We got a teaser for this new Spiderman in the Captain America: Civil War movie and I certainly felt like the kid was delivering as Peter Parker, AKA Spiderman. Spiderman: Homecoming opened today across America and early reports are solid on reviews and pretty tasty at the box office as well. As usual this opening day review will not have any spoilers.
So first I have to get a little Aunt May business taken care of. After Civil War I definitely mentioned that casting Tomei as Aunt May was a major league shift away from casting older almost grandmotherly figures in the role. Now many people were a bit upset to see the younger and sexier version of Aunt May. STOP right there. It is and always has been AUNT May not Great Aunt May. Parker is 14 years old when he makes the appearance in Civil War. There aren’t too many Aunts in their 70s with nephews but fourteen years of age. Marisa Tomei is 52 years old and even that is a bit older than average for a mother of a fourteen year old. Remember Aunt is a parent’s sister or in the case of Peter Parker, sister-in-law to his deceased mother. Tomei is really a much more logical age for an Aunt character than either Rosemary Harris who was 75 in 2002 when Spiderman was released or Sally Field who was 66 when The Amazing Spiderman was released. Seriously, Tomei is my age and both my children are in their 20s and I was in my 30s when they were both born.
Now an interesting thing happened in this movie with Aunt May versus the small bit part she had in Civil War. In the scene where Tony is on the couch flirting with May and Peter walks in… awkward… Marissa Tomei had her hair down and was definitely a rather alluring sight. Clearly, Tony was all over that 😉 That was not like any aunt may I have ever seen in the comics or movie screens. In this new ‘Homecoming’ they dial the sexy down quite a bit. Spidey’s aunt looks very ‘auntly’ and although Ms. Tomei’s sexy is hard to roll back, it was nowhere near as flaunted in this movie. So maybe the Spidey fans that like Aunt May as the classic nurturing grandmotherly type versus the club-hopping hottie in black dress won over the team at Marvel Studios with their fan mail rants. After all in the comics May was always a silver-haired older gal. Now let’s be clear, you ain’t gonna make Marissa Tomei look grandmotherly for at least another ten years, but they did go more librarian and less short skirt and heels, this time ’round.
So the first problem with Spiderman in general is the Spiderman fatigue syndrome. Yes friends since that fateful day in 2002 when Spidey flew across the silver screen and into our hearts and souls, he has appeared in seven films. It’s a dose of Spidey every other year on average. That is a lot of web cartridges.
This movie is fresh in the sense we get a guy that can really pull off the I’m 15. Both Maguire and Garfield were a bit unconvincing as teenagers. “No really, I’m just fifteen”. This Peter Parker looks like a high school underclassmen. I do like Tom Holland in this role. I look forward to more Spidey in the future and that’s a good thing since he inked a deal for four more appearances including a pair of solo films to complete the trifecta.
You will see Michael Keaton joining the rare group of actors to appear in both a feature Marvel Film and a Feature DC film. Of course Mr. K. AKA ‘Batman 1989’ is on the bad guy team this time. This movie is very much centered on Peter Parker and Spiderman with supporting characters remaining in supporting roles. This is a big tall order for a young 21-year-old actor who has to carry the load for the movie. He carries it rather well. Tony Stark, Captain America, Aunt May, and the classmates from Mid Town Tech are true supporting cast members. Tom Holland is on the screen in the majority of scenes. Bravo Kid, you did good.
The movie itself was a solid show that entertained and stayed on target. It was a pretty basic plot with a screenplay that was only a little better than adequate. This movie doesn’t suck you into the story like Wonder Woman did a few weeks ago. Marvel counters the rather ‘typical’ plot with their special brand of funny, and excellent dialog. Marvel can turn stale corn into moonshine and moonshine makes you happy. The formula works and Homecoming is yet another couple of hours a proof.
I am hoping that Tom Holland and the future directors in the next four films he is signed to do, will develop Peter Parker / Spiderman in to the wise cracking superhero we all know and love. I have no doubt he is up to the task. The future of Spiderman appears to be in very capable hands. BTW of course stay for the after credits, two scenes one early in the credit roll the other at the very end will make you laugh.
The top ten is safe after my morning screening, but this latest web crawling adventure scores very well none-the-less.