Unlike most super hero movies, this one does not open with an origin story. In this iteration of Spiderman, the fans are treated to a seeing Spiderman/Peter Parker after he has teamed up with the Avengers. The first sequence follows Parker as he is anxious to leave school and get out to be a super hero. It is a really cute sequence and proves how young Parker is compared to all the other super heroes. The only part of the origin story that the audience sees is his close friend Ned, finds out about him and tries to help him (the formulaic buddy part of the movie).
While there is nothing really new that this movie brings to the table, it tries new things with mixed results. There may be SPOILERS beyond this point. There was a lot more diversity to be seen. The friend group at Peter’s science school was made up almost exclusively of minorities. It was a nice change of pace. Considering it was a special science school, it isn’t a reach to believe that the student body would be more diverse than your average school. I did find it slightly frustrating that Peter, the white kid, was of course the smartest and best at everything. I realize that is who he is in the comics, but it would have been a nice opportunity for the movies to diverge a little. Having said that, the friends surrounding Peter were well placed. I expect to see a lot of humor in Spiderman movies. I did wish that this version had Spidey himself being slightly funnier, but given that he’s new at super-heroing, it isn’t really surprising that the wise cracks weren’t constant.
There were quite a few cameos. The best was Captain America, by far, in this videos being shown at Peter’s school. Iron Man appeared a few times, but was more of a scolding figure than a guide. It set the tone that Peter was on his own, not a part of the Avengers, but someone who could assist them as needed. The stage has been set, another superhero for the Marvel Universe. After Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, the debacles of those two movies, this was a breath of fresh air. The movie and story were both enjoyable. We saw the movie in one of those fancy Dolby theatres and I was surprised the surround sound didn’t blow me out of my chair. The Marvel movies are always great and this was no exception.
With respect to my Hina test – the movie passes, but not by much. The movie centers around two white men, Spiderman and the Vulture. To make matters worse, so to speak, the guidance Peter gets is either from Happy, Tony Starks’ assistant or something, or Tony himself, also, all white men. The supporting cast is wonderfully diverse and it gave me hope for future movies. The female characters, especially Michelle, were strong, not always in need of Peter’s help, certainly not as Peter.