I was late seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming due to an injury, so it wasn't until last week that I got to the theater to see it. In that time I heard all the spoilers, reviews, compliments and complaints. I knew to stay through the credits but that it was a silly thing and I knew about the big twist reveal with Michael Keaton (which I promptly forgot about and was still surprised when it came up). The film has received a lot of praise and it was good. Tom Holland is a great Peter Parker / Spider-Man, the cast around him were great and it told a good story.
It was also a love letter to late John Hughes, something director Jon Watts has admitted in multiple interviews. If you're a fan of Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, then this was right up your alley. If you aren't into the teenage angst / coming of age film genre, then this may not have been the Marvel film for you. But that is what is really great about the MCU is that each film has it's unique niche in the genre and none of the other films feel like this one, yet this fits in with all the others as a whole. Kind of amazing really.
And if you're still reading this and haven't seen the film yet, I'm about to go into spoiler territory… so be warned.
Marvel made a specific choice in the film to skip the origin of the character. And while I can completely respect that since we've seen it twice in the last decade along with the cinematic deaths of both Cliff Roberts and Martin Sheen, it left something missing. The character of Ben Parker is crucial to who Spider-Man is. The line: "With great power comes great responsibility", and then Uncle Ben's death combine to motivate Peter Parker into becoming the hero he is. Was it necessary for the movie? Nope. Was the movie lighter and more fun without the death of a beloved character? Yup. Why am I complaining? Because of one very specific scene which was basically taken out of the comics themselves.
Amazing Spider-Man #33 featured a classic scene where Spider-Man is trapped under a ton of debris and he struggles until he wills himself to lift it. It was a very dramatic scene and was on display in the film when the Vulture collapses a building on the Wall-Crawler. In it he's trying to get out, calling for help… but finally it's the voice of Tony Stark that inspires him to do the amazing feat. And that fell completely flat to me. The line he hears is the, "If you're nothing without the suit then you shouldn't have it." That is a great line for Tony Stark to be inspired by, but Spider-Man has never been about the suit and just because Stark through some gadgets in, that doesn't change the heart of the character. Nor does the mentor relationship that Marvel was showing us replace the words of Uncle Ben.
For a movie that did so well everywhere else, this really took me out of the moment. It was one thing to skip the whole Uncle Ben part of the story to keep the film moving and upbeat… but to then take what should've been the ultimate call back moment to the Great Powers line and give it to Stark… that just feels like they killed Uncle Ben all over again.