Alright, let’s do this one last time: my name is Jose Zuazua. I was smitten by a fictional-guy who was bitten by a radio-active spider, and since my pre-k years, I have loved the one, the only…Spider-Man. I’m pretty sure you know the rest; I grew up, studied movies, had a kid, worked in movies, worked out of movies and now I review them. And then I review them again. Again and again…and again.
And since I’m still a life-long spider-fan (I do call myself a “spidermanologist”), here’s my non-spoiler review of his newest flick starring the returning Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal as one of my favorite spider-bads, Mysterio.
What I liked:
- There’s a visual sequence that starts the second-half of the movie that was not hinted at anywhere in any of the trailers that was so impressive, it changed my enjoyment of the movie (more on that later).
- It is great to see a lesser-known (to the mainstream) character like Mysterio on the big-screen.
- Peter’s life is constantly out of balance, and this movie does a better job of showing that than the last one did.
- It is also nice to see the Peter/MJ romance blossom, and the actor’s performances really strike a chord.
- They incorporate some of the background characters from previous MCU movies, which I thought was pretty cool, including Peter Billingsley, the little kid from a Christmas Story (he was in the first Iron Man).
- There’s a Peter and MJ sequence in New York that felt like I was playing the PS4 Spider-Man game.
- The musical score was also much better in this one.
- Even though it is shorter than Homecoming by a only a few minutes, this movie is well paced and flows better, making it feel shorter.
- The end credits sequence (before the typical first “post-credits scene”…scene) was also one of my favorite parts of the movie. It had this cool, stop-motion/collage technique going for it, set to the Go-Go’s “Vacation”.
- Since I saw it in IMAX, I got a cute little pvc figurine.
What I didn’t like:
- I understand that it is a franchise movie, but it still bugs me that this movie is just another piece of a giant marketing machine. It makes me miss the days of the self-contained spider-movies (yes, they had sequels, but they were still there to tell Peter’s stories). I would like to see a spider-film with no Happy Hogan, no Nick Fury, no overall connection to the MCU, even though I know it won’t happen.
- I still wish they’d give Zendaya’s MJ SOME sort of red in her hair. They could even use those colored, clip-in fake extensions that I’ve seen so many people wear. Or even color the tips! To me, MJ’s red hair is as iconic and defining as any other super-hero costume.
- I wasn’t crazy about how the humor is handled in the movie. Yes, Spider-Man is a humorous character, but I think everyone else being also-goofy throws out the balance of the movie and makes me less sympathetic to his struggles. They’re fun people! The first half of the movie is pretty much like this, which I wasn’t enjoying (until that visual sequence I mentioned up in my first point).
- I really don’t like when humor is shoe-horned into action sequences, as it breaks up the tension. This movie does it a few times, and I noticed this trend started in the much maligned Spider-Man 3’s end fight.
- What terrible movie posters this thing had. Who designs these nowadays? They’re supposed to sell a movie, not look like some bootleg graphic schoolwork folder you’d find in your local dollar store.
- The figurine that I wasn’t even expecting to get and was totally free doesn’t even want to stand. Psh. Whatevs.
Overall: It was fun and I enjoyed it. It could’ve been better, but it could’ve been worse.