Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton & Robert Downey Jr.
Review Author: Shaun
Rating: 4.8/5 bag of cans
Marvel has done the impossible and finally shown Sony how to properly reboot the Spider-Man Verse. Spider-Man is back on the big screen, with the cleverly titled Homecoming. The story picks up a few months after the airport battle in Captain America: Civil War where Spider-Man made his triumphant debut. Now under the eye of Happy Hogan and Tony Stark, Peter Parker is basically bored with his small ventures as the web-slinger.
However, one night while on the prowl he busts some crooks with some dangerous high-tech weaponry. Eventually, Spider-Man comes into conflict with their leader, Vulture. Stark tells Peter to stay out of it and let others handle it, but Peter goes against his word and finds himself in an all-out-war between himself and Vulture and his goons, and Peter learns that soon doing so might not just bring his own destruction, but the destruction of those he cares about as well.
While the plot of the film is kind of laid-back and feels at times a bit familiar, one thing that didn’t feel familiar was Michael Keaton’s Vulture. One of, if not the biggest complaint I’ve had with Marvel’s films is their lack of memorable villains. Outside of Loki and to a lesser degree Ultron, every other Marvel villain is a waste of time; just another obstacle for the title hero to overcome. Now we finally have a villain with depth, motivations, and memorable scenes and dialogue. It doesn’t hurt that Keaton is a phenomenal actor who brings this character to life. He’s not just the intimidating bad guy, he’s a genuine fleshed out villain, and one you can relate to at times. One of the biggest strengths is of course Spider-Man.
Many superhero films lately feature heroes who find saving people boring and would rather fight each other or brood. That’s not the case with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who always has the joy of being a superhero and grows as a character. I’m a sucker for coming-of-age films when they’re done right, and the personal growth of Peter Parker was done well. The previous two Spider-Man’s played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, I felt that Maguire nailed the nerd aspect of Peter Parker, but just didn’t quite get there once he put the suit on, and Garfield had the physique of Spider-Man in the suit but didn’t look the part of the nerdy and socially awkward Peter Parker. Holland incorporates the positives of the two previous incarnations and nails the role as the best version of the character we’ve seen on the screen yet.
One of the strengths of the film is the action scenes. One scene that’s been advertised heavily is a sequence at the Washington Monument, and seriously it’s the most thrilling action scene in a Spider-Man film since the train scene in Spider-Man 2 (2004). The ferry sequence was also awesome as well as a few little fight scenes here and there.
There’s also a lot of call-backs to the John Hughes era films, some of which are more obvious than others, but that added to the fun elements. There’s a fair number of laughs in the film too, as well as nice Easter eggs to connect back to the MCU, like Hogan and Stark’s appearances, and a lot of other surprises. I won’t spoil anything for you, but trust me, they’re not just comedy bits, some of them have emotion behind them that expand the continuing story of this cinematic universe.
Overall, when everybody thought Spider-Man was played out after the failed films with Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland rejuvenates the character and my interest in him and I hope we see a lot more of his adventures in the near future. 2017 is turning out to be quite a year for superhero films. The LEGO Batman Movie charmed my socks off, Logan was a fitting end to Hugh Jackman’s journey as the character, and Wonder Woman brought the DCEU back from life support to a thriving future franchise. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a winning combination of a fun superhero adventure tale with a heart-warming story about a regular kid dealing with some very relatable issues (well, relatable in the non-superhero sense anyway). Tom Holland’s Spidey can’t swing back onto screens again fast enough.