I have to be honest, I’ve been a little dubious about yet another Spider-Man franchise ever since they re-re-introduced the Web Slinger in Captain America: Civil War. I had zero interest in the Andrew Garfield Spidey movies because, as a general rule, I avoid movies that are made for no reason other than a studio has to make it or lose the rights to a beloved character. So to reboot Spider-Man for a third time in the same generation just feels weird to me. Especially since the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire movies not only nailed it, but they basically gave birth to the golden age of superhero films. And Spider-Man 2 is way up on the list of best movies of the genre.
Besides, now that Marvel finally has control of their most popular and iconic superhero, it seems to me they’ve made some odd and unnecessary changes. Maybe the studio is self-conscious about the fact this is the third Spider-Man in under 14 years. Or they feel the need to change the canon in order to fit him into the same cinematic universe as the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. But I don’t get the need to make Aunt May into Marisa Tomei in mom jeans. Other than Marisa Tomei in mom jeans is still a dime. And replacing Mary Jane Watson as Peter Parker’s love interest with Zendaya only makes sense in order to make the MCU more multicultural. Which, in a franchise that already has James Rhodes, Norse gods, Nick Fury, blue aliens, Brits, Nazi Germans, the Falcon, Black Panther and a giant green rage monster a little overkill. But whatever.
To me though, the weirdest choices involve Spider-Man’s costume. Why it has to be Stark tech now instead of just a simple suit a high school genius made himself is beyond me. And I thought the Sam Raimi device of having Spider-Man shoot webs as part of his mutation made perfect sense. Why did the comics decide Parker could climb walls, be super strong and have a precog spider sense of danger, but needed to make webbing in his garage? But the web shooters are back. Look for them to run out at exactly the worst time, like they always managed to in the comics.
Those objections aside, I’m on board with Homecoming. Marvel Studios has never let us down before. If they can make Ant-Man of all goddamned things into a superlative heist movie, then they can certainly pull off a few changes to their signature character. And it’s no surprise that Robert Downey Jr. is still crushing Tony Stark on what now has to be the 10th or 12th time he’s played him. Michael Keaton is a great choice for The Vulture because he’s Michael bloody Keaton. This one looks like it’s going to bring Spider-Man seamlessly into the Avengers: Infinity Wars Marvel’s been building toward all this time. But more importantly be, fun, mindless entertainment. The DC guys struggling to put Justice League together should be taking notes.