In the first 10 minutes, Spider-Man: Homecoming corrects everything that was wrong with the Andrew Garfield version: a Peter Parker who cares more about people and being kind than anything else, setting up the reality of all the moral conflict to come as he's repeatedly given the choice between what he wants and what's right.
Michael Keaton takes a second-class (classic, but ultimately lame) Spider-Man villain and makes him the most articulated and terrifying thing in any Marvel movie to date. It's also nice to see a cast that's extensively ethnically diverse without feeling like it's checking boxes in a Beneton ad, though we must note they stopped short at colorblind casting any of the leads.
However, the film's organic feel is also its only weakness: it's too real to have a linear story arc that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the victories are all so harrowing you nearly weep with relief, yet so humbling that there's little to enjoy in the outcomes.
Perhaps that's what it should be, showing us that action isn't the fun stuff—it's the scary stuff, and we shouldn't hanker for it in a universe populated with real people. The fun stuff is with the people who make your life rich, not in putting them at risk.
But then, it also means we as the audience never get to enjoy the escapism of vicarious triumph. This Spider-Man is so real we never quite get to feel like we've left our own struggles at the door—which is both to its credit, and its limitation.
So what am I doing now? Vlogging in my spare time, of course! Having just returned to Canada after 16 years away, I'm trying to document some of the processes and conundra of getting settled over here. Check it out if you want to see me stumbling around in full colour!
And it seems that sometime in the last few years, the Flickr import widget on this site stopped working... so I will have to fix all my photos. Augh. Will get to that.