Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) (Blu-ray film review).

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ leads on from the previous ‘Avengers’ film, totally ignoring how Peter Parker gained his powers and the death of his Uncle Ben. The weirdest thing is at the rate his Aunt May is getting younger, I’m almost expecting her to turn up attending the same university he’ll be going to. Don’t kids have elderly aunts anymore?

Adrian Toomes (actor Michael Keaton) and his salvage team removed by Damage Control because of the dangerous alien technology and metals by the government. What they don’t know is Toomes has already has taken away a lot of it and they start making their own weapons over the next 8 years. Pay attention to some of their real names and you’ll be expecting a certain Scorpion who much surely be lined up for the next film. Spider-Man in the comicbooks has an extended rogues gallery that should be exploited than rely on the usual suspects and looks like that’s going to happen.

Spidey comes across some of the technology in use and acquires a piece, unaware that that it can be tracked but it also means he put a tracker on them to track down the Vulture.

He also loses in a battle with the Vulture and although he learns about a plot on Staten Island, runs foul of Iron Man who sorts things out and takes his super-duper costume saying he’s not responsible enough for it.

It’s inevitable that Spidey fights with the Vulture and the gist of the plot. The added twist being Toomes is the father of Liz Allen although no one explains the difference in surname or ethnic background.

The oddest thing about watching ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was seeing plot elements from the 1960s comicbook for the Doc Octopus as the Master Planner and Green Goblin knowing who Spidey is transposed to Adrian Toomes. This is even more important in the latter part of the film. The technology of the Vulture’s wings passing more than a resemblance to the Goblin-Glider in the ‘Spider-Man’ 2002 film. You would have thought that considering that the Vulture wings is being powered by an alien anti-gravity unit that they would have been a little smaller. It’s like being attacked by a small plane and must surely limit where the Vulture can fly.

The second weirdest thing was seeing the names of Parker’s Midtown School class being transposed into a more ethnic diversity. Nothing wrong with that in itself, just that there is no attempt to resemble the comicbooks. Even more odd, is having one of the new ones knowing who Parker really is which is more than a hint at a similar situation to ‘Smallville’s first season.

Although I can appreciate there is a need for Peter to have someone to talk to, although dividing it between his close school mate Ned (actor Jacob Batalon), his suit AI and even Happy Hogan (actor Jon Favreau) means he gets too much of a reliance on them. Mind you, this does make a difference from the silent Spider-Man in past films. I know it’s difficult for studio heads as to how can someone keep a secret identity secret, more so when having a confidante will give the super-hero someone to speak to other than himself but it seems far too early in the time-line here to have such confidents.

I do side with Happy Hogan in that Spidey’s super-suit makes him far too powerful. It covers far too much distance. If you raise his power-level than you have to do with his villains and that should bring them up to the level of interest for the Avengers, except it doesn’t. Well, nearly not. Tony Stark partially listens but goes too far in debagging Spider-Man.

Having 8 years pass, I do think the time gap to be far too long. I mean, are the Avengers just standing around doing nothing in that time?

I got a greater respect for this film watching after the extras again and spreading out the repeat viewing has helped that. I think we are getting a little complacent with CGI effects. We take them so much for granted these days that it’s a lot harder to spot the live-action effects.

I’m still not really sure about Spider-Man having a hi-tech costume created by Tony Stark versus the original outfit he wore prior to having it which, as shown here, looks pretty dire. It’s taken as a given in the comicbook world that most super-heroes and super-villains are good seamstresses and degree level scientists. We only get a hint of Parker’s ability to create his web here and less of how clever he is supposed to be. The hi-tech nature of his costume makes him look more like he’s wearing an exo-suit and less of a hint of his spider-sense.

The important thing is they do capture the essential Peter Parker and the enthusiastic Tom Holland is perfect in the role, more so when you consider the number of actors previously. The balance of humour is a good contract to the other MCU films.

Oh, let the film run on past the final credits because it jumps into the extras..

We’ll skip the Slide Show with its confusing commands and the trailer. I mean, if you’ve seen the film, is that necessary? It’s even left to after the main extras.

‘An Inside Look At Marvel’s Spider-Man/PS4’ at nearly 3 minutes looking at the computer game. A bit weird giving him a white spider on his chest and back as it gives a target to his villains.

‘The Spidey Study Guide’ adds captions to the film, so we’ll skip that, too.

The 2 minute ‘Gag Reel’ is also a great way to see green screen placement and the wirework.

The ‘Deleted & Extended Scenes’ is a quarter of an hour long and is the untouched Peter Parker diary first and then the deleted scenes. Shame they didn’t keep in the one about the aftermath of the Avengers debris being taken away. The Midtown Technical High School events TV broadcast is really funny.

‘A Tangled Web’ has the now late Stan Lee explaining it was now time for Spider-Man to join the cast and it was done with the co-operation of Sony Pictures.

The extras go on forever and I found myself spacing myself out to watch them all with my full attention and realised I would have to watch the film again once I took in all the work involved. It’s too easy these days to take in so much of it is CGI but a lot of that is scenery. Discovering that the director took Tom Holland’s acting on wires over CGI shows there are still a lot of limitations in getting realistic movement.

‘The Pros And Cons Of Being Spider-Man’s biggest reveal is thigh chaffing from the costume. You do have to wonder how the real super-heroes get around this problem. I suspect for those who are super-strong, it wouldn’t penetrate their skin.

Finally, the ‘Rappin’ With Cap’ where Captain America does all the advice for students. The ‘Photo Gallery’ isn’t very large surprisingly and goes into a cycle after a couple minutes.

When it comes to epic blockbusters or films of interest, I’m finding I’m choosing Blu-ray over DVD and that’s mostly because of the lack of extras in the latter, even if I have to wait for the price to drop at the moment. Undoubtedly, this one has it in spades. Despite some criticisms above, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ does have a better balance than the earlier Spidey films.

GF Willmetts

April 2019

(region B blu-ray. pub: Sony Home Entertainment. 133 minute film with extras. Price: I pulled my copy for £ 5.00 (UK). ASIN: B073Q6MWYL)

cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau and Jacob Batalon

check out website: www.sonypictures.co.uk

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