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Iron Man 4 The High School Years: A Spider-Man Homecoming Review

Critics are allegedly saying that Spider-Man: Homecoming is the best movie of the summer. Fans are allegedly saying that this is the best Spider-Man film, EVER.

What am I saying to all of this?

Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.

I’m so glad Disney decided to postpone the Black Panther film everyone has been demanding for over a decade for yet another mediocre hack of a film about a white superhero. Because the first five films about the white dude wasn’t enough. We had to go for a sinister six.

Despite all of this, I was willing to give Homecoming a shot. Tom Holland impressed me with his performance as the wall crawler in Captain America: Civil War. And let’s keep it 100, fellow 8-packer and Future Hubby #16 makes my spider sense tingle.

I was also sold when I learned that Zendaya was cast as the iconic Mary Jane Watson.

Leave it to Marvel/Disney to figure out a way to swoop in like a vulture and snatch the fail out of the jaws of win.

Tobey Maguire was more Peter than Spidey. Andrew Garfield was more Spidey than Peter. It probably had more to do with the way the roles were written and this is certainly no slight on the previous webslingers. Tom Holland might be the first actor who managed to be an excellent Peter and Spider-Man.

Zendaya got shortchanged with that MJ bait and switch. For those of you just joining us Zendaya was cast to play Watson which pissed off white fandom to no end. Similar to costar Tony Revolori who played Flash Thompson in the film and received death threats for doing the job he was hired for.

Mary Jane Watson has always been the breathtaking actress/model/girl next door. And they couldn’t have found a better actress in Zendaya, but the second they cast a black girl, they change her name to Michelle (who goes by MJ) so not to anger the white bigots and dress her up like a Daria, downplaying her striking beauty. Which would be completely fine if Zendaya was portraying a different character. However, it’s interesting that producers only want to get “creative” with a “new interpretation” of MJ which would’ve never happened had the actress cast been white.

That’s not even the worst of it by any stretch, sadly.

Because Marvel/Disney can’t seemingly come up with an original and decent idea that isn’t a rehash of Iron Man, they essentially columbussed Miles Morales’s storyline and cast. We’re talking everything from Iron Man training Spidey to his bestie being a heavyset Asian fanboy of a best friend. Essentially Homecoming erases Miles Morales from his own story and replaces it with a white character. You almost have to admire the lengths Disney will go to be as racist as they are. But when you have Ike Perlmutter, a Trump supporter, as Marvel CEO, we shouldn’t be shocked. Especially when you couple that with Amy Pascal serving as one of the executive producers. You remember Pascal; the raging bigot whose racism got exposed in the Sony email hack? For a movie that’s supposed to be diverse, it’s telling how everyone is comfortable with black people getting the short end of it yet again. By the by, tokenism and window dressing does not equal diversity. Homecoming DOES NOT get props for having a bunch of throwaway PoC characters, especially given that they ripped off the story of a Blatino superhero.

If your “diversity” is comprised of racism and anti-blackness, it’s not diversity. It’s white supremacy. As I had to remind Jim C. Hines when I called him out on his gaslighting and victim blaming.

Oh but wait there’s more. Sadly, there’s more.

In addition to the diversity being little more than window dressing so white movie-makers can pat themselves on the back, the writing was absolute garbage. Oh you don’t believe me?

One example. In one scene, Spidey “accidentally” racially profiles and assaults an Asian citizen who was getting in his car when the car alarm went off. The scene was played up for laughs. Now had the victim been white or if this film was made 5 or 10 years ago, it could’ve been funny. But in the age of Black Lives Matter and having a white supremacist as an executive producer, this is hella problematic. But when you consider that Civil War was essentially Stark’s campaign to legalize racial profiling… well…

Sill not convinced? Oh wait, there’s more.

At one point in the film Stark tells Spidey that he is too inexperienced to fight super villains and needs to stick to street criminals until he gets more experience.

Okay that’s fair.

Yet this is the same Stark who took that inexperienced teenager halfway around the world and had him fight in a major superhero brawl which resulted in a decimated airport and Rhodey (a career decorated soldier) being paralyzed. And as a buddy of mine so accurately pointed out, “Considering that he coerced that same inexperienced adolescent into fighting for him by threatening to inform Parker’s aunt about his exploits as Spider-Man, Stark doesn’t have a moral leg to stand on. Then again, that is nothing new.”

So what was Stark’s bright idea for dealing with Vulture? Call the FBI. Because Stark couldn’t be bothered to fly back to New York to help, he sends ordinary law enforcement to try to apprehend a flying armored super villain who’s armed alien tech.

Now speaking of Vulture, Michael Keaton delivers what might be his best performance to date. Couldn’t tell half the time if he was playing Vulture or Batman but either way, I’m not complaining.

The worst part about Homecoming. The potential was there. This movie could’ve been amazing. The elements were there but this film read like the rushed first draft of Iron Man 4: The High School Years.

The fact that Wonder Woman, a far superior and more progressive film, is being nitpicked among the self-proclaimed fauxial justice fauxgressives while this fustercluck is given a pass is a reflection of white privilege, misogyny and homophobia. People were jumping at the chance to bitch and moan about a movie featuring an iconic queer superheroine yet these same folks were doing mental Spidey acrobatics to defend the gaping plotholes in this movie. As they do with every movie from the MCU.


The Sam Raimi  Spider-Man still holds the title for the best live action Spidey flick.

This has just not been Marvel’s year.  First Iron Cyst, then Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and now this fustercluck. Meanwhile the DCEU has been on point and then some.

I’ll definitely be following Tom Holland and Zendaya who are both immensely talented and delivered with what little they had to work with.

As for this movie. I’m giving it a C-/D+.

Do yourself a favor and go watch Wonder Woman or one of the old Spider-Man films. It’s not like there’s a shortage of them.

Homecoming? More Like Go Home.

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