The Spider-Man franchise has been very touch and go ever since Spider-Man 2 back in 2004. After the third installment failed on many levels, Sony decided to reboot the franchise. However, this didn’t help as the following two Amazing Spider-Man films were also big disappointments with the first practically copying the original from 2002. After two failed attempts, Sony decided to do the smart thing by loaning Spider-Man back to Marvel. Fans were ecstatic to finally see Spider-Man in the MCU when he made his debut in last years Captain America: Civil War. Many were impressed and wanted to see more so Marvel and Sony agreed to work together to make a solo Spider-Man movie. While Sony will take all profits from this movie, Marvel studios still had a firm foot in place to the delight of many. With the Spider-Man Franchise doing something like never before, can the two companies make this work?
Spider-Man: Homecoming focuses on Peter Parker (Tom Holland) trying to prove himself to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) in the hope that he’ll get into the Avengers. The film picks up soon after Civil War as Peter spends most of his time waiting for the call from Stark along with using his powers for mediocre tasks such as stopping acts of “grand theft bicycle”. While done for comical purposes, this is actually a refreshing look at the character by not only relating to his situation but also showing what a superhero would do if there was no crime to fight, making the lifestyle seem not as great as one would think.
The movie also focuses on Peter’s high school life which is another thing that makes this film feel so different to other Marvel films including the original Spider-Man films, some of them may have been set in high school but none of them dealt with actual high school problems. This is where this film goes above and beyond as Peter deals with issues such as bullies, detention, class work, girls and the homecoming prom. Throughout the entire film Peter has to try and balance these issues along side his crime fighting, resulting in them getting in the way of each other most of the time. It’s great to watch him try and explain his way out of these situations as Tom Holland performs the iconic Peter Parker stutter to perfection.
Peter eventually finds himself in a struggle against The Vulture (Michael Keaton), who is stealing materials from Avengers battles to produce and sell high powered weapons. We also get a nice reference to Avengers Assemble at the beginning of the film when we see a crashed Chitauri ship in New York which The Vulture steals a power core from. The rest of the film sees Peter set out to stop The Vulture and prove himself as an Avenger. This is where Peters vulnerability and inexperience is shown most as he fails to stop The Vulture time and time again, coming close to death the first time. Seeing as Peter is just starting out here I think this was a great light to show him in as not only is he 15 but he has no reason to know his abilities in and out yet, despite having these powers he is just like any other teenager, he makes mistakes. This is boosted even more by the fact that he even takes it as a joke sometimes which is exactly what a teenager would do. This goes perfectly with Peter trying to figure out how his suit works, with him making a few mistakes which do lead to some funny moments. With Peter being a young, vulnerable beginner, he needs someone to steer him in the right direction and who better than Tony Stark!
A lot of people were worried that this movie was going to turn into “Iron Man 4” as Tony Stark featured very prominently in the promotion for the movie. However in all honesty, Tony Stark is barely in this film, in total he probably has about 10-15 minutes of screentime. His presence is felt though as you’re wondering how much can Peter get away with before Tony intervenes. This moment comes when Peter comes close to inadvertently costing the lives of many when an attempt to stop The Vulture goes wrong and a whole ferry begins to sink. This again shows Peter’s vulnerability but on a much bigger scale, further pushing him into the underdog position when he faces The Vulture again. After coming to Peter’s aid Tony tells him he’s done and takes his suit away. You very rarely see Tony act in a serious manner throughout any of Marvel’s films so it was intense seeing him this mad. While being a Spider-man movie, it still manages to develop Tony’ character as we see the regular Stark we’re used to but this father-son relationship he has with Peter continues to show how much he’s changed since the first Iron man almost 10 years ago.
To me, Tom Holland is the perfect Peter Parker/Spider-Man, the way he talks, thinks and his overall personality matches the character spot on. At the end of the film, Peter manages to get his dream girl, Liz (Laura Harrier), to go to homecoming with him and even then he still leaves her to go and stop The Vulture because he knows it’s the right thing to do. Tobey Maguire never felt like Peter Parker in the originals, he always felt like someone trying to play Peter Parker whereas Andrew Garfield over did it in his first film, and under did it in his second. He stuttered every single word in the first film and then in the second he pretty much played himself, showing way too much confidence. Tom Holland finds the perfect ground in between as did the film, not taking itself too serious like the reboot or not serious enough like the originals.
As you would expect with a Marvel film the action is great, this is helped by Peter’s high tech suit as he has so much more than just webshooters this time around, opening up a ton of possible opportunities for action sequences. While Marvel films do like to have a little bit of humor, this film had a surprising large amount but was still done perfectly even posing a situation that many had wondered about when Spider-Man comes to an open field and literally has to run rather than swing around as he usually does.
This was yet another movie where performances were brilliant all round. While RDJ is perfect as always, Tom Holland cemented himself as a member of the Marvel family. Michael Keaton is a sign of good things as Marvel have had villain problems in the past but with the two most recent antagonists in Kurt Russell and Keaton both putting others to shame, Marvel seem to be on the up in this department. The supporting cast did a great job to, Jacob Batalon plays Peter’s best friend Ned and does his part as the comic relief. Zendaya is also funny but in a different, darker way and also gives a nice reference to the original set of films when she reveals her nickname is MJ. Tony Revolori improves upon the original Flash Thompson, showing that you don’t have to be a big brute to be an unbearable prick. Jon Favreau makes a nice little appearance as Happy, his first since 2013. Marisa Tomei is great as Aunt May, proving that she’s much more than just a pretty face and providing the best ending to a film I have ever seen when she finds out Peter is Spider-Man.
Even before I saw this film i was 90% sure that it was going to be better than the last three and I had a good feeling that it might even out do the original film. This was another prediction I was wrong about as Spider-Man: Homecoming outdoes all the others, even Spider-man 2. This is a Spider-Man film but because of everything else that is has going for it, such as it being in the MCU and the focus on high school, it gives it more than one area or subject to focus on so you never get sick or tired of what you’re watching. For me Spider-Man: Homecoming is the Spidey film fans have been waiting for, with Marvel Studios quality clearly being seen all over the movie. Everything is done to fit the style of the MCU so that it slots right in while being a great film and in my opinion, the best Spider-Man film.