In Sony’s third attempt at the Spider-Man character in 15 years, we find the title character (Tom Holland, returning from his appearance in Captain America: Civil War) dealing with his disappointing return to reality after getting to help Tony Stark and company fight Steve Rogers and company in a German airport. After his participation in such a major conflict, his return to having to deal with street-level crime in New York City, as well as having to go back to school, leave him wanting more. Luckily for him, he stumbles on a major alien weapons black market, led by Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton).
This is a fun movie, and one that certainly ranks highly on the list of “good Spider-Man movies,” which is, admittedly, a list that maybe includes 3, 4 movies tops (I think Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone save a bad first movie from seeming as bad as it is. The second one is garbage). This movie seems to get Spider-Man right, and it is still thrilling to know that he is now in this major universe, thanks to some still mind-boggling inter-company collaboration between Sony and Disney/Marvel.
That being said, I really don’t feel like I have a lot to say about this movie. I don’t think it’s any one’s fault, necessarily, but right now, the MCU has a familiarity issue, where all of their movies can blur together and a movie needs to do something really different for it to stand-out. Post-2012’s The Avengers, few of their movies have really done this for me. The first Guardians of the Galaxy showed what can happen if the MCU allows a director to be himself (a lesson they seemingly forgot when they allowed Edgar Wright to walk away from Ant-Man). Civil War had our heroes fighting each other, and a surprisingly effective and affective villain in Zemo (also T’Challa, who is the best thing to happen to the human race). Doctor Strange allowed Scott Derrickson and company to mess with reality in a way that made the fight sequences truly something to behold. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is basically the first movie again, but it also felt like the first time the MCU had done death correctly.
Homecoming feels like more of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just doesn’t have me as pumped up as a lot of the other MCU movies have lately.
I love the casting of Tom Holland. He’s a talented actor who actually looks like a high schooler. I love the choice of us getting to see a young Spider-Man who actually seems to enjoy being Spider-Man, something previous iterations lost track of quite frequently. Michael Keaton’s Toomes is a villain whose plan isn’t world destruction but instead is based on finding a way to give his family a good life. Keaton can also be an absolute nightmare (I just got chills remembering him piecing together Peter’s identity). The supporting cast is great, with Zendaya and Jacob Batalon giving memorable performances as some of Peter’s classmates. Donald Glover gets as close to playing Miles Morales as he will ever will, and his character is a nice surprise to fans of the comics. The film even sets up something that could be really wonderful as far as Peter’s family relationship is concerned, and it has probably the funniest end credit tag of any movie.
I really don’t have any major complaints with this movie, other than reminding me that Gwyneth Paltrow exists. I mean, the CGI isn’t the best, I guess. I don’t like this suit because it looks way too cartoony when the eyes move and I don’t consistently feel like I’m looking at Tom Holland in a suit, which is a shame because kid has shown off some of his acrobatic skills on Instagram. He has talent and can move really well, I just wish I felt like I was seeing that on the screen.
I really loved this movie as I left the theater. It’s a fun movie that gets way more right than it gets wrong. But in a time when a lot of the MCU around it feels like a dozen superhero movies come out a year, this one, in particular, did not do enough for me to stand out amongst the rest. But I think that just happens to act as a comment on how good the superhero movies we have gotten this year are, that I am able to take something as fun and endearing as Spiderman: Homecoming for granted.
Photo Credits: Header: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2017/07/07/spider-man-homecoming-ending-and-bonus-scenes-spoilers/455662001/ Shrugging Spider-Man: http://www.themarysue.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/spider-man-shrugs.jpg Information Source: Spiderman: Homecoming Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spider-Man:_Homecoming