All images courtesy of Sony
I've said some rude things about Spider-Man that were maybe, just a little bit too harsh. I'm just not much of a fan: I fully hated the earlier 2002-2006 Spider-Movies with a passion (I found them cheesy as hell, in a time that I found the X-Men movies stirring and relevant—minus X3—I'll give you that one). And—I'm sorry, I know he means a lot to a lot of folks, but I always found him to be a pretty corny dude, a lucky straight white boy (at least, of what I'd seen, purely from the movies) who gets to be a special athlete-hero and get the girl and all that.
So, I went into Homecoming with some serious trepidation. I was very pleasantly surprised by a movie that was adorable, fun, and surprisingly funny, a much lighter and more self-aware take on the Avengers universe—excuse me, MCU—that hints, at the very tippy-top surface level some kind of awareness of the mega-privilege of main series heroes like Tony Stark.That it didn't engage much more deeply with that (and that its cast was so diverse EXCEPT for its main hero, c'mon) were my biggest beefs with the film. But it worked for me, far, far better than I expected to.Young, earnest Tom Holland puts in a very game performance as Peter Parker, but we've already established that the character isn't really my cup of tea. That's ok, because his friends were awesome. They're believable kids who are hilarious (his nerdy buddy Ned is *so excited* to be part of this, Academic Decathalon teammate Michelle is like an Aubrey Plaza-ish best friend who always laughs at him), his aunt May is played by a wonderfully manic Marissa Tomei, and Captain America shows up for schoolroom PSAs in the Very Best Use of the Cap ever. And I adored Michael Keaton in this film as Vulture, a bad guy who starts off as a family man and construction foreman who gets a raw deal in our shitty economy.
He has the best lines in the film, as he stabs at Tony Stark and his billionaire ilk who literally make all the messes that poor folks get tasked with cleaning up.And he absolutely MAKES a scene that I won't spoil—because it is wonderful—that will be familiar to any kid who has ever gone to a formal high school dance. That was genius.It was also very well-paced, with fun action sequences that involve all kinds of destruction in neighboring boroughs of my adopted home of NYC (and in Washington, DC). There's a sense of fun and adventure to the whole thing, enough to make this Spider-Hater happy to give him another chance.How about you, friends? Do you have movies/games/books that you found rad enough to overshadow characters you don't care for?