I can still recall the day I watched my first Spider-Man movie. For some reason, we had one of the 2000 movies in our house but had never actually watched it, so I didn't really complain or disagree when our babysitter (yes, I was still fairly young) convinced us that the miscellaneous Spider-Man movie was the perfect choice for that evening.
I remember almost nothing about the film itself, other than I thought it was a ridiculous film because obviously the Marvel Superhero bug hadn't bitten me yet, and I went about my life up until yesterday honestly believing that Spider-Man was one of the strangest and worst superheroes out there.
Well...I was wrong.
In the tradition of catching the latest Disney film during opening weekend, Megan and I headed to the theater last night, settled into our recliners, and waited to watch Spider-Man Homecoming. We realized after the film that both of us had considered skipping this film, figuring that perhaps this one wasn't quite up our alley. In fact, I had completely forgotten about this new addition to the Marvel universe until I went to the theater a few weeks ago to see Wonder Woman and saw the giant Spider-Man Homecoming advertisement display, and even then I wasn't sure about the film.
First of all, I'm absolutely behind in my Spider-Man Universe knowledge. I had completely forgotten that he was a teenager, hence the Homecoming title that made no sense to me until I saw the film (although it does still feel like a sort of strange title). But like all the Marvel characters and films, I'm still learning, and it seems that with each new film I find a new favorite character. Spider-Man was no exception.
We've had a lot of great Marvel films in the past number of years, and a lot of wonderful television shows to back them up. Look at Captain America: Civil War, which came out last week and was absolutely a rollercoaster of emotions from start to finish. It wasn't just a welcome and worthwhile addition to the Marvel Universe, but was a spectacular stand-alone film. Spider-Man Homecoming, in my opinion, ranks in the same [ferry] boat. It'll make much more sense if you've seen a previous Spider-Man movie, and the pieces will fit together better if you've seen, specifically, Captain America: Civil War, but that's not to say that it can't be watched on its own.
That being said, things I wasn't as thrilled about with the new Spider-Man movie (and don't worry, there are no spoilers here): as always with Marvel, it is a bit of a problem that you might not understand all the references and key plot points unless you've seen a prior film. Since Spider-Man was reintroduced in the last Captain America movie, there are multiple references to it in the film, and while, like I said, it makes sense without having seen the other films, it makes more sense when you have seen the films. Just something to note. I also felt the pacing was a bit strange throughout the movie, since the climax of the film seems delayed due to a prior climactic moment (or three).
On the opposite side, however, with things I loved about the film, I can't express to you how much I laughed during this movie. Where with Civil War I cried more than during any other Marvel film, this time I laughed more, and it was consistent and well placed, which is extremely important in action films like this. In particular, the post-credits scene had me in tears, and is well worth the wait, if you're patient enough. The characters all felt developed and included at just the right moment, especially in regards to the reveals of the film (of which there are several).
But most importantly, the message of the film is consistent and clear: If you're nothing without the suit, then you shouldn't have it. This film about a coming-of-age teenager who just happened to fall into a world of superheroes proves a very important point about living up to the person you want to be, and following through with your actions. We may not all be Iron Man or Captain America or even your everyday neighborhood Spider-Man, but behind the suits, they're people who care and strive to do what's best, even if they are in the midst of a Civil War. They don't just put on the suit whenever they feel like doing good, but rather are able to do good whether they're wearing it or not, and that's important to remember.
I won't lie, I think Spider-Man may just be my new favorite superhero, a spot that has, up until now, really only been held by Captain America (and, perhaps, a bit of Ant-Man). There was just something about the geeky Peter Parker donning his specalized suit and trying to live up and prove himself to his superiors, an idea that certainly resonates with those in my age group just starting to head out into the real world, where we too will have to prove that we are just as worthy without the suit as we are in it.
If you haven't had a chance to see Spider-Man Homecoming yet, head to the theater as soon as you can to catch a showing, because the spoilers in this film are already everywhere and it's only been out a couple of days! Do yourself a favor and see it before you see the spoilers, because it'll be worth it!
Have a magical day!