Back in 2002, I was treated to the very first Spider-Man movie. And I loved it.
Since then, I got four more films, which included a reboot. My thoughts on those films ranged from “good” to “crap.”
When Sony announced that they were working with Marvel Studios to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I was ecstatic. However, when I heard about a solo movie in the works, I worried that so much ground was covered with the other movies that a new take on the character (a soft reboot, as it was termed) would be too much of the same.
Well, I’m here to proudly announce that I was wrong. Spider-Man: Homecoming feels like the first authentic film featuring the friendly neighborhood hero, because it is rooted in what made the comics so popular in the first place. It purely looks at the life of Peter Parker (perfectly casted in Tom Holland), his trials and tribulations with high school, girls, and balancing being a superhero on the side. It doesn’t rush the educational environment, and makes us not only relate to Peter, but significantly look at why Spider-Man’s alter ego is the way he is, where as no other film has before to such a degree.
When Peter is in the costume, the action finds a delicate balance between being humorous and serious. I’ll even admit, Marvel films have a tendency to be a bit jokey to the point of ruining dramatic beats, but Homecoming knows when to reign it in. On a related note, there’s a breathtaking scene featuring the Washington monument that was shown in the trailers but the actual sequence is completely nerve-wracking and played out so well on the big screen. It’s also nice to see Spider-Man outside of the New York City playground, which the previous films never really did.
The movie finds a way to keep pacing tight with everything, and it helps that all the characters within are equally interesting and bring something different to the table. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) is thankfully kept to a minimum, but serves his purpose for the sake of the story, and has some really nice moments with Peter. Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May also has a small role, but of high importance. Peter’s high school buddies/crew make the educational environment feel real, which is fantastic.
As for the villain? Well, Michael Keaton is no slouch, and the MCU villain problem will not have a victim again with this movie. Keaton’s Adrian Toomes/Vulture is actually menacing, thought-provoking, and bad ass. I have no restraint in saying that he’s probably the best Spider-Man movie villain at this point, and anyone who is Keaton fan (like myself) will not be disappointed.
As for flaws? I couldn’t find much, although I will say that the CGI on Spidey was a little jarring in the first half hour of the movie. As the film progresses, it gets easier to absorb, but its a little bit cartoony, to be honest. It’s way better than the Raimi films, but I felt that the “physics” were a bit more solid in the Amazing Spider-Man movies. In its defense, the movie animated Spidey in ways that haven’t been done before (the eyes, especially), so maybe in time it’ll be stronger in quality.
But that’s it, really. For those looking for an action extravaganza, there’s plenty of blows being traded here, but at its heart, this is a high school movie with a John Hughes/90s teen comedy vibe at the center. So go in knowing that before you’re disappointed. This kind of atmosphere completely works for the film, though, and it’s great.
Spider-Man: Homecoming gave me the Peter Parker/Spider-Man combination I’ve always wanted in a film, win Holland embodying the character that I’ve loved since I was a teenager myself, and I mean that on both sides of the coin. It sincerely is the best Spider-Man movie to date, and the movie that I never knew I wanted back in 2002, but glad I finally got. I loved this film, with a smile on my face from beginning to end (except for when the movie got serious).
I’m very pleased to say: Welcome home, Spidey. This is where you belong. Don’t leave the MCU. Ever.
Spider-man: Homecoming Rating: 9.5/10