Spider-Man Homecoming Review

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Spider-Man Homecoming is hitting theaters and bring Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his own movie. Does it hold up though as another Spider-Man Reboot? It does, probably as the best Spider-Man movie yet.

Story

It must be said first off, Spider-Man Homecoming is not an origin movie for Spider-Man. It skips the typical origin story plot points like Peter getting bitten by a spider, Uncle Ben dying, him wearing the suit for the first time, and finding out he has powers. All that is skipped, and it is a welcome relief that we don’t have to spend any time on an origin story that everyone already knows, and it is only mentioned very quickly in passing.

Spider-Man Homecoming follows Peter Parker after the events of Captain America Civil War. Tony called him in to help him stop Captain America who was a war criminal at the time. After he was no longer needed by Tony though, Peter Parker returned home to his everyday life. Except that’s not what Peter Parker wanted. Throughout the movie it is evident that once he got the taste of what it is like to be with the Avengers, he wants nothing more than to be an official member of the Avengers.

So wearing the suit he got from Tony Stark, Peter stops small crime around New York City as Spider-Man. He can’t do this all the time though as he is still in high school where he participates in the academic decathlon along with his best friend Ned who is just as nerdy as Peter and a fan of Star Wars, Flash Thompson who is a bully to Peter, and Liz who Peter has a crush on. As Peter is still new to being a hero, he abandons his responsibilities at school and will disappear to try and fight crime. The scenes that take place in the school are accurate to a real High School setting as well. The bully isn’t over the top pushing Peter into his locker, he taunts his verbally the same that a bullying happens now. The interactions between students seem real, and the morning announcement videos are cringe-worthy levels of realistic to a real high school.

This version of Peter is only 15 years old at this points and still acts like a kid, and is inexperienced. Throughout the movie, he constantly makes mistakes that show he is still learning. For example, the first-time Peter comes across crime that isn’t small, with bank robbers using modified alien weaponry he is unable to stop them and his inexperience causes damage to a local deli nearly killing the owner. He doesn’t give up though after that and still wants to try and stop crime, trying to find out anything he can about the bank robbers and their weapons. Following this Peter accidentally reveals his secret identity to his best friend Ned which makes his life as school even more difficult as Ned is unable to keep his mouth shut and accidentally tells his entire class that Peter “knows” Spider-Man after Liz mentions having a crush on him. Ned being Peter’s friend does not mean to put Peter in situations where his identity is in crisis, he does suggest using Spider-Man as a way to make the two of them appear more cool to the rest of their class.

Though Peter only has one goal through the movie, and that is to prove himself worthy of being taken seriously. He tries to talk to Tony to be put on a big mission who tells him to just be a local hero and to not worry about the big guys. Even when warning Tony about the weapons his only response is to tell Peter to let someone else handle it. Peter doesn’t listen and continues to try and investigate the weapons dealers against Tony’s suggestion, which ends up landing him in even more trouble and causing him to lose the suite that Tony gave him. Peter aims to earn the suit from Tony once again and prove that he isn’t just some kid by taking down the man responsible for the weapons manufacturing, known only to this movie as the metal bird man.

The metal bird man being more commonly known in the comics as the Vulture, though he is never called this in the movie. Adrian Toomes is the person who wears the metal wings and runs the alien weapons remanufacturing operation along with the Tinkerer and Shocker. While the Tinkerer and Shocker don’t get much screen time, Adrian is pretty fleshed out in this movie and gets a good amount of time in the story. As the manager of the cleanup crew tasked with cleaning New York City following the events of the original Avengers movie, he lost his job when Tony created his own cleanup crew. Out to get revenge on Tony and make a new living for himself he steals alien equipment from the event to have turned into weapons by the Tinkerer and then sold by the Shocker to various criminals in New York City. He clashes with Peter a couple of time throughout the movie seeing Spider-Man as a nuisance to his operation and not really a threat.

 

Acting

Tom Holland is Peter Parker and Spider-Man. For me both of the previous iterations of Spider-Man couldn’t get both Peter Parker and Spider-Mans personalities dead on, they would be good at one but not the other. Tom Holland though has shown throughout this movie he can be both. He can play the nerdy, shy, and quiet Peter Parker. Then switch to the confident, heroic, and quick witted Spider-Man. Whoever cast Tom Holland as the new Spider-Man deserves a raise, because they hit the nail on the head and I cannot wait to see future Spider-Man movies starring Tom Holland.

Then we have the villain of the movie Vulture played by Michael Keaton. This again is a perfect casting call as Michael Keaton is able to bring the Vulture to life perfectly throughout the movie. It’s not often that the villain in a superhero movie gets praise for their performance, but in Michaels case his performance in this movie made some of the scenes featuring him amazing. Whether it was him talking to his cohorts in the weapons manufacturing operation or having a friendly conversation, he managed to do great in every scene he was in.

Then we have the two surprises of the film to me with Jacob Batalon as Ned, and Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson. With Ned, based on the previews I was ready to be annoyed with this character, but Jacob’s performance made me love this character more and more as the film went on. His enthusiasm and emotion was captured perfectly in every scene from surprised, happy, or disappointed. Then Tony Revolori cast as Flash Thompson is another casting role I wasn’t expecting to love walking out of this movie. While Tony Revolori only has a couple scenes in the movie, he makes me absolutely hate the character of Flash with his cocky and bullying attitude with everything he says. He plays the Flash Thompson that the Spider-Man movies deserve and I hope he stays for future movies to expand on the character (hopefully as Agent Venom).

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark is exactly how you would expect at this point. Then there were the smaller roles that didn’t get as much screen time, my favorite of course being Donald Glover as a small time criminal Aaron Davis, who comes off as a bad guy who really isn’t a bad guy. Though he only has two scenes in the movie, his attitude and performance during one of those scenes made me want to see more of him on screen, and I can only hope he is here to stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for future movies.

 

Character Development

The Spider-Man we get in this film is a new Spider-Man who has learned about his powers, but has not learned how to handle situations he throws himself into. To prove he is not just a kid, he constantly jumps into situations he isn’t prepared for. This in turn blows up in his face and he faces the consequences of his actions. While Peter learns he can’t do everything, throughout the film he begins to learn that the actions of Tony aren’t to spite him, but to try and make him better. A lot of this development happens towards the end of the film and I am excited to see how Peter acts in future films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because of it.

The only other person to really get character development in this movie would be Adrian aka the Vulture. He starts off wanting to get revenge on Tony Stark for causing him to lose his job, goes on to create a weapons manufacturing operation to sell to criminals, and by the end it is obvious he is not doing this to be evil. This is all to be able to provide for his family, which gives more depth to him than previous Marvel villains have gotten. He has character and motive that is beyond “I am evil” and a villain for the hero of the movie to fight. The Vulture is developed enough that I would watch a spin-off movie showing his crimes and rise to where he is in Spider-Man Homecoming as he steals alien technology and grows his operation.

 

Effects

The effects in this movie are beautiful. While there are some moments of CGI with Spider-Man web-slinging through the city, they are not distracting in any way. The suit that Spider-Man wears and how it forms to fit him is a nice touch for the movie that explains how he can quickly put it on. Then the effects of the various features of the suit are very nicely done, including the Iron Man looking display.

The scenery used in the movie is great too, as Peter lives in a more urban area away from the city he is required to find alternatives to just web-slinging to his destination via tall buildings. You see him jumping on cars for rides, hopping over houses, and running through yards as well as the typical web-slinging we have seen in every other Spider-Man movie. While a small effect to the movie, it does add some reality in the mix with the creative areas that Peter must traverse throughout the movie.

The biggest effects scene though is the ship that gets split in half as seen in the trailers. This scene looks great and the effects of and the commercials do not do it the justice it deserves. While the scene does include the obvious ship being torn in half, leading up to that is a close quarter fight scene and some great use of the webbing that Peter Parker has in his arsenal. There is a lot more to this scene than what everyone has seen before, and it’s one of the scenes of the movie that sticks out after it is done.

The best CG effect in the movie though is the Vultures wings. As Adrian puts the wings on and takes them off they look like they have actual weight to them, and seeing him fly around with them are some of the best scenes in the movie effect-wise. In the comics, the wings are giant pieces of metal, but for the movie the addition of fans for levitation are added to make it seem more physically possible and adds more plausibility to the movie. Not to mention is makes the Vulture look terrifying as he attacks Peter in various scenes.

 

Enjoyment

Spider-Man Homecoming is a very enjoyable movie. It is not perfect, but it is probably one of my favorite Spider-Man movies to date. Nearly every scene has your attention, and while there are some times that are slow, the movie skips the Spider-Man origin story which is very welcome.

The movie manages to capture the excitement of being a hero through the eyes of Peter as he tries to show everything he can do. While he doesn’t always make the best choices throughout the film, the reasons behind the choices he made follow him. There are no giant leaps of faith in logic to understand why he makes the choices he does. The story flows and is paced out in a way that keeps the movie constantly rolling, which is especially good since the movie clocks in at just over two hours. I can say I enjoyed this movie on the same level as Guardians of the Galaxy and the original Iron Man movie and it will be taking a high place in my list of comic book movie adaptations.

Then the movie does great with the cameos and little moments throughout the film. The references made to previous movies and even some surprises that occur during the movie had me smiling ear to ear as a longtime fan of Spider-Man. Especially one reference which I won’t spoil, which got me extremely excited for future movies with Spider-Man.

 

Final Thoughts

Spider-Man Homecoming brings the best parts about Spider-Man to the big screen. The story is great, and feels fluid and not forced at all. The characters are all great, and they get enough development that I want to see more of them, even the villain. If you are a fan of the previous Spider-Man movies, this movie is for you. If you didn’t care for the previous Spider-Man movies though, it might be worth giving this one a shot as it I better than the previous iterations. This is the Spider-Man movie I have been waiting for, and I highly advise that everyone go and see it.