As a keen superhero movie watcher, I always wonder when I'm going to fall out of love with the genre. The MCU is now 16 films in for me (not seen Thor:R yet), the DCEU goes from depth to depth (not great films, but I still enjoy 'em) and Fox occasionally (or rather very frequently) throws an X-Men or two out there. And that's before the likes of yer Kick Assess, etc get in on it.....and that's just in recent years.
I've never been a huge Spider-Man fan. I liked the Raimi films and didn't mind the Webb films, but the older I get, the more I gravitate to the more serious, the more 'grown up' superheroes. So this one I approached with caution....the trailers were pretty good, but as I kept seeing them, they felt a little......'meh'. So I did wonder if THIS was the film, if this finally was the death knell to my cinematic love affair with the caped/masked types.
I ruddy well loved this from its very cool start (a video blog showing how SM arrived at a certain cameo in another certain MCU film and through to its hilarious Tony Stark sign off), to the high school geeky awkward moments (who wouldn't love to waste a night building a lego death star???? I'm in!) and then onto the meat of the plot, involving a great villain and for once, a plot that didn't involve the end of the world. That's the killer for me, that's the hook in this - it was a smaller scale movie (ok....within reason!) that seemed happy and content to focus on a small group of individuals and a bad guy who was just simply selling arms. No alien invasion, no world ending calamity, just a few dudes in a very well told, goody vs baddy story.
The tone is light and fresh, with only one single quip feeling out of place and forced (the gum under the bus seat? Really?????). The banter is genuinely witty and its great seeing Happy front and centre for once, even if he does spend most of the film trying not to be. The set pieces are exciting and the VFX are top notch, but I liked how the film went from its end of the second act mega set piece, to a relatively lower key third act, that for a lot of it was just Spidey vs Keaton. Throw in some genuinely nice little plot beats and twists (who saw the homecoming dance car talk coming?????), nice MCU nods (man crush on TS still in full effect!) and the fact that all the cast were really good (including Holland and Keaton, but all of them, including the rest of the kids) and this was a really good slice of cinematic fun.
What's interesting is look at something like Baby Driver - all that is, is a tale as old as time, 'one last heist' flick, with a career crim trying to leave his old life behind for love, but getting sucked back in.......how many of those have we seen? Tens this year alone I'll bet. Yet what makes that a good little flick? It may well be a traditional plot, but its elevated by good characters, a good cast and things like tone, music, genuine humour, emotional beats, etc. Why are superhero films any different? No-one complains about 'gangster film overload' or any other genre overload like they do about superhero films do they? Maybe its because superhero films have all traditionally followed the same plot beats - origin story, team up, plucky hero types, grizzled mentors, CG cloud type bad guy, repeat, rinse and repeat again. Where the superhero films this year (the ones I've seen anyway - Logan, this, GotG vol 2, WW, Dr Strange - I know, I only saw it on blu!) seem to be getting this absolutely spot on is for the most part, they're moving away from the standard plot and standard character fare and giving us exactly what Baby Driver gave us - sure the plots may be a little worn, but give us great actors, genuine comedy, some emotional beats and plenty of cool stuff on screen. Anyways, rant over......I thought this was a huge heap of fun and the super-hero gravy train shows no sign of stopping for me.
Its a pretty nice UHD presentation too - the Atmos track was really well layered around the room, with fantastic separation across the speakers for the whole thing. The overheads were used nicely to fill out the Atmos 'bubble' and it had heft and weight where it was needed, but like the film itself, always made sure it was a huge amount of fun to listen to. I'm not watching on a 4K, HDR panel, so can't really comment on the visuals properly - it looked very strong, but didn't have the visual 'pop' that Transformers had......but I fully concede I'm not watching it as intended.
Summary - a massively good time, with a playful and genuinely witty tone, balanced with a more grounded approach to the story: no world ending here, just nicely written and played characters facing off against each other. A very strong presentation (Atmos = ace) and one that thanks to the combo pack, I'll be checking out the 3D disc of very soon!
Spider-Man: Homecoming User Review
Genuinely witty and smart and........just plain ol' funReview of Spider-Man: Homecoming UHD Blu-ray by Coz22998, Nov 28, 2017.This item was purchased for £24.99 from HMV in 2017. The reviewer still owns this product.