‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ And ‘Baby Driver’ Aren’t Great Films And That’s OK

Because they are great movies.

It seems today theaters are reserved for a very finite number of genres.

There’s the thought provoking young adult tear jerker, the epic (Dunkirk, stand up), shit being blown up for 2 hours, shit being blown up for 2 hours that is tasked with progressing an extremely convoluted expanded universe, brutal ensemble comedies, and animated flicks.

What doesn’t quite fit into this new frontier of post Netflix cinema is a self-contained (or a mostly self-contained) movie that doesn’t try to make a statement, change how we look at life or show us what a destroyed metropolitan area might look like.

What I’m really trying to say is that the current landscape has little room for fun, just fun, not the popular, but rarely successful attempt at “fun and ____.”

However, luckily for all of us, Summer 2017 has made room for fun. At a time in my life where Regal Cinemas gift cards have been piling up from 3+ Christmases and basically only a Star Wars movie can get me to the theater, I have gone twice over the past week.

Spider-Man: Homecoming and Baby Driver have gotten me to shut off Netflix and change out of sweatpants for 2:13 and 1:52 respectively. Each movie stars an undeniable up and comer (Tom Holland and Ansel Elgort) paired with an irresistible supporting cast that provides nothing but an enjoyable movie going experience, something that we have been longing for.

Baby Driver and its amazing soundtrack, that can only be rivaled by Guardians of the Galaxy, had my interests peaked from the first trailer, which were then dampened from a few tough reviews in the midsts of seemingly infinity positive ones.

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But, when the movie opens and that first Jon Spencer joint picks up and you’ve got Elgort, who plays Baby, the getaway driver who has tinnitus, lip-syncing the tone for the rest of the movie is set.

Elgort first came into many of our lives when we saw, or we made to see him by our significant others, in The Fault in Our StarsI personally first became aware of him shortly thereafter when he participated in a short, but amazing feud with then Grantland’s, but now the Ringer’s Chris Ryan:

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And now, nearly 3 years later, I very willingly and very openly welcome Elgort into my life and he, along with Kevin Spacey, Jon Hamm, Jamie Foxx, and others constructed a great film for nearly two thirds of Baby Driver’s run-time.

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I say that because, if we’re being honest, the last act was a goddamn mess. It became a little too predictable with a side of an unnecessarily invincible Jon Hamm. But, even with a less than stellar conclusion, this movie is fun start to finish and I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been strutting around NYC with the soundtrack in my ear and an extremely unwarranted swagger ever since I saw it.

Spider-Man on the other hand didn’t suffer a late game collapse, this was tens from the jump to the credits. This movie didn’t miss a beat and is my favorite movie of the year so far, and this is coming from someone who is fucking sick of superhero movies.

The franchise decided to ditch the emo Tobey Maguire Spidey we had been stuck with (and the Andrew Garfield one that no one saw) for a *throws up in mouth* millennial Spider-Man, and… it works.

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Tom Holland’s iteration of the web slinger is stoked as hell to have superpowers and behaves in a way that many of us would if we were blessed with such a gift.

His cover story is that he’s “interning” for Tony Stark while he patrols the streets and has to skip out on parties and school events. And for the most part he acts like many of us at internships – doing mundane and relatively unrewarding tasks (like helping old ladies) while waiting for a chance to prove what he can do.

The movie is laced with A+ dialogue from writing team Jonathon Goldstein (Horrible Bosses) and John Francis Daley (Waiting…) and allows Holland to act like Magic Johnson, being the star, but sharing the rock enough to let his co-stars steal moments.

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Zendaya as the newest MJ, Jacob Batalon as his BFF Ned, Michael Keaton as the newest villain, Jon Favreau as his overqualified Stark Industries appointed glorified babysitter, all contributed tremendously while Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark and Donald Glover as Aaron Davis both steal the scenes they’re featured in.

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As a, prepare for the cliche, love letter to New York, it thrives and is a much needed detour from the Atlanta industrial parks that have polluted (no pun intended) the Marvel movies of recent memory.

It has the wow moments and the fight scenes, but without being over the top, the action is toned down to fit its 15-year old hero, a true friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Spider-Man is a breath of fresh air as an entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one of the few that’s a “must see.”

Both these movies are tailored made for the summer months and a welcomed reprieve from the heat, both in terms of the streets and the hot garbage that has been dominating box offices.

Support your local cinemas (or giant conglomerates that have just been taking up space in your malls before these two gems dropped) and your wellbeing and go actually enjoy yourself at the movies.



Two Buttons Deep is a news & entertainment website based in upstate New York.
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