Alex Hunter’s review published on Letterboxd:
I like Tony Stark in this movie. I like how he secretly cares a lot about Peter, I like some of the subtlety involved with that.
I like the Vulture, maybe I just like Keaton and that car scene with Keaton. Genuinely stressful, genuinely performed.
Filmmaking wise it’s perfectly fine. It’s colorful (thank god). It has a consistent tone and solid pacing. But... there’s no style to it. The high school scenes are shot the exact same way as the Spider-Man scenes. There is no visual difference. Instead they play the Ramones in the background to give it some energy. Every shot is filmed in flat mediums, even the pretty ones (Peter sitting on fire escape during golden hour).
I will say the score is excellent, so is the opening VLOG stuff and so is the comedy. The jokes never take away from the momentum of a scene. These elements give the film some personality.
Spider-Man looks like a cartoon. They covered a beautiful suit with CG paint and he honest to god looks like Bugs Bunny bouncing around the scene. No sense of weight to his movement.
Not much weight to anything, honestly.
None of the high school stuff feels believable to me, save for the performances, which are (mostly) great. I went to a public high school, where people would smoke weed in the bathroom, have fights in the hallway, and scream through class. Did any of the 6 writers go to high school?
This is a smart privilege person high school, which really takes away from the relatability element In my opinion. Peter has always been a poor kid with a big brain in a school full of dumb ass judgy kids, which makes him have a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
That’s more real to me than everyone being on the science team. That makes Peter feel not so different. Takes the outcast element out of his character. I guess you could say Ned and Pete are not in the “in crowd” of smart kids. But still. Flash is smart. Liz is smart. MJ is smart. Ned is smart. Betty Brant is smart. Those other kids are smart. What makes Peter any different from them? We don’t see money troubles. He’s friends with a billionaire superhero. His aunt is supportive and loving. What problems does this kid face?
He likes Liz, we don’t know why, which I can assume is supposed to mean she’s just his first big crush. Ok. That makes sense, but what is interesting about Liz as a character? She’s rich, she’s pretty, she wants to go to a good school, but why does she want to go to that school? Who does she want to be? The only remotely interesting or compelling thing about her is Daddy Keaton.
Daddy Keaton, a blue-collar worker who had enough and stole shit to become what he hates. I was excepting Peter to critique this or anyone to critique Vulture’s actions. No one does. Not his wife. Not his daughter. Peter is too focused on the act of him stealing being wrong to realize he’s stealing from a billionaire who has walked all over the average Joe. Shouldn’t Peter relate more to Mr. Toomes than he does to Mr. Stark? Vulture gives a good speech about this exact dilemma, to which Pete responds with
“Why are you telling me this?”
No drama. No moral grey area. Everything is black and white. Everything is an idealized and over simplified view of conflict. Over simplified high schoolers, over simplified problems, over simplified Spider-Man.
Spider-Man is all about complexity, what is complex about Homecoming?
Who is Flash? Why does he not like Peter? Is he insecure? Why is he insecure? Who is MJ? Why does she have a bad attitude?Who is Ned? How does Ned feel about being a fat nerdy kid in a group full of pretty people? How long have Peter and Ned been friends? Does Peter being attractive, smart, buff and Spider-Man affect Ned in any way? Does it make him jealous? What do these supporting characters want for themselves, what are their problems, their flaws? Do they have any? Is everyone happy in this world?
High School dramas need to have drama.
Peter’s drama comes from wanting to be an Avenger and get the girl we never get to know. I don’t need to say anything else about that. That’s what the video is for.
These were my thoughts when watching Homecoming. Thank you.