Disclaimer: This might contain mild spoilers, but nothing remotely impressive, so keep reading.
This past weekend, my wife and I watched the new Spider-Man: Homecoming movie. It was very well done, but it could’ve been so much better.
As we all know, this is the third Spider-Man reboot within the past 15-ish years. Personally, I think it has more potential than the others. Unfortunately, it still has some politically-driven fault lines within the movie.
The good: It has a rock-solid cast, excellent character development, and the storytelling is very well done. Not quite as good of storytelling as Winter Soldier, but better than Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
It also has relatively little sexual content, moderately clean language, minimal gore, and no major cities were destroyed, which is a nice change from the usual all-of-New-York-blows-up-from-aliens that we see so often.
The bad: Politically, this movie definitely leans to the Left. But it’s Hollywood, so what else is new? Regardless, it ruffled my conservative libertarian feathers a bit.
Basically, Michael Keaton plays a terrific villain. If you thought his Batman was good, his bad guy is moderately close to that. But I digress.
So, Mikey plays a guy who works for a Stark clean-up crew who are tasked with cleaning up alien debris around New York…Until some mysterious people barge in and tell him that they’re taking over and that he has to surrender all of the alien scrap he and his crew have salvaged thus far.
He and his crew don’t take too kindly to that, so they find a way to steal the scrap from the new guys and to turn it into alien weaponry! Oh yes, alien weapons. Antigravity guns, human vaporizing guns, flying wing things, shocking gloves, etc. They initially only used these for petty crimes, like stealing money from ATMs, but then they decided to branch out by selling these extraterrestrial weapons to common criminals.
This is all typical comic book villain stuff, right? It is, and it’s wonderful! It’s classic, unrealistic, over-the-top villainy. Until it was made political.
Batman’s…er…ah…Mikey’s motivation for this illegal activity is problematic. It’s also problematic that he’s portrayed as not being a real bad guy, but a good bad guy since it isn’t actually his fault that he participates in illegal activities.
Later in the movie, when Mikey is revealing his master plan to Spidey in classic Marvel villain fashion, he legitimately says that it’s the fault of the rich and “elites” that he had to kill, steal, and cheat to get money.
He goes on to say that the rich, wealthy, upper class, and elites have no right to have that much money and that it gives them unlimited power, so they can do whatever they want to the little guy, also known as the middle class, which he is a member of.
As if that isn’t bad enough, he continues: The middle class are essentially an evil, impoverished, victimized people, who are at the beck-and-call of the elites, and no one should be members of the middle class. We are all entitled to be wealthy, rich, elites, so we can have the power to do whatever we want, to whomever we want, in life.
Then Mikey goes on to say how the money of the wealthy shouldn’t belong to only them, the ones who earned it; it actually belongs to everyone. Everyone is entailed to money that doesn’t belong to them. So he makes a villainous plug for socialism and how if the elites were forced to share their money with everyone, then he wouldn’t have turned to a life of crime and murdered people and blah blah blah. So, it’s not actually his fault that he made the lifestyle choices he made; it’s the fault of those evil, wealthy people who don’t have a right to the money they made.
That is what primarily ruffled my feathers. I’m all for civil discourse and debates about socialism and Marxism and Left-winged politics compared to liberty and freedom and small government, but I don’t think it’s appropriate to paint such an agenda into a fictional superhero movie that will be watched by children.
Seriously, it’s a fictional superhero movie. It’s geared toward kids, teenagers, and young adults. It shouldn’t be politically driven, period, regardless of which side of the aisle it lands on. And it most certainly shouldn’t covertly push a severely morally questionable agenda.