WRITTEN BY ARSH VOHRA
Symposia : 8.4/10
Average IMDb : 8.0/10
Average Rotten Tomatoes : 91%
‘Captain America: Civil War’ was a great film for a number of reasons but one of the main ones being: the introduction of Spider-Man in the MCU. Played by Tom Holland, this was the third reincarnation of this character in the last fifteen years. Four years later, I can confidently say that the MCU’s Spider-Man is the only one which got nearly everything right.
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy has aged...absolutely terribly. I’m aware it’s a hot take, but if you go back and watch the films again, all of their flaws are painfully apparent. The ending of the first one had an over the top Green Goblin make Spider-Man choose between Mary Jane and a literal school bus of children screaming “help us Spider-Man!”. Why would anyone think that was a good script? ‘Spider-Man’ makes it impossible for viewers to believe that Willem Dafoe is one of the best actors of our time. Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man is AWFUL. He is a cranky and annoying joke. I can’t believe we tolerated him for three movies. Despite the fact that Sam Raimi was just doing the absolute most, we all loved the movies because they were fun. After a rewatch, I don’t think this version of the franchise is fun, but they are some of my favourite good bad movies. It’s just such a good time to be deemed bad and not even close to being remotely good; so it sits comfortably in the grey area between the two and I will watch these films again because of course I will.
We don’t need to talk about “The Amazing Spider-Man”. It was so bad they didn’t even get around to completing the trilogy. The same industry which thought ‘Tall Girl 2’ is a good idea couldn’t fathom making a third ‘Amazing Spider-Man' film. We can forget about this now.
After an army of disappointing adaptations came the first good Spider-Man film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. I rewatched this recently and remembered why this was a (almost) perfect Spider-Man film. This film has one of the best villains in the MCU. Micheal Keaton’s ‘The Vulture’ is brilliant. He is a grounded, motivated villain who the writers adapted perfectly from the comics to fit the new Spider-Man. This film is genuinely funny and not only is this in my top 5 MCU films but also in my top 5 teen comedies of the decade. It’s sequel ‘Far From Home’ is almost as good as the first and that's saying a lot. Tom Holland is the definitive Spider-Man. Not Toby Maguire who acts like an infant or Andrew Garfield who is just way too cool for his nerd status to be believable, but the awkward and stressed out sophomore of the MCU is a perfect reincarnation. What makes this Spider-Man work is the fact that the stakes of the first movie are low but that’s a good thing. Peter Parker is just a kid trying to navigate high school, hormones and the whole crime fighting thing. By the time we reach ‘Far From Home’, Peter faces another dilemma, he needs to step up as an Avenger. He goes through two character arcs across two movies and that’s more than what we can say for Ant-Man.
The writers working on these movies truly understand Peter Parker. This might annoy some fans because the teen comedy aspect makes up at least 70% of the film and Spider-Man isn’t fighting aliens in the multiverse or big multibillionaires. Peter is just a regular guy being regular and ‘Homecoming’ and ‘Far From Home’ embrace that about spidey. I’m sure as the MCU progresses, he will play a bigger hand in the whole fighting huge, extra terrestrial monsters etc., but for now he’s everyone’s favourite, down to Earth, friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.