After his small role in Captain America: Civil War it was time for a solo Spider-Man movie. Following from his call up from Iron Man to help fight against Captain America, Peter Parker struggles to adjust to going back to being a normal high school kid. All he wants to do is become an Avenger and impress Tony Stark but he still has a lot to learn about what it means to be a hero. Life doesn’t get any easier for Peter as he learns a mysterious flying man, The Vulture, is selling dangerous alien weapons. Whilst Spider-Man tries to stop The Vulture, he begins to see that being a hero isn’t easy. Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Bokeem Woodbine, Donald Glover and Marisa Tomei
I will get this part out of the way early, for those of you worried that this is more Iron Man 4 than a Spider-Man movie let me put your mind to ease. Tony Stark/ Iron Man is in 4 scenes and they are small in length but offer major impact to the story and character development of Peter Parker. He plays the father figure to Peter, trying to help him develop into a super hero. Iron Man was used as a marketing tool to let people know that Spider-Man is now in the same universe as The Avengers and despite starring Robert Downey Jr, Tom Holland holds his own. This is Peter Parker’s story.
I enjoyed Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man and loved the performance given by Andrew Garfield. Both of them were great in portraying the character but I believe that Tom Holland may be the best on-screen Spider-Man yet. He is able to capture the innocence, the passion, the naivety and the teenage nature of the character perfectly. It does help that he was 19 when filming the role of a 15 year old, not 27 (Maguire) or 29 (Garfield). Holland is a fantastic Peter Parker trying to balance High School, friends and the recent tragedy that affected his family, which is not spoken about directly, and his newfound powers and responsibility as a hero. He is often conflicted with wanting to be with his friends and being a superhero. Something that Homecoming does fantastically is highlighting the conflict he feels. Like all teenagers he wants to be with his friends and get the person they are attracted too.
Michael Keaton was incredible as The Vulture and will now be talked about as one of the best Marvel villains. I had previously written that one of the reasons the first two of Raimi’s Spider-Man series worked was due to having one villain and it appears that director Jon Watts followed the same idea for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Yes they have the tinkerer and the shocker but they are side characters and henchman more than anything. The main focus is on Keaton as The Vulture. We see why Adrian Toomes went from being a blue-collar worker to selling alien weapons and becoming The Vulture. We understand his motivations and his actions. He also brings a level of intensity to The Vulture not often seen in Marvel Cinematic Universe bad guys, with him not trying to take over the world or have a blue beam shoot into the sky. He was a ground villain that perfectly suited the type of Spider-Man movie Marvel and Sony wanted to create.
With a great hero and villain comes a great supporting cast, a supporting cast that range from Academy Award winners to relative new comers. Zendaya (Michelle), Jacob Batalon (Ned) and Laura Harrier (Liz) are fantastic as Peter’s classmates. Ned was a great character that at times felt a little over used due to his energy but that is probably how most people would respond to finding out their best friend is a superhero. Michelle is a hilarious one-liner character that I am hoping will get a bigger role in future movies. Marisa Tomei is a great Aunt May, who does not have a lot of screen time but perfectly embodies being the guardian of a teenager. She has a powerful moment when she confronts Peter about not coming home when something bad had happened. She never mentions Uncle Ben but you are able to feel the weight his death had taken on her.
Following Marvel’s current trend of creating a genre film inside a comic book story, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a blend of a Teenage, High School, coming of age movie built around a comic book movie. Homecoming is also not an origin story but a super hero growth story as Peter learns what it takes to become a hero. In fact it is a perfect story of a teenager not wanting to be seen as a kid but not ready to be taken seriously by adults. This is something that most teenagers can relate to except the super hero part. Peter has the best intentions for helping people but is not always sure how to handle the situation, with the results not going the intended way.
I had so much fun with this movie, there were plenty of great laughs with characters you can connect with and care about. At some point in this movie you will be able to relate to Peter or his friends and what they are going through, because the filmmakers create a great teenage movie. The film has some impressive visuals and fantastic action that suits the style of this Marvel movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming could easily be on the top of peoples Spider-Man movies list. It also allows the drama in the story to flow organically and not force melodrama that many teenage movies feel the need to do.
Fans of Spider-Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe should definitely see this. It is also an amazing teenage comedy so fans of those kinds of movies would love it as well. This has been one of my favourite movies of the year so far.
Spider-Man: Homecoming scores a 8/10
Thanks for reading my review. Have you seen it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to stay up to date with everything happening in Millennial Movies.