Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does what no other Sony film can.  Ok, it’s not the best parody of the song but you do better on a time limit! Spider-Man: Homecoming is the first Spiderman collaboration between Sony and Marvel. If the next few films share the same quality Homecoming offers, we’re in for a treat.

Story

Homecoming is set after Civil War and is almost directly linked to 2012’s The Avengers as Adrien Toomes (The Vulture) was working on cleaning up the Avengers’ mess until Tony Stark creates the Department of Damage Control. This puts Toomes and his crew out of a job and with a grudge against The Avengers but not before they start stealing alien and Stark tech to build their own weaponry.

Peter Parker is 15, a nerd who can’t talk properly to girls and is stuck in a high school in Queens. He’s been told by Tony to patrol on a local scale and get used to his new suit. The internal struggle between being Peter Parker and Spider-Man is as present here as it has been in the other 5 Spider-Man films. However the balance seems to be more even in this film and does not cause as much of an emotional strain other films have in the past.

The overall story could be called predictable or formulaic. While I wouldn’t fully disagree with that statement, there are many examples where I didn’t see certain story beats or reveals coming. This story isn’t going to re-invent the wheel but it’s perfectly serviceable.

Oh, and the mid/post-credit scenes were fine. I think we’re reaching the point where these are becoming a bit unnecessary.

Cast and Performances

Thomas Stanley Holland. Well done.

With the limited amount of screen time in Civil War we all fell in love with our new web slinger. The 21 year old (who I went to school with) is very comfortable on screen and can absolutely carry a movie. I expect Tom to have a long and successful career. With 8 films already under his belt, I can’t help but be happy for him.

Image result for spider man homecoming tom holland

Michael Keaton plays the Vulture and is the best Marvel villain behind Loki. His character has justifiable motivation, is extremely skilled at his job of villainy, strong morals and is genuinely threatening when he wants to be. The one flaw with the character is that they rarely if ever mention his name, both Adrien Toomes. The only way to recall his name is by looking it up after the film. This is the films fault and not Keaton’s in any way.

The supporting cast are all superb. His nerd friends provide comic relief from Ned (the ‘guy in the chair’ as he loves to be called) and Michelle (MJ) played by Jacob Batalon and Zendaya respectively. Then there’s the love interest of Liz played confidently by Laura Harrier. The new version of Flash Thompson is something I’m very much on board with and Grand Budapest’s Tony Revolori continues his rise to stardom here.

For the adults it was a fun cameo from Donald Glover as Aaron Davis, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Prowler but it is worth remembering that his nephew is Miles Morales. Marissa Tomei is, again, criminally underused. It’s always fun seeing Jon Favreau’s character Happy Hogan and of course Robert Downey Jr is Tony Stark, he just IS Tony Stark. Oh and Tony Stark’s significant other, Pepper, is back.

Technical

The normal Marvel polish is everywhere in this film. All the special effects look fantastic and a special mention to the team who worked on Vulture, he looked awesome. There was one moment near the end of the film when it was hard to make out exactly what was going on but thankfully it didn’t last long

Nothing particularly interesting about the score by Marvel regular Michael Giacchino other than an orchestral version of the classic theme song over the opening title sequence.

Overall Impressions

This was a good film, not a great film but more than worth my time and money. Even though there is a lot of stuff to do with the Avengers, it manages to feel separate from the larger MCU. Folloing the precedent set by Ant Man and keeping things low stakes for the solo films definitely works for me. We don’t want a repeat of Thor 2.

Is this the best Spider-Man film? No but it’s in the conversation for 2nd place with the Sam Raimi original.

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