Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming ★★★½

Okay. Buckle up, because I'm getting honest and personal with this one. Infinity War just came out, and I'm feeling a little bit ostracized as a Marvel fan because I didn't like it. Or Black Panther, or Ragnarok, or Guardians Vol. 2. I haven't loved a Marvel film since Guardians of the Galaxy -- except this one. This movie is proof that I'm still a fan. A disappointed fan, but one that can still be won back. Here's how I know:

I knew Tom Holland was and would be a great Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but after Guardians Vol. 2 disappointed me despite my love for Star-Lord, I went into this one hesitant, and ready to be cynical. And for a while I was feeling it creep up. I kept thinking, "It's fun, but kinda empty. Not exactly good." But then it did something that no other Marvel film has. It won me over.

It wasn't even the villain twist, as good as that was. The movie kept creating potential but then not pursuing it as far as it should, and I was getting tired of it. When Toomes drops the building on Peter I thought, "This would be a great opportunity to show Peter have a moment of weakness; if they showed him having a hard time getting out of the rubble. But they probably won't. They'll just keep the focus on Toomes, and Spidey will just pop back up out of nowhere." And I was ready to get irritated at them for it, but then The Scene happened, and it floored me. It gave the movie meaning, it made Peter feel complete and fully realized (it gave Tom a chance to really impress on the acting side) and it really hit hard, setting up serious stakes for the final battle.

When the movie ended, I still knew it was flawed, but it succeed in surprising and winning me, even when I wasn't predisposed to be. In the end, Tom Holland's Spidey is the reason I love this movie, but amid type A Marvel missteps, it did him justice by going for broke on emotion and heart when it counted.

It's a little thing, but it was all I needed. I love this movie. I may have even underrated it, which isn't something I've done since The Winter Soldier. I always overrate Marvel movies. I try to convince myself I like them better than I really do because I want to love them, but few stay as good on the second view and even less get better with time -- but this one is one of those. And all it took was a tiny bit of a personal touch.

So I'm sticking around, ready and waiting for another movie to get churned out of the Marvel cogs that has a heart and soul. Flaws don't matter; I just need one little thing to win me over.

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