Not a Review of “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

So this week we (mostly me) watched “Spider-Man: Homecoming“, AKA “The One That Does Have Tony Stark In It, But Not Enough Of Him, Despite All The Posters That Make It Look Like He Is A Major Character”.

Although the presence of Robert Downey, Jr., Tony Stark was sufficient to get my wife to start watching the movie, things quickly went south once we got past the preliminaries.

Wife: “Why is Peter Parker so dweeby?”
Me: “Peter Parker is supposed to be dweeby.”
Wife: “Not that dweeby.”
Me (after a moment): “I think you got spoiled by Tobey Maguire.”
Wife: “Probably.”

She also thought the movie was pitched a little bit young …

Wife: “You know how when you’re little you like dinosaurs because they’re big and powerful and can do whatever they want*? And then when you’re twelve you like super-heroes because they’re even more powerful than dinosaurs?”
Me: “Are you saying I’m twelve?”
Wife: “No, just that this particular movie seems to be aimed at high-schoolers.” (beat) “Maybe middle-schoolers.”

Funnily enough, Peter Parker himself summed up the real problem she had with the movie, when he was talking to Karen, the AI that lives in his suit.

Peter: “Should I tell Liz that I’m Spider-Man?”
Karen: “Who is Liz?”
Peter: “Who is Liz? She’s the best; she’s amazing. She’s just a girl who goes to my school. And yeah, I really want to tell her that I like her… and maybe the truth. But, it’s kinda weird, you know? Just walk up one day saying ‘Hey Liz… I’m…I’m Spider-Man.'”
Karen: “What’s weird about that?”
Peter: “Well, what if she’s expecting someone like Tony Stark? I mean, imagine how disappointed she’d be when she sees me.”
Wife: “Very.”

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” put my wife to sleep in a little under an hour. Once she realized Tony Stark wasn’t going to be back for a while, she more or less lost interest. The next day I played his other two big scenes for her, which made it like an about fifteen-minute film where Tony Stark mentors Spider-Man, then Iron Mansplains to him about being a hero, then finally mentors him again before Spider-Man goes off to find his own way in the world. She was okay with that version.

Call it “Spider-Man: Homeschooling”, maybe.

* I’m pretty sure she got this from Dave Barry’s “Daddies and Dinosaurs” column, from 1986.

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