & DC fans know they need to wait for post credit scenes and this time that scene itself was quite tongue-in-cheek so that was fun. (Not telling you what it was!)
Verdict time: Should you see it?
Here are the answers:
A. If you are a comic fan, see it (how else will you manage a conversation with your buddies huh?)
B. If you’re not a comic book fan, you could spend a bored evening in the theatre and watch the action.
C. If you’re the serious intelligent types, and can manage the great depression without a superhero, don’t watch it. Read a book or something. (Okay, being mean here). But seriously, if this genre doesn’t appeal to you, make the popcorn at home.