It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… spider? At long last, Spider-Man has returned home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for his own solo movie in the long awaited Sony-Marvel Studios team-up Spider-Man: Homecoming. Directed by Jon Watts, this is the third iteration of the web-slinger in recent history. How does Spider-Man Homecoming fare in a sea of Spideys? Let’s swing into the MCU’s latest entry!
A few months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) eagerly waits for his newest mission from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). While he waits, he juggles high school and being a up and coming crimefighter. Soon enough, trouble falls into his lap in the form of the Vulture (Michael Keaton), a criminal weapons dealer who has his eye on a large score.
I know everybody has talked about it to the moon and back, but can we talk about Tom Holland as Peter Parker for a bit? He became a fan-favorite in Civil War and fans will love him in this solo film. He is by far the best on-screen Spider-Man. Holland kept Peter innocent and eager, and you always feel his lack of experience. His problems were so relatable, even when he donned the suit. Peter also experiences his cliche teenage moments, like crushing on the senior girl at his school and attending classes. It makes him all the more endearing. It was hard watching him when he was in tight spots, because he’s a kid wearing a mask and a trying to be part of a world larger than him. Tom Holland balances all of this so well and I look forward to seeing him in other MCU movies.
A pleasant surprise of Homecoming was the Vulture. While not as well-known of an antagonist as Green Goblin or Venom, Keaton does an excellent job of connecting with the audience. There is a legitimate reason for his villainy, not just doing it because it’s fun. It’s inexcusable either way, but definitely more interesting to watch. You can level with the character and understand on some level why he’s doing it. It’s a cool reaction to the hand that’s been dealt and is, as Tony says, “A little above the Avenger’s pay grade.” The evil plan isn’t to take over the world with a portal in the sky or anything overly dramatic. It’s small and simple, which make the film feel less bogged down.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe knows when to show the macro side of the universe, with films like The Avengers and even Captain America: Civil War. While it’s cool to see the macro films, I believe the world feels more real seeing how those films impact the “ground-level” films and shows. Homecoming was a ripple effect of The Avengers and Civil War. I love seeing how everyday life is impacted by the events of the big films. That doesn’t mean to say, Homecoming doesn’t try to be like a macro film at times. I felt like characters were introduced, only for them to be used better in the upcoming sequels.
Aside from that minor nitpick, Spider-Man: Homecoming was a funny, light-hearted summer movie that is another great addition in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tom Holland is a pitch perfect Peter Parker AND Spider-Man. He snugly fits into a long line of Marvel heroes, yet still feels fresh and new. It feels more like a high school movie, delving more into the character of Peter Parker. It’s more about his journey to becoming Spider-Man and having new adventures, as opposed to rehashing poor Uncle Ben’s death. I give Spider-Man: Homecoming an A-.
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