“Spider-Man 2” from 2004 (the powerfully ballooned version of “Spider-Man,” vol. 1, no. 50, “Spider-Man No More”) is this writer’s gold standard of “Spider-Man” films. Although “Spider-Man: Far From Home” was extremely effective, it didn’t reach that mark. It got real close, though. Then came the first post-credit sequence. That mere two minutes blew theater-goers’ minds and blew “Home” into “Spider-Man 2” territory. It was so shocking that the film’s second post-credit sequence, a somewhat surprising one to a Marvel (Comics) Zombie and completely perplexing if one is just a Marvel movie fan, almost fell flat. Which is quite an accomplishment for Marvel, a studio that, before this film, was criticized for making movies with plots that don’t move characters forward, action without real stakes and filled with heroes who face no consequences. No more, indeed. Wow, wow, wow.
There are now six “Spider-Man” films, and this fresh, lighthearted ’80s-teen-films-inspired romp is better than 1, 3, 4 and 5. (But not combined. And no “Spider-Man” film may ever be better than Tobey Maguire’s “Spider-Man 2,” and Marvel Films has seemingly made peace with that reality.) And don’t be surprised that your opinion of Spidey’s high-tech, 2017 costume might be determined by how old you are. As the villain, superhero movie veteran Michael Keaton brings the amount of gravitas this film sometimes wants and needs. After the identity-discovering shocks of “Homecoming”‘s final scenes, it’s clear Zendaya is not the only one who is no longer undercover. And be sure to stay to the very end of the credits like the well-trained Pavlovian Marvel Films dogs we now are…..(heehee 🙂 ).