I never thought I’d live to see yet another version of Spider-Man, let alone willingly attend another screening given Tobey Maguire’s final run gave me serious fatigue (soz Tobs), but THIS is different.
We’ve seen Peter Parker getting bit by a radioactive spider, going through the motions of losing his Uncle Ben, and dealing with some bad villains, and thankfully Marvel’s version skips all that to give us more of the funny, endearing, awkward and earnest Spidey that we got to enjoy in last year’s Civil War.
Picking up right after Iron Man and Steve Rogers’ falling out, Spider-Man: Homecoming finds Peter Parker thrown back into the horrors of high school, all the while battling restlessness and a desire to join the Avengers. In between being a model student, pining after the gorgeous Liz (Laura Harrier), and hiding his secret identity from Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), he stumbles upon a sinister group led by Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), who use Chitauri technology to create weapons.
You should know that Homecoming is not your average Marvel film, nor does it give much away in terms of the upcoming Infinity Wars. While the superhero elements are there, along with the standard Stan Lee cameo, the film really plays like a coming of age high school film. This is by no means a bad thing. Director Jon Watts has crafted an hilarious blockbuster with heart which, at its core, is really about Peter figuring out his place in a world despite some seriously life-altering events. No different from other coming of age stories, but made all the more interesting considering Peter is fighting forces outside of puberty and exams.
Rest assured there are still a lot of epic Marvel-esque action sequences, and the Staten Island Ferry scene as teased in the trailers is a thrilling watch, not to mention the intense rescue operation within the Washington Monument. Holland really excels during these moments, bringing wit and comedy with every punch. Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark also makes sure to pop in every now and then, and as always, he kills it.
When it comes to casting, they’ve done a heck of a job with Peter’s friends, including Ned (Jacob Batalon), Flash (Tony Revolori), and Michelle (Zendaya). Batalon’s Ned and Zendaya’s Michelle don’t have an awful lot to do, but when they’re there they are scene stealers and the source of many of the film’s laughs. Keaton’s turn as the film’s villain Vulture/Toomes is particularly fun to watch, and he brings a wicked, menacing feel to the role.
But this film really does belong to Holland, who proves himself worthy of the high tech, multi-million dollar Spider-Man suit Stark made for him. He’s a dream to watch and steps up in the film’s few but crucial emotion moments. I can’t wait to see more of this guy. He’s the real deal.