“Spider-Man: Homecoming” stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. Released on July 7, 2017, the film has Peter Parker trying to balance his high school life with his crime-fighting life while battling a new threat known as the Vulture.
The film is directed by Jon Watts, who also directed Clown and Cop Car. It is the sixteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series, as well as the second reboot of the Spider-Man film series. Yeah, you heard that right, we’re getting another interpretation of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. But this time, he’s in the same universe as Iron Man and Captain America. In case you weren’t aware, there was a first attempt at rebooting Spider-Man in the form of The Amazing Spider-Man with Andrew Garfield as the webhead. While the first movie received some generally positive reviews and earned a good amount of money at the box office, the same can’t be said for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. As a result, Sony cancelled the franchise, leaving it to end on a cliffhanger, which still ticked me off to this day. After a while, Sony reached a deal with Marvel Studios to bring the web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and thus, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was born. A lot of people I know are in love with Sam Raimi’s take on Spider-Man, but will they react the same way to the MCU version?
For this latest version of the web-slinging superhero, director Jon Watts decided to take a different approach by not retelling Peter Parker’s origin story. So if you’re worried that you’re going to get another case of deja vu with this film, worry no further because this film actually starts off with Parker as Spider-Man. But if you want to know how Spider-Man came to be, I would recommend watching Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man should remain as a possible side-quest. Taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the film showcases Peter Parker’s (Holland) struggle to become an Avenger while also dealing with some usual high school problems. So basically, when you combine every high school film you’ve seen with a superhero concept, you get this movie. John Hughes would be so proud. You’re probably thinking, “Oh, this is just another cliched high school drama with some superhero cliches thrown into the mix.” Well, you’re somewhat right about that, but it’s a cliched high school superhero drama done right. In fact, I would possibly say that this is the most well-written Spider-Man film I’ve seen in a while, let alone a teenage superhero film. Not only was the balance between the high school aspect and the superhero aspect both flawless and interesting thanks to Watts’ direction, but it also added a couple of surprises that somehow worked around its easy-to-spot cliches. The film also established the theme of responsibility and doing what is right, which is a pretty common theme that has been used in the source material. The way they expressed this theme is smart and very relatable to those who are going through that phase in high school (minus the superhero part). The cast did a great job with their performances and I applauded the fact that they got a diverse group of characters compared to the other Spider-Man films. After making his grand debut in Civil War, Tom Holland proves that he can carry his own film with ease as Spider-Man. There were times where he sounded a bit flat, but in the end, I was very impressed with his comedic and well-developed portrayal and I hope he continues to impress me in the future MCU films. Michael Keaton also did a great job bringing the Vulture to life on the big screen. What’s also great about this character was that he has his own motives as to why he’s pulling this plan off. Robert Downy Jr. is also in this film as he reprises his role as Tony Stark, who is now Peter’s mentor. Let’s just say if you like Downy Jr. in the other MCU films, you’ll like him in this one as well. Having Stark in the mentor role is probably the smartest move for this one, in my opinion, because this is Spider-Man’s adventure and having him share the same amount of screen time as Parker will have people think that this is another Iron Man movie…with Spider-Man. So I’m glad they went in the right direction with this one. Like the other MCU films, the film has its usual mixture of comedy, fun, and action. The comedy aspect of the film was handled very well, with some of the big laughs coming from Parker’s friend Ned (played by Jacob Batalon), the final scene right before the end credits (no spoilers), and the second post-credits scene. If you still like the humor that the MCU provided, then you’ll have no problem with this installment. The action sequences and the visuals were also fun to look at without getting to the point where they’re either over-the-top or CGI-heavy, with the final battle between Spider-Man and the Vulture being the main highlight for me.
Overall, the MCU’s take on the web-slinging hero is a well-deserved and smartly-written superhero film that successfully combines the charm and goodwill of a high school drama to the fun and action of a superhero blockbuster. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the best installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Age of Ultron thanks to its superb cast, Watts’ impressive direction, smart storytelling, and its entertaining action sequences. Was it as great as the Sam Raimi version? Depends. Was it better than The Amazing Spider-Man films? In terms of its storytelling, yeah. I think a lot of Spider-Man fans are going to have a lot of fun with this film, and yes, there are two extra scenes during the credits, so make sure you stay in your seats when the film is over.