Welcome to the weekly column Trailing Off in which I take a look at a trailer from the past week and analyze its potential. This will be done using an obnoxious amount of analyzing and personal thoughts on the cast and crew as well as expectations. Coming every Sunday (it's called Trailing Off for a reason), I will attempt to highlight films ranging from new blockbusters to lesser known indies and give them their due. Partially to spread awareness, I do believe that there is an art to the sell and will do my best to highlight why these trailers matter or don't with approval (trove) or disapproval (trash). So please stop by, recommend some trailers, and I will see you next time.
Trailer in Discussion
Directed By: Jon Watts
Written By: Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley (Screenplay) and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford (Screenplay) and Chris McKenna & Eric Sommers (Screenplay), Stan Lee Steve Ditko (Comic Book)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Tom Holland
- Preamble -
After a few weeks of having lackluster options, the impossible happened when selecting a topic for this week's Trailing Off. There were now two very promising selections to choose from. The one not chosen was War For the Planet of the Apes (which looks great), which is probably on the more anticipated side of things for me personally. I love the first two films in this series reboot and eagerly await the next chapter - corny Woody Harrelson dialogue and all. I felt that picking it would be too easy, as it would more than be the best of the bunch, if not one of my favorite for the year. Instead, I am choosing Spider-Man: Homecoming, which should be more interesting because I've had one of those weird relationships with Spider-Man movies.
To be honest, Spider-Man is a very compelling type of hero. He mixes teen angst with web slinging in ways that create fascinating allegories. The best movies have captured this. He is a hero who takes his duty seriously while also questioning its values. I believe that director Sam Raimi did great work on this in his first two entries, less so on the fun but underwhelming third one that derailed the franchise for some time. Then there was Marc Webb's Amazing version, which I felt was problematic but had fascinating things within its problems. As it stands, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 may be considered a bad movie, but I'm too fascinated with what it was trying to be.
Alas, that film bombed and derailed the franchise for the second time in record history. This franchise would be entering its third version before Raimi's first one turned 15. Not even Batman's turn from Joel Schumacher to Christopher Nolan to Zack Snyder has had that quick of a turnaround (unless you count Lego Batman). Tom Holland is the latest figure to play Spider-Man and made a charming debut in Captain America: Civil War earlier this year. With his debut solo film coming next year, one has to wonder what's in store for the web slinger.
To be honest, I have little expectations for what I am about to see. I may have a bit of Marvel Cinematic Universe fatigue, but I found Civil War to be a high point. Also, I think that Holland shows early promise and will hopefully produce excellent work as a result. I think that he was just overcrowded in Civil War to make much of an impression. He needs his own story to get things going, and I feel like maybe, just maybe, we'll have the best Spider-Man since Tobey Maguire. For some (mostly purists), that is a great thing to think that this could get the character right. For me, it's mostly about how much I enjoy him. So fingers crossed.
I am unsure if this is going to be a familiar origin story like we have seen twice now, but I do think that there's a lot of interesting pieces going on in spite of everything. For starters, I think that finally being able to afford other superheroes for a Spider-Man movie may at least give it some authenticity, especially with Robert Downey Jr. playing a sort of mentor figure. While I think that even Downey Jr. has gotten a bit tired of this franchise, he still brings a bit of a charisma to the character that will make him impossible to escape whenever wanting to properly introduce any character. As it stands, going the way of him mentoring a teenager will at least give us the chance to hear the familiar quips go down with a different approach.
I may grow weary of this film being overshadowed by the bigger MCU, but I do think that for now it does show promise of working as a standalone film. Basically, we'll see Spider-Man become Spider-Man without any problems interfering. I don't know that the brief glimpses of the villain are necessarily reassuring, but the opening moments where he insults a group of thieves is definitely fun and reflects what could be coming next. Maybe we're not even seeing the main villain yet. Who knows. All I know is that it looks like Spider-Man is going on an epic journey next summer, and it will have plenty of high flying fun.
I do think that Holland is promising in being cast as Spider-Man. I just think that there's little else right now to convince me that he'll be great. I like that even his Peter Parker moments have a bit of humor to them. Overall, I think that he has a great vibe to him. I just hope that he manages to stand his own film and not have to worry like Guardians of the Galaxy did of serving partially as an exposition piece for the rest of the franchise. It may be why Civil War seemed so novel by introducing him and Black Panther. Maybe that introduction will cut around the awkwardness and throw us directly into the good stuff. I just hope that this is a good film period.
- One Sentence Sell -
There's a new Spider-Man movie coming out, and he's brought Tony Stark with him.
- Trove or Trash -
I like seeing a good superhero film and while I am skeptical a little of this one, I still think that it has potential to reboot a character that is inherently interesting and give him a purposeful place within this franchise.