Spiderman: Homecoming

Writing MovieWRONGS

By Jim West

Spiderman: Homecoming

Directed by Jon Watts

Written by Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers

Most of the time too many cooks spoil the soup.  For the latest Spiderman film, this is thankfully not the case.  This will not be a typical Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’, but more so a Writing a Movie ‘RIGHT’.  With most of these writers’ previous successes in writing for various comedies this gives our friendly neighborhood Spiderman the much needed infusion of humor, wit and charm this film needed to nail the character.  They also all managed to avoid what I often refer to as the ‘Spiderman 3’ plot debacle of too many villains.  With this all in mind let us dive into what these writers got right on this film.

Here comes the spoilers.

The film opens with the introduction and setup of the film’s villain.  Michael Keaton is the perfect fit for the role of the Vulture.  Solid setup for what drives him to crime.  His family’s wellbeing and to avoid financial ruin.  This makes it personal and not just a run of the mill psychopath.  Then we get a brilliant montage in the form of a ‘film by Peter Parker’ that catches the audience up to where our favorite web slinger is these days.  Tom Holland portrays Peter Parker with just the right mixture of awkwardness, charm, and quirkiness that really has you rooting for him.  The writers avoided some backstory on Aunt May which one scene in the film Peter begs his best friend who just discovered Peter’s secret to not tell Aunt May as she recently went through something assumingly traumatic.  Perhaps the sure fire sequel will dive into this a bit more.  Peter spends much of the beginning of the film trying to do something bigger and prove himself worthy of being an Avenger.  Tony Stark has some brief moments in the film and it is good that way as it could have easily become another Iron Man film.  The slight father and son dynamic between Stark and Parker makes for some light fun and garnered some chuckles. 

The film soon crosses Spiderman’s path with the Vulture and his crew of weapons dealers who steal alien wreckage items from events that occurred in earlier Avenger’s films to craft and create deadly weapons which they sell to anyone with the cash.  Peter tries to alert Tony Stark, but later accidentally foils a sting operation that Stark tipped the FBI to.  Stark in response takes away the new high tech suit he had given Peter and tells him if he isn’t nothing without the suit then he doesn’t deserve the suit. I did find this a bit contradicting coming from Iron Man, but this is easily forgiven when you see Peter rise to the challenge. 

Peter resumes his normal teenager life in school and even gets to ask the girl of his dreams out to the homecoming dance.  When Peter arrives to her house to take her to the dance, he is greeted at the door by Michael Keaton who is the girl’s father.  Awesome twist here, and creates the perfect tension that also feels like a typical father trying to slightly intimidate his daughter’s date.  Peter knows he is the Vulture and it isn’t long before the Vulture recognizes Peter’s voice.  These scenes are tense and when Keaton turns on the menacing stare it just sends chills down the spine.

The films wraps up nicely from here.  Big epic battle, lots of CGI, and our hero rises to the earlier challenge that Tony Stark gave him.  Tony gives him back the suit and the film ends perfectly with Aunt May discovering Peter wearing the suit with a brilliant close of film edit of her final line.  Comedic, witty, full of charm, and a villain with a real motivation.  These writers have clearly demonstrated here what it takes to write a movie RIGHT.

Thanks for reading Writing Movie ‘WRONGS’.   

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