Spider-Man: Homecoming was a blast. Initially, when I heard of the reboot, I was over the same-ol’ retelling of Peter Parker; a scrawny kid in high school who gets bitten by a radioactive spider, gains super powers, and attempts to use them responsibly while surviving puberty. Within the first ten minutes of the film, none of this entered my mind, as Spider-Man: Homecoming (SPH) immediately puts a fresh and modern spin on the Webhead. As soon as Tom Holland enters the screen as Peter Parker, he does a great job at convincing the audience in a lighthearted, teenage Spider-Man, and continues so throughout the film. Recording a video diary of his experience leading up to the battle in Captain America: Civil War, the scene instantly puts you in mind of a kid capturing every exciting moment via SnapChat and Instagram, all the while ignoring the fact that he’s now a superhero with a secret identity.
Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Iron Man/Tony Starks, while John Favreau returns as his assistant, Happy, both attempting to be mentors to Parker. Unfortunately for them, our young hero is set on showing his worth, even by taking on the film’s main antagonist, The Vulture, by himself. Off-bat (pun intended), Michael Keaton plays a no-nonsense Vulture, adding credibility to an otherwise comical villain, in my opinion. Homecoming hosts these supporting roles and various cameos, while keeping the spotlight on a rising Spider-Man, eager and ready to prove himself to Iron Man and the rest of the world. This eagerness however, often shows in Peter’s inexperience, having him take unnecessary beatings and scoldings from hero and villain alike. Thankfully, our budding superhero has assistance and help from his annoying but well-to-do best friend, Ned, played by Jacob Batalon, who adding great commentary and comic relief.
More than not, when Hollywood decides to make movies based off comics or video games, they take various liberties with the story and subject matter, and the result is disastrous. The difference is that the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has done this and made it work. Homecoming is no different. The cast is diverse; old characters have new faces, new faces are introduced, and those connected to Spidey make refreshing appearances. Marisa Tomei is a much younger, “sexier” Aunt May; Peter’s love interest isn’t Mary Jane this go around, but a fellow classmate named Liz, played by Laura Harrier; and Michelle, played by Zendaya, is a new yet familiar addition to the Spider Story. These and more are a few examples of the updates within SPH. Of all these updates, the most exciting are the upgrades to Spider-Man’s suit, via Tony Starks. The eyes move depending on Pete’s emotion and suit setting, various web shooter augments (web grenade, taser web, etc.) and an internal GPS system that lets him navigate New York and other locales with precision. These are but a few of the new additions Marvel has added to the cinematic Spider-Man universe, building interest in how they will develop over the years.
The Spider-Man movie franchise is owned by Sony who produced the last batch of web-slinger movies, starring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. After seeing the repeated success of Marvel Studios’ films, Sony decided to share the cinematic rights with Marvel, who oversaw the production of the new Spidey film, thus the “Homecoming” title. Good move. Writing this makes me want to go see SPH again. I caught the midnight viewing with a packed audience, and from the responses I saw, the masses were pleased. The film has great writing, the story and plot are believable (as far as a teen with spider powers goes), and it stays true to the spirit of Spider-Man; beating the odds despite being the underdog, and rising above your challenges, wit and humor intact. Spider-Man Homecoming does a great job in wrapping you up in the experience, identifying with a young hero trying to find his way. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man or action and comedy in general and want a good time at the movies, go see Spider-Man: Homecoming. It gets a 5 out of 5 from me. Welcome Home.