Film Review – Spider-Man: Homecoming
Somehow Sony Pictures has conned us into being interested in the third reboot (not remake) of the Spider-Man superhero films. What began in 2002 with Tobey Maguire and is sandwiched with Andrew Garfield in 2012, we now have Tom Holland in 2017 taking over the role of Peter Parker. Actually, Holland’s Spider-Man began in 2016 in Captain America: Civil War, where Peter was brought in to boost Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) team of superheroes. Can anyone be interested in the third reboot of superhero in fifteen years? They will be if you make him part of the Marvel universe and The Avengers, and that’s exactly how Sony and Marvel Studios are going to take your money again for a third time.
Spider-Man: Homecoming begins eight years beforehand as the city grapples with the damage leftover from The Avengers bout with some crazy aliens (The Avengers, 2012). One criticism of these destructive superhero scenes is that you never see the aftermath. Well, here you go. The leftover alien tech is a major catalyst for what is to come in Peter Parker’s life. Flash-forward to the present and we see Peter Parker’s take on what happened in Captain America: Civil War all from his trusty smartphone. Life has been pretty doldrum for Peter since then, but as a teenager amped to be a part of The Avengers, he can’t just sit still. Balancing homework, saving people, and stopping crimes with his place on the quiz team can get complicated. Keeping his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) in the dark, and unsuccessfully hiding it from best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), also makes life hard for Peter.
The presence of Tony Stark aka Iron Man looms large in this film. Peter is constantly trying to impress Stark and keeps assistant Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) in the loop of his daily goings on. Stark is the dad figure for Peter, the one he wants to make happy. Stark in return gives Peter advice and saves him a couple of times from disaster. At this point, Peter is now the rebellious teenager screaming, “Don’t tell me what to do, Iron Man!” As the film progresses, we learn just how involved Stark is in the molding of this young superhero, and some of it is weird, as in over-protective, doesn’t know his boundaries weird. It is hard to separate where Parker’s Spider-Man from the influence of Stark.
Like every superhero movie, there has to be a villain, and it happens to be Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) for Homecoming. He has made himself rich by selling weapons using the leftover alien tech. He was the head of a construction company hired to rebuild parts of the city, but that was taken over by the government, specifically the Department of Damage Control. Infuriated by the money he lost, his crew and himself used the now illegally held alien tech to make weapons more powerful than ever. Somehow Adrian took it upon himself to make himself a flying bird suit, thus becoming “The Vulture.” It’s an interesting role for Keaton considering he previously starred in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
Homecoming is more comedic in tone than previous the previous Spider-Man films, probably due to its inclusion in the Marvel film universe. It has the same level of comedy as the Iron Man films, and the film is better for that. It is one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much.
Homecoming excels at the number of recognizable actors it has popping up, even for small, cameo roles. Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, and Tyne Daly are only a few names. It is also quite nice to recognize every single actor used in the first five minutes of the film, those being Bokeem Woodbine, Michael Chernus, and Logan Marshall-Green performing along with Michael Keaton. It speaks volumes of the quality of the script and the talent behind the camera to have all these talented actors (or comedians) be a part of the film.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the best of the Spider-Man films in my humble opinion. It has the right amount of drama mixed with comedy, along with a great story, the inclusion of recognizable Marvel superheroes, and a young actor who successfully pulled off the title role. There are a couple of surprises in store for the audience that include the reveal of a major Spider-Man character. As much as I hate to admit it, the film is a fun ride with plenty of laughs. I just have to dock Sony and Marvel a few points for doing this all over again for the third time. I’m sure more Spider-Man films are planned and he will be making an appearance in the next Avengers film. I just hope Holland’s Spider-Man can run longer than Maguire’s.
P.S. There is at least one post-credits scene for those who stay for the credits.