On December 7th, I totally, completely forgot about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I actually only realized that it happened because I had to look down at the lower right-hand corner of my laptop so I can use the date as a point of reference for what I actually want to say. Instead of observing the war tragedy that forced an isolationist United States to begin campaigns against the Japanese, I saw the very first teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
There was a lot of hype growing in the past 48 hours because that trailer ended up being the trailer for the real trailer that came out late last night. (This is how marketing works now in the 21st century) Tom Holland impressed in the red-and-blue suit during the couple of scenes he got in Captain America: Civil War. The new movie, Homecoming, takes our Spider-Man back to high school and looks like it is really targeting the adolescent audience. The Peter Parker elements, like staring across the lunch room at the girl he’s crushing on alongside his overweight nerd friend, feel like the sort of thing that’d be written in a Young Adult novel. Just the fact that the friend is Asian (that CAN’T be Harry Osborne) makes his character feel more realistic, as though the school actually does comprise of various ethnic backgrounds. So despite the questionable use of MGMT in the trailer, the cast doesn’t resemble a bushel of cauliflower, for once. I’m INCREDIBLY wary about the casting decision for Flash Thompson, however. If you watched Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and thought, “that smol bellhop sure has an intimidating presence about him,” then congratulations! You are fit to miscast bully characters in Hollywood blockbusters.
I do find it peculiar how hard he’s crushing on someone who is neither Mary-Jane nor Gwen Stacy. I’m not familiar with the actress playing Peter’s love interest this time around, but I’m optimistic that she’ll bring something new to the table. The kid’s full of raging teenage Spider hormones, so it makes sense that there’s a girl he’d pine over, but the execution needs to be strong. I don’t like that the trailer already gives it away that he gets with her in some capacity, as having a phone call with her explaining things like he’s in a relationship kind of dropped some of the “will she, won’t she” suspense right from the get-go.
The trailer shows a lot of Tony Stark, too. Which is fine, because RDJ is one of the few reasons to watch any of the Marvel movies anyway. Having him in the movie hopefully means Marisa Tomei is going to reprise her role as Aunt May. That way I can sit in the movie theater and silently, but happily, contemplate whether or not Peter’s loving, old aunt should be that sexually attractive. I mean, this is the same actress from My Cousin Vinny, and the same one who performed a strip tease in The Wrestler. I’m excited to live in a universe where Peter’s aunt is actually a selling point of a Spider-Man movie.
Further strengthening the cast, Michael Keaton’s role as Vulture is one of perfect Hollywood irony. He was once the Tim Burton era Batman. Then he starred in Birdman as a washed-up actor known for his heroic role in his younger days. And now Keaton is actually playing an old man in a bird suit. That’s the kind of fate that is written in the stars and found in tea leaves at the bottom of jade cups. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a great actor, either. This level of experience making up the adult cast ought to help guide the younger stars of the film. The suit and the laser tech used in the trailer are really cheesy, though. They looked like props, and I’m fairly certain that these clips have all seen their go through post-production already, so I’m bracing for schlock.
Tom Holland looks like he has the character nailed down, but he is still a little too small, muscle wise, to completely satisfy what I know to be Spider-Man. The original Tobey Maguire films still have the best version of the hero in terms of body physique, and I don’t think that including the shot of him shirtless in the trailer was needed. It was clearly a thirst trap designed for adolescent females to gif and reblog on their Tumblr pages. A little exploitative man bod never hurt anyone. Literally, he’s still so little. Adorable, but as someone who finds himself vainly and self-consciously staring at themselves in the mirror all the time, it’s very very clear that Tom Holland was flexing with every fiber of his being in that shot. I was hoping some of that Hollywood physical training he’d supposedly been doing in preparation for this film would have added a little more bulk than simply make him more cut. Oh well. As long as he can shoot webs well and the plot isn’t as bad as Amazing Spider-Man 2, then I will happily put up with it.
Hype Rating: 4.5 Hypes out of 5