If you know me, you know I’ve had it up to here with comic book films being bad. As David pointed out in his analysis of the Justice League (2017) trailer, why should we be subjected to such cookie cutter and empty stories about our childhood heroes when we got such incredibly grounded stories as kids? Even Spider-Man: The Animated series (1994-1998), which I made my mother record for me on cassettes while I was at summer camp, had more substance than most of Marvel’s recent movies and all of DC’s (I, too, thought the Justice League trailer was garbage). Now Marvel has countered DC/Warner Bros’ JL trailer and released a new trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – a movie I could not be more excited for… Only that quickly changed after watching this:
Not THAT terrible, I’ll admit. I’m still behind Tom Holland’s Peter Parker and while I’m frustrated by how much Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark will be in the movie, it does make the most sense since even in the comic books, Stark was an inspiration for Peter as both a superhero and a scientist. It’s a solid trailer, the action looks cool and Michael Keaton’s Vulture looks terrifying, but I have two main issues here:
First off, I feel like I saw the whole movie in this two-and-a-half minute trailer. Spider-Man’s going to have his suit that Stark gave him in Captain America: Civil War (2016) and then things are going to go awry when Spidey bites off more than he can chew taking on The Vulture, and Stark will come in to save the day on the ferry and then punish Web Head by taking his suit away. It’s a cool story structure that puts Stark in a father figure position and puts a completely different spin on the whole ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ mantra that every Spider-Fan bases their whole life off of; but why give that entire plot device away in the trailer? It’s going in a completely different direction to show Peter and younger viewers like a nine-year-old Reed that when you’re given something great, you should never abuse it for your own personal gain. Uncle Ben doesn’t need to be shot in cold blood because we’ve seen that story done over and over these past 50 years. It’s the same issue that trailers have had forever now – going a conservative route to guarantee seats are filled by telling them exactly what’s about to happen.
My second issue is that this trailer does not shine the same way the first one did. In the first trailer for Homecoming, we saw Peter Parker in high school, feeling like an outsider and someone who wants to fill shoes they don’t fit into yet. This is a side of Peter Parker the Ultimate Spider-Man comics approached marvelously (pun entirely intended) – contrasting the struggle of being a superhero (in a world of older and better-trained superheroes) with the struggle of being a high schooler. Sometimes being a teenage superhero means sacrificing your first kiss with Mary Jane/Gwen/Liz to save a kitten in a tree, and with MGMT playing over the first trailer, I felt that struggle. This trailer, with its generic ‘epic trailer music’ over it, just feels like another superhero movie Marvel is churning out to put heroes in place for the next Avengers movie.
I’m not writing this movie off by any means. In fact, I’m probably part of the problem because no matter what I’ll see the movie opening weekend and write about it in the spirit of content. I still think this looks more heartfelt and more genuine than Wonder Woman (2017) and Justice League put together, but I can’t deny that this trailer sort of extinguished the desire I had for this movie to come out. Spider-Man, to me, is the greatest superhero of all time. While I doubt that this movie will help me prove that, I hope to at least have a smile on my face when I walk out of the theater in a few months after seeing it.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) hits theaters July 7th, 2017… and here’s hoping a (more probable than not) third trailer will get me back into the swing of things (pun, once again, entirely intended).