The Shocker VS. Spider-Man: Homecoming — Moral Lessons from a Movie You Shouldn’t See
Superhero movies are fundamentally wrong
First of all it’s pretty clear that anytime you go see some Marvel bullshit in the theater you are giving into your most lizard-ass brain and financially supporting something that romanticizes violence, and does so for the widest possible audience. This is bad, so this movie is bad, as is every superhero movie. You shouldn’t see any of them.
That being said, I saw this movie and will see more movies like it, again. I won’t like them nearly as much as the process of contextualizing them within a society gone spectacularly insane, with bad faux-clever jokes mumbled for friends in the dark of the theater. (If you were to ask my friend Vicki, who I saw this with, about my jokes throughout the movie I think she would give them about a 72% success rate, which I’m fine with).
During this latest cinematic monstrosity my quip of choice involved ridiculing the gang of bad guys, a real Make America Great Again band of Reddit-clicking, steampunk-masturbating, vaguely post-blue-collar dudes who use alien elements stolen from the site of an Avengers movie in order to design and illegally sell extremely glowing weaponry. Though it is not shown happening on screen, I’m willing to bet these villains all vape on the daily, and post about it just as much. They are led by Michael Keaton, who is our country’s leading portrayer of men with weird aviary identity complexes. Here he flies around in a big metal bird suit and calls himself The Vulture. To be honest this is kind of cool, especially when Keaton hams it up with severely arched eyebrows and talks in a tone that is Hollywood is hell; a tone in which actual evil is filtered into a very theatrical sort of sassiness. I hate myself for liking this, but Keaton is really good at making me like it, and also his character makes some pretty valid criticisms of the class system that the logic of the film writes off too readily—who shall be our first validated leftist ally, caped and flying on a screen? Homecoming leaves this question unanswered.
Portraying the secondary bad guy, a man unfortunately titled The Shocker, is Fargo Season 2 breakout star Bokeem Woodbine. He doesn’t get to do enough of his “thing,” here, which is calmly reciting philosophical stuff and/or gibberish poetry before causing genuine horror and pain. Here’s to hoping that America survives long enough to enable Woodbine (spoiler: he doesn’t die) to let loose with that creepily composed language in a sequel.
Our website, by the way, hereby formally and regrettably declares rhetorical war against Woodbine and every single person involved in the production of this movie. At time of publication, Alex Siquig is trying to beat up new pipsqueak Spider-Man Tom Holland, an adorable little British boy just barely done with puberty—but so far Holland and Siquig are only making out.
Holland, of course, is the youngest Spider-Man this century has seen. Marvel and whatever culture-destroying studio helped to create this horrible collection of delightful moments have conspired to launch a franchise so young that they can plot its life from-first-word-to-burial-into-the-earth. Goodbye to Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, who were too developed and wizened as businesses to succumb to the post-everything vision necessary for a movie series to envelop society into its pure, untainted juggernaut of smarmy simplicity.
Similar to having Spider-Man rebooted as a virgin is the decision that Aunt Mae, though a ubiquitous figure of sentimental pulp iconography, was just not hot enough. Now she’s Marisa Tomei, a Queens native dressed up like a twenty-something in Brooklyn who’s a suburbs native that spends a ton of time on social media. This is fairly fetching, but only if you are not properly cynical.
Similar to both of these things is the way in which the movie embraces the national, ineffable erection for technology. Spider-Man is fully outfitted in a corporate tech-bro fantasy fetish suit, now, designed by no other than the relentlessly condescending Tony Stark, played here by Robby Downer Jizzman, persistent in his advocacy of a hairstyle called “the goatee.” Neo Spidey has a Siri in his head that tells him how to “optimize” everything and can send the symbol on his chest into the air as an aerial drone and spy on everybody, so check your windows and 4chan to make sure Peter Parker isn’t filming and uploading your latest love sessions.
There’s also a bunch of POC teenagers in place as Parker’s new palz. All of them are, actually, quite cute and good. One of them greets him with a middle finger while smiling, and I audibly said “that kid is lit” in the theater when she did this. She also visibly reads Sylvia Plath and makes a bonafide critique of slavery, the kind of thing I know my parents would need to turn on FOX NEWS after hearing, just to make sure that white people saying whatever the fuck they want on a screen still make millions of dollars. By making me think of my parents getting mad and retreating into their FOX NEWS snow globe, this character pleased me. Another one of the palz is a fat and entirely sympathetic guy, especially rich with pathos when he builds a Death Star out of legos and it abruptly falls apart. He also wears a fedora to a party, but I swear to you that he knows better, that there is no fedora atop his worthy soul. Cheers to that dude; I hope you get laid soon.
Overall, is this movie good? No—like I said before, it’s fundamentally bad. The Shocker (not that crappy pervert with the electric hands; the omniscient website you are now reading) suggests you never see this movie. But if you don’t have air conditioning and want to watch humanity cast as computer animated creatures that make workshopped jokes and eviscerate public infrastructure in a cool, butter-scented room, this is a pretty decent screensaver for doing that.