It FEELS like a Spider-Man movie!
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the definitive Spider-Man film. It is funny, action-packed, and resonates with the core of the character as no other Spidey film ever has. One of the most central aspects of old Web Head is Peter’s constant banter something that hasn’t had quite the same flavor in past incarnations. His wise-cracking comments and jovial attitude lighten up the film and you can’t help but become drawn in by this lovable kid who wants nothing more than to prove himself worthy (and to get the girl).
While paying tribute to the roots of the character, Homecoming has enough twists and turns to keep fans guessing throughout the movie. By not spending tons of time on Spidey’s origins (by now, who doesn’t know?), they are able to focus instead on other aspects of character building – Peter’s relationship to his best friend Ned, his crush on Liz, his connection to Tony Stark (and Happy), and on the origins of the big baddie, the Vulture.
That in particular was done exceedingly well. The Vulture first of all doesn’t give himself that name. Which is great. He’s not campy or cheesy, but a complex character. He’s actually focused on being below the radar instead of trying to take over the world. He’s not motivated by some revenge plot or trying to kill the Avengers or create global instability. He’s just a guy trying to get his share of the action. And even though he isn’t a global super-baddie, the Vulture is probably the most well done, threatening villain in the Marvel Universe so far. Perhaps because he is so REAL!
Jon Watts and the Homecoming team are able to find the perfect balance between humor, homage, action, and teen angst. They find a way to let Peter be a teenager with teenage issues. His high school nemesis Flash is a jerk who picks on him. His best friend Ned loves building with LEGOs. His crush Liz actually has a crush on Spider-Man. Even more cool? This cast reflects New York today instead of New York in the ’50s. In the comics, Flash, Ned and Liz are all white, but how realistic is that in 21st century New York in Queens? All of these main supporting characters were ethnically diverse instead being true to life today. Homecoming‘s cast is perhaps the most diverse of all the Marvel movies and hopefully will be an inspiration for the non-Sony movies to do the same.
Tom Holland does an “amazing” job as Spider-Man. His performance isn’t campy but draws you into the character and makes you empathize with him. Peter is an honorable kid who is still a kid with teenage perspectives and problems. Tom creates a balance within Peter between someone who recognizes the responsibility he has to help others and the teenager who is hoping to go on a date with the girl of his dreams. Jacob Batalon does a great job as Peter’s best friend, Ned. If you were in high school and found out your best friend was Spider-Man, you’d probably act just like Ned. Funny, frustrating, heroic, Jacob makes you believe he would be a good “guy in the chair.” And to find out what that means, you’ll have to see the film.
Robert Downey, Jr. played a very believable mentor to Spidey. Iron Man didn’t dominate the movie as he did in Civil War (no fault of Downey). Instead he simply added depth to the movie, developing a father-son relationship with Peter that not only developed Peter’s character but Tony’s as well. Hilarious cameos by Chris Evans’ Captain America also pop up in the film. And it was fun to see the whole Iron Man family make appearances, too (Happy and Pepper).
This was not only a great, fun, funny, action-adventure film – it was one of the best Marvel films ever made. It’s hard to imagine how they keep getting better.