“If you’re nothing without the suit then you shouldn’t have it”
Spider-Man: Homecoming is Spider-Man’s third iteration in the past 15 years, and the movie had a lot on its table. Spider-Man: Homecoming essentially had to wipe the sour taste out of our mouths from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Introduce Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and deliver a satisfying movie in itself. I can definitely say I enjoyed this movie THOROUGHLY, and as a lifelong Spider-Man fan, this is the Spider-Man I’ve been wanting to see on screen since I was a little kid.
As Always, I’ll start with the positives. The cast is electric, Michael Keaton SHINES as the Vulture in this film, and delivers a transcendentally menacing portrayal of one of Spider-Man’s biggest baddies. When I heard the casting for Keaton, I was immediately excited, and incredibly hopeful. Keaton surpassed my expectations and gave not only a scary and frightening performance, but also a layered and nuanced one that is painfully realistic and just continues to make more sense the more you think about it. As usual, you need to have your yin to your yang, Keaton’s counterpart is played by Tom Holland. Tom Holland in this film is just tremendous. Tom Holland in general just seems like an amazing guy, but his portrayal of Peter Parker is truly what amazes me, because not ONCE in the film did I hear a hint of his British accent. He sunk into the role seamlessly, and his Peter Parker/ Spider-Man is hands down the most comic-book accurate we’ve ever received. Tom is cool, calm and collected, but also funny, intelligent and dramatic when he needs to be. The rest of the cast also had charming performances, namely Jacob Batalon (who annoyed me at the beginning but grew on me), Marissa Tomei, Laura Harrier, Zendaya and Martin Starr. Of course the small role Robert Downey Jr. has in the film is great, but the writing for his character seemed a bit off to me, almost as if they were trying REALLY hard to capture Iron Man’s personality, but could only captured it partly.
The set-pieces are fantastic and truly AMAZING, managing to show Spider-Man as a stoic heroic figure, but also a vulnerable teenage kid. There are about 3 or 4 large set-pieces in the film, and each of the dazzles in their own unique sort of way. More or less, the set-pieces in this film were like obstacles for Peter to hop over in order to fully find himself as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and it worked like a charm for me. In particular, I tink the Ferry scene, and the final climactic scene are some of the best set-pieces the MCU has ever produced, and it all comes because we love the characters.
One thing about this movie is that it is HILARIOUS. Along with Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man 3 and The Avengers, this movie has to be one of the funniest Superhero movies ever made. Of course with hilarity comes a crap-ton of fun. This movie has a fun premise, a fun tone, and fun action to round it all up. Even with all the joy and fun that surrounds this movie, it has a deep message about believing in yourself, and the age old Spider-Man proverb of great power and great responsibility features as the backbone of this tale. Spider-Man homecoming is focused, and there’s a lot of fun to be had with Peter and his High-School antics.
Onto the not so good stuff… The original Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi is a sprawling epic with a powerful score and great stakes. If you (like me) grew up with these movies, you may be expecting Homecoming to follow suit with that same epic scale, but it is noticeably absent. The movie just feels smaller, and the film does fall prey to it at times because Spider-Man isn’t the same City-Swinging ass-kicking, gallant hero as in the Raimi films, and is rather a more vulnerable Spider-Man in the genesis of his “Superhero-hood”. This is both a good and a bad thing in my eyes. For the good, we can see the distinct differences between this new iteration and the old films, but for the bad we don’t get that gut-punching feeling at the end when Spider-Man’s mask is half torn, and the triumphant Danny Elfman’s score soars through our ears, instead we feel satisfied, but not quite as much as if the film were on a bigger scale.
Overall, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a great film with some great jokes, inventive action, a lot of heart, and fantastic performances across the board to cement its place in the upper standings of the MCU.
Story telling: 10
Character Development: 9