‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is a Benchmark for Blockbuster Diversity

With each new superhero film crowding your local cineplex, it is difficult to reminisce of a time when only a scarce number were in the ‘know’; when they catered to an unambiguous demographic which, of course, was inherently male. Now, between each respective cinematic universe, i.e. that of DC and that of Marvel (and whatever the heck X-men pertains to), the spandex agenda is picture-to-picture and all-embracing. Fatigue, on the audience’s part, is inevitable, which the studios have addressed time and again – mostly in attempt to dismiss it. Howbeit, steps are being taken to rekindle the same flame of the very first Iron Man. Between Sundance darling Taika Waititi on the front line of Thor: Ragnarok to this year’s Logan throwing us back to the like of Little Miss Sunshine, the future for these sci-fi/action/adventure hybrids seem a little bit brighter. Jon Watts’ latest release is a clear indicator of that.

Ridding the film of the high-scale endeavours that usually take place within the Marvel canon, Spider-man: Homecoming breathes new life into Steve Rogers’ America. No longer are we scrutinizing their world from a lavish tower complex or even from another planet altogether – we’re knocked down a peg and taken to the streets of Queens. With the cast members themselves claiming that the experience was more akin to starring in an indie feature than anything else, the latest reboot is a fresh and youthful installment in an otherwise exceptionally familiar universe; largely owing to Tom Holland’s swing at the title character. Much is to be said about this boy wonder who, at just 21, carries most of the movie on the back of his web.

Forgettable adversaries have become a marker for the ever-expanding MCU. Fortunately, Michael Keaton’s Vulture is an exception to this. The viewers have a peek into his psyche before even getting a chance to see the man of the hour. Unalike the cookie-cutter villains that had preceded him, his motivations are lucid and comprehensible. On a similar note, the supporting characters, albeit a tad animated at times, assist in keeping the film grounded. As if to say, ‘Unable to relate to a boy bitten by a radioactive spider? What gives? No worries – Zendaya’s Michelle hates parties and I bet you do too’.

All in all, Spider-man: Homecoming is not only a benchmark for blockbuster diversity, it is a representation of the audience that views it, and it quite frankly makes me excited about going to the cinema again.

by Kassandra Karlström

When she’s not chowing down on dumplings or sleeping for twelve consecutive hours, eighteen-year-old Kassandra is most likely marathoning Rick and Morty in the comfort of her own abode in Swedenland. That, or swooning over the works of Don Hertzfeldt whose World of Tomorrow is up to par with her other favorite picture, 12 Angry Men. Follow her @krlstrm.

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