No one almost destroys the universe or the planet, or even demolishes a large European city or a sizable chunk of a New York borough, in Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s biggest liability is that it follows The Amazing Spider-Man. This sequel is so much better than its predecessor that I’ve gone from being merely disappointed with the 2012 reboot to being downright angry about it.
For all that, the new film bungles who Spider-Man is, where he’s coming from. This isn’t the only problem (there are notable issues around the plot and the interpretation of Spider-Man’s reptilian foe, the Lizard), but for me it’s the most intractable, because it undermines the hero’s moral center.
All good things must come to an end, but “The Spectacular Spider-Man” ended too quickly, after only two seasons. In April 2010 Marvel pulled the plug on the acclaimed but long-stalled series, leaving the season 2 finale as the satisfying but not fully resolved series climax.
Spider‑Man 3 is a movie stuffed to bursting — with action, plotlines, characters, humor, energy, moods, spectacle and certainly inspiration. Like its web-headed hero careening crazily through the canyons of Manhattan at the end of a web-line, the film swings breathlessly and without warning from one thing to another, from breakneck excitement to outrageous silliness to comic-book morals about responsibility, sacrifice and now even vengeance and forgiveness.
This is what a Spider-Man movie should be — freewheeling, rip-roaring, hilarious, heartfelt, over the top.
From its breathless, cartoony title sequence, with the letters of cast members’ names stuck like flies in a vast spiderweb,
Copyright © 2000– Steven D. Greydanus. All rights reserved.