I would love to be Michael Keaton as he writes his C.V.
“I’ve been Batman (twice); I’ve been Birdman (once, and in an admittedly pretentious load of old nonsense); and now I’m The Vulture in the new Marvel Universe movie Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Noticing a trend here? I am. And I’m jealous as all hell. I wish that my C.V could add a few winged and pissed-off super-creatures to it.
Keaton is terrific as the villain and genuinely threatening. I also could sympathise with him to some extent. In the film’s prologue we watch as his salvage company gets shafted out of a contract to clean up after the Battle of New York in the first Avengers movie. Instead, the clean-up goes to Stark Industries so that the guys who wrecked the joint in the first place make even more money out of it.
That’s how Adrien Toomes (Keaton) sees it anyway. And since it’s the kind of scummy double-dealing that real-life governments would gleefully turn a blind eye to, whilst raking in the backhanders, I was with him when he swiped some of the grounded alien technology to help him recoup his losses. Of course he takes it too far and, eight years later, when Spider-Man (Tom Holland) learns that he’s selling alien weaponry to bad street guys he tries to take him down.
Spidey is still psyched up from his stint with the Avengers at the end of Captain America: Civil War. It was a great ten-minute appearance in which – finally – the powers-that-be seemed to have gotten the character right. But extend that ten minutes to a full length movie and the mix of angst and high-school wisecracks really began to wear on my grinding back teeth. These school kids are so deliberately gender-and-racially mixed that you can just see the producers and casting agents sitting there with little PC boxes to tick.
I could live with that if every single thing out of their dopey mouths hadn’t seemed to consist of: Man, that is so cool; that is so awesome; and that is so awesomely cool that it is, like, totally and awesomely unbelievable.
I didn’t like the Vulture’s suit either. It’s like Tony Stark’s battle armour and even the shots of Keaton inside his mask are so totally like the shots of Iron Man that for me it was, like, totally uncool and less than unbelievably awesome.
Talking of Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), his very extended cameo is great — again.
Although he does make a rather nasty quip about bloggers. I’m guessing that he was aiming it at illiterate (if enthusiastic) types like the bafflingly successful Harry Knowles rather than extremely talented but largely unread ones such as Your Humble Narrator.
But… Tony is also a problem. As Peter Parker’s mentor he brings in far too many gadgets. In fact, Spidey’s suit has just about as many gizmos as the Iron Man one. Surely this character was meant to be a more stripped-down hero; you know, a ‘friendly neighborhood hero’? We have the other movies for the heavier stuff.
And after the nice chemistry and flirting established between Tony and the screen’s most gorgeous-ever Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) I would like to have seen them interact a bit; but, sadly, they are kept apart.
The truth is that I want May to split Tony up from Pepper Potts. A guy like my Tony does not need Gwyneth Paltrow feeding him Gloop for the rest of his life. Sure, May seems to hate his guts but a bit of the old Stark charm should take care of that. (‘What was it that first attracted you to the multi-billionaire, Tony Stark?’)
I want May to get bitten by a radioactive…oh, anything will do… thereby getting her own stand-alone film as a super-powered villainess in a skin-tight bodysuit. It would be awesome. And very, very cool. But that’s just a personal opinion.
Oh yeah, and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is back and that’s another big plus for me. I just like that guy.
Listen, Spider-Man: Homecoming is fine and will be another hit for Marvel. It is a good shot at integrating the character, always something of an outsider, into the Universe – and Holland is very endearing as the web-slinger, even though as always happens with the web-swinging, the effects somehow never manage to make it look real. In fact, this time around they’re like a dodgy early video game. Maybe it’s just that, as I well and truly enter my dotage and find myself happily groping for the door marked EXIT, I’m getting too old for these movies.
I don’t think so, though. Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy manage to mix light-hearted wit and action sequences in a manner that appears seamless and which I find enormously appealing.
Is the clue to my curmudgeon-like moaning to be found in the end credits? It’s directed by Jon Watts; but who wrote it?
Let’s see: Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers; based on a screen story by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.
Oh, now I get it. It’s another Mummy: Film by Committee.