After 5 solo films, Spider-Man: Homecoming stands out as the first film to accurately portray both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Tobey Maguire captured the essence of Peter Parker, but lacked the snarky personality that the web slinging superhero is known for. Andrew Garfield shined as Spider-Man, but was nothing like any Peter Parker I have ever read. This film is elevated by an absolutely spot of interpretation and execution by Tom Holland. Not only does he look the right age, but is genuinely masterful in his performance.
The film centers around Peter Parker as he attends high school while moonlighting as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. He is infatuated with Liz, the school beauty with a brilliant mind of her own. The film takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Peter is itching to be given his next mission by Tony Stark and Happy, but is all but left on the sidelines. One night while on his routine survey of Queens, he witnesses an attempted bank robbery by a group of criminals wielding weapons with incredible power. We soon learn that Adrian Toomes, the Vulture, is manufacturing these weapons with alien technology found after the events of the Avengers.
After catastrophe strikes while Peter attempts to apprehend these criminals, Tony decides to take the suit back from Peter. Even without his hi-tech suit, Peter will not stop until he dismantles this criminal organization selling powerful weapons to dangerous people. With help from Ned, Peter’s best friend, they track down the Vulture and his crew. The spectacular final altercation will leave you on the edge of your seat and wishing that the sequel was coming out much sooner.
What makes the character of Spider-Man so rich and popular is his endless supply and variety of villains. This film is able to take the Vulture, a relatively laughable villain from the comic series, and twist him into a formidable and terrifying force. Michael Keaton delivers every single line with fervor and bone-chilling malice. The photos and trailers do not do the Vulture costume redesign justice. The updated suit is menacing and displays some amazing new abilities that the audience is sure to enjoy. Unlike previous installments of Spider-Man, there is a purpose behind having multiple antagonists in this film. Bokeem Woodbine does an excellent job as Shocker and adds an imposing force to the Vulture’s operation. References are made to other upcoming villains and potential heroes so make sure to pay close attention. With Marvel’s help, Sony has finally been able to successfully start world building their Spider-Man Universe they’ve been so desperate to create.
The action is mind blowing. There are so many new features and abilities displayed by Spider-Man that we have yet to see in any other film. The upgraded suit from Tony Stark allows Peter to capitalize on his already impressive strengths. One thing that Spider-Man: Homecoming excels in is making the scenes out of the Spidey suit just as engaging and entertaining as when he’s in it. The supporting cast is fantastic, especially Jacob Batalon’s performance as Ned. The humor is rich and rampant throughout the film, but isn’t afraid to go dark. The balance between action, comedy and emotional grief is masterfully done. Even with concepts that are so far out there, the film feels grounded in reality. You understand the motivations behind each character.
There are so many tiny details in this film that make it stand out as one of the better superhero films ever. Flash Thompson, the school bully, has been updated to parallel the form of emotional abuse kids face today. Many fans were upset by the casting of Tony Revolori as Flash, but his portrayal was real and believable. We may not get to see Agent Venom in this iteration, but at least we still have Tom Hardy’s Venom film to look forward to. Another fantastic addition to this film was Donald Glover as Aaron Davis. If you have followed Donald Glover’s relationship to the Spider-Man universe at all, you will not be disappointed with his vital inclusion into an ever expanding Spider-verse.
Overall, this film is absolutely outstanding. Tom Holland IS Spider-Man and he’s just getting started. The film is engaging from start to finish. You will laugh, ache, gasp and cheer all while witnessing the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As is customary in all Marvel films, there are two post credit scenes. The first set’s up the sequel and the second is meant to be more of a joke than anything else. There is a lot to enjoy about this film and I look forward to seeing it many more times.