Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is the second reboot of the first superstar of the 21st century superhero boom since Sam Raimi’s hit trilogy and this time Sony (who still owns the movie rights) has handed the creative reins over to Marvel Studios and allowed them to integrate the webslinger into the Marvel Comics Movie Universe.
Tom Holland actually made his big screen debut as Spider-Man, once again a hapless high school kid just like in the original comics, in Captain American: Civil War, recruited by Tony Stark to be his secret weapon against Captain America’s rebel heroes. After holding his own in his big league try-out, Holland carries Spider-Man: Homecoming with the youthful spirit of a high school brainiac nerd with the fresh charge of superpowers he’s still mastering, the unseasoned hero eager to impress reluctant mentor Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and make the leap from the streets of Queens to the big leagues of The Avengers.
This film wisely dispenses with the whole origin story and reintroduces us to the rookie wall crawler by revisiting his Civil War coming out party from the excited kid’s point-of-view via Parker’s camera-phone. It’s a perfect entry into this variation on the Marvel house style, capturing not just the charge but the culture of social engagement of a high school kid, a YouTube take on superhero spectacle in the first person.
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg are The Other Guys (Sony), the NYPD desk jockeys who step up (at least in one case reluctantly) when the squad superstars (hilarious cameos by Dwayne Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson) go out in a blaze of stupidity, in this parody of the maverick super-cop action movie. Ferrell favorite writer/director Adam McKay doesn’t hit the comic alchemy of Anchorman or Talladega Nights, but Wahlberg is terrific as the misguided maverick exasperated by his social misfit partner Ferrell. And for what it’s worth, it’s much funnier than the last Ferrell/McKay feature, Step Brothers. Features the original cut and an extended version (which runs about nine minutes longer), plus deleted/extended scenes and featurettes on the stunts and Michael Keaton’s second job. The Blu-ray packs in more deleted/extended scenes, “Line-O-Rama” ad-libs, comic featurettes and a “Mom-mentary” tracks featuring the mothers of director Adam McKay, co-writer Chris Henchy and star Will Ferrell. It’s funnier as an idea than an actual commentary track, but they have fun and they love their boys.