Just like many people, Spidey is by far my favorite superhero. Different than the typical mighty demigod, Peter is just a nerd whose weird side-hobby isolates him from the world. Everyone who’s ever felt like an outcast feels for Spider Man Homecoming, which is to say, everyone.
SpiderMan contributed to start the superhero trend, and it’s been irritating to watch the character go downhill after hitting the amazing heights of SpiderMan Amazing 2. And knowing in mind that he’d be integrated into the Marvel machine, that SpiderMan Homecoming was made together by no less than six different screenwriters, I presumed this was going to be a flashy bit of marketing rather than a great story.
Luckily, I was wrong this time, this might just be my most favorite Marvel movie, even surpassing the original Iron Man. While I always found Marvel’s cinematic universe amazing, I didn’t find The Avengers to be that great a movie; it was just an interesting blockbuster, no more and no less. It was Captain America Civil War that really took full advantage of the shared universe by merging all these characters against each other in a conflict that felt surreal, a battle of perspective rather than another vague world-ending threat.
But in Spider Man Homecoming, the Marvel universe finally comes alive. I usually criticize Marvel for being overly formulaic, but their efforts this time prove that they’re taking the wider implications of their interconnected mega-franchise seriously. Homecoming follows the cleanup of the invasion of New York that happened in during The Avengers. So what happened to all those shattered pieces of alien tech lying all across the city? As Captain America Civil War claimed, considering the outcomes of these terrying battles is so much more interesting than just moving on to the next city-destroying set.
Peter Parker grew up during the aftermath of the New York attack, and he’s genuinely an Avengers fanboy, an ingenious high-schooler desperate to join the legendary superhero team while his fellow classmates are busy debating which Avenger is hotter, after years of careful world-building, this universe feels vivid.
Thankfully, we didn’t witness a radioactive spider bite anywhere in the movie. That and Uncle Ben’s death have become as boring as the death of the Waynes although we all know Spider Man’s origin off by heart.
But Homecoming finds a new way to recreate the “great power, great responsibility” theme by casting Tony Stark as the authority figure angry at Peter’s misuse of his expensive new Spider Man suit, which equipped with enough gizmo to take down an army.
Iron Man plays an integral role, but he is used reasonably. His presence is really felt off-screen. After all, this is actually Spider Man’s story, not Avengers’ one. That being said, the awkward father-son chemistry between the two heroes is funny, and continuously hints that Downey Jr. is leaving soon make me sad. This crazy world of magic and strange science is going to feel much empty without his presence.
But SpiderMan Homecoming has enough bright personalities to stand on its own. Peter’s best friend is also a superhero fanboy like him who literally speaks for the audience. Aunt May has developed from a helpless old lady into the hot, sassy Marisa Tomei, a character who Peter can actually relate to rather than hiding from.
There’s far more of an emphasis on comedy, and on character, than the majority of the superhero fare out there. Peter’s struggles in high school feel lot more weighty than his crime-fighting, and that’s exactly the way it should have always been in the first place.
Much of what always made Spider Man’s action scenes amazing stem from the fact that he’s relatively underpowered, constantly facing against enemies that are clearly much tougher than him. In the film, he’s no doubt clumsy. He’s not used to this hero thing yet, and he spends a considerable time of the film doing what a teenager does best; making major problems and damaging property.
Tom Holland’s Spidey is joyful and dreamy, unlike the loser Maguire was, nor the witty, confident Garfield, but a boy on the edge of manhood. Refreshingly, his nighttime duty is describes as dull, his role as superhero more like a dream than concrete reality. It’s really hard to just walk down the street and witness a crime occurs right in front of your very eyes, and SpiderMan has trouble tracking serious crime down. Until he encounters Vulture (Michael Keaton), SpiderMan isn’t really needed in this city of heroes.
And who would have thought that The Vulture would be such a dangerous villain? Keaton provides Marvel with one of their best villains: a blue-collar guy tired of being pushed around by the authorities, determined to provide for his family, however he can. He’s really what Raimi was attempting to perform with Sandman. The role doesn’t actually grant Keaton lots to work with, but he truly shines in the more intimate sequences between him and Holland. He’s devilish yet, deeply human, even shows sympathetic.
In short, I truly believe SpiderMan Homecoming is the best SpiderMan film in years, in comparing with the holy SpiderMan 2. Marvel has perfectly proved audiences that SpiderMan is safe in their hands. A couple of engaging twists at the end of the movie show that Marvel is planning to take their Spider Man down an unusual path, the only right direction to take a character so wildly overused. The idea that he may ultimately crawl back into Sony’s arms is nothing short of a travesty. Marvel, please hold on to Spidey, and never let him ago. But don’t reboot him again by anymeans.