They say that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. If you hate something you at least feel passionate towards it, even if it is negative emotion. Indifference is the total absence of anything resembling caring that something exists. That is how I feel about the Spider-man movies. That is how I feel about the Toby Maguire trilogy, the Andrew Garfield duology and it was how I felt about Spider-man: Homecoming when I heard about it as well. Then, three magical things happened in quick succession that changed everything. The first was this movie:
Spider-man isn’t even in the damn poster, but that kid chewed the scenery like a puppy chews your best boot. He owned every scene he was in and made me crave more. The rest of the cast, as you can see above, were all too busy practicing their constipation faces and soliloquizing about the gravity of the situation to make the movie any fun, but the second Tom Holland arrives:
Shit gets interesting
The second thing that put Tom Holland on my radar was this:
skip to the two-minute mark and prepare for some intense sexual confusion
I’m not going to go on about how glorious that performance is, sufficed to say that the level of commitment he gives to that lip sync battle is what you can expect of his role as Spider man.
That brings us to the third thing that got me to the point where I could gleefully leave all the other Spider-man endeavors in a poorly acted (Maguire), poorly plotted (Garfield) heap on the side of the Trans Canada Highway to be eaten by moose: I watched it.
I don’t want to give too much away, because I went in without a clue where the story would lead, which villain we’d be up against and which Avengers would pop in for a paycheck and I was pleasantly surprised on all fronts. The only things I will say are that the movie meanders and is not particularly plot driven, but that is a high mark in its favor as the cast is of high enough quality that just watching them live their lives feels like an accomplishment in entertainment. Kind of like watching that one season of the Kardashians where one of them married that basketball(?) player and divorced him in the span of like a month.
What have I done?
Now that I’ve gone off topic I feel the need to include a quote from the wisest Kardashian, which I use on an almost constant basis whenever my child yells at me for not feeding her fast enough, taking away something sharp and/or poisonous, talking to her in a tone she doesn’t care for, interrupting her when she’s trying to shit on the floor, etc, etc:
Kim is legit at the same emotional level as my toddler
Spiderman in this movie goes to a pretty inclusive high school. There’s a little bullying (all from one guy who doesn’t seem to be that popular himself), but mostly everyone is just nice to each other, which was a jarring change after 13 Reasons Why. Perhaps it was all the Captain America anti-bullying videos the school played during gym.
Don’t do drugs, kids. Unless they’re in the prototype phase and physically enhance you to the level of a superhuman
It is also the most culturally diverse school I have every seen depicted in a major film. There were honest-to-god Hasidic Jewish kids roaming the halls (pardon the pun), Spiderman’s two love interests were both mulatto, and his best friend was…my best guess would be Hawaiian in ethnicity. As my movie companion pointed out, this makes perfect sense considering that its set in New York City, one of the most culturally diverse places on the planet, and it made for a refreshing change. Basically, if it hasn’t been clear up until now, I loved this movie. It was fantastic on its own or under the umbrella of the Marvel universe. I’m really excited that they decided to “third times a charm” the franchise, because this one is going to stick. When my daughter wants to watch Spiderman, I still might show her the Andrew Garfield ones simply because Homecoming is slightly lacking on the girl power front, but Spiderman: Homecoming has benevolently moved into the space in my brain that used to hold this image
and for that I will be forever grateful
p.s. I wanted to give a shout-out to the best character of the film: Spider-man’s suit, Karen. I haven’t been so in love with a Siri-like computer generated character in a movie since Jarvis in the original Iron Man and FUN FACT: Karen is voiced by Jennifer Connolly who is the real-life wife of Paul Bettany who does the voice of Jarvis!