Sunday, 30 July 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming (4½ Stars)

I've been excited about this film for a long time, ever since I heard that Tom Holland would be the new Spider-Man, the third after Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. "At last they've got it right", I said. What I meant is that in the comics Peter Parker was 15 years old when he became Spider-Man, and Tom Holland looks like he's 15. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield both looked older when they played the role, and although the ages weren't stated in the film they both seemed to be 18, in the last year of school.

I can't fault the plot or the film's style. A lot of the film is more of a comedy than a drama film. Peter Parker is shown as a super-hero who's still getting used to his powers, so he's clumsy and makes a lot of mistakes. He's being mentored by Tony Stark, who is more interested in Peter staying out of trouble than fighting crime.

The film's super-villain is the Vulture, although he doesn't give himself the name. It's a nickname Spider-Man gives him after capturing him. In the comics the Vulture designed his flying apparatus himself, but in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" he uses stolen gadgets left behind by the aliens who invaded New York in the first Avengers film. Sam Raimi wanted the Vulture to be the villain in "Spider-Man 4" before he was fired. That would have been a very different Vulture, probably much closer to the comics.

My biggest criticism of the film -- my reason for deducting half a star -- is the cinematography. The film has a very dirty, cluttered look about it. Compare it with any of Sam Raimi's three Spider-Man films. In the old films the picture was always bright and clear. You could immediately see what was happening. In "Homecoming" the fight scenes are dark and untidy. You have to sit and stare to figure out who is fighting who.

I'm hoping things will improve in the next film, as far as the cinematography goes. Everything else is on track.

P.S. Will we ever see the Sinister Six on the big screen?

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