Plot – Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Review – Spider-Man: Homecoming finally brings the Spider-Man property back to Marvel Studios. Well, not entirely since Sony is still distributing the movie – but Marvel Studios is finally producing a Spider-Man film. This also marks the first Spider-Man film to take place in the coveted Marvel Cinematic Universe! When the web-crawler was introduced in the MCU through Captain America: Civil War, audiences went crazy for Tom Holland’s portrayal. It had people excited for Spidey’s next movie. That time has finally come with Homecoming hitting theaters this weekend. So, did we get the Spider-Man movie we have finally been waiting for? You bet your ass we did!
We all know the story of how Peter Parker got bit by a radioactive spider. The character has been around for decades, and we have had two different origin movies as well(Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man). Thankfully, we didn’t have to watch Peter get bit for the 100th time as Homecoming takes place after Civil War. The beginning of the movie actually takes place during the events of Civil War with Peter filming his whole trip to the dismay of Happy Hogan(Jon Favreau) and Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr.). Once that’s done, Spider-Man returns back to New York to continue his regular high school life. One funny scene shows Parker rushing out of school, changing into his costume, and just waiting for crime to happen. He has also been texting Happy like crazy waiting for another mission. Most of the movie is Peter trying to convince Stark that he is ready to be apart of the Avengers, but of course – Tony thinks he is still young and not ready.
The main thing that Homecoming did better than any other Spider-Man movie – Peter’s high school life. Even though we see Peter in high school during Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man, Tom Holland is a lot younger than Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were when they were cast. That’s not saying Maguire and Garfield were bad Spider-Man’s(they were both great), but the fact Holland was only 19 when shooting the film makes the story much more believable. Director Jon Watts has gone on record saying that the movie would be very much influenced by John Hughes films, since most of his movies(Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller) were “coming of age” films. That is exactly what Spider-Man: Homecoming is and needed to be – a coming of age film. You see Peter trying to balance his superhero life(which Spider-Man is already very popular) with his high school life. The best superhero movies are the ones with heart, and this has a lot of it. Especially when the “superhero” aspect comes second. For example, Captain America: The Winter Soldier felt like a spy movie before a superhero movie. Ant-Man felt like a heist movie before a superhero movie. Same with Spider-Man: Homecoming, this is a coming of age movie before anything else. And that is why it works.
Let’s talk about the cast. Tom Holland, in my opinion, is the best on-screen Peter Parker we have seen yet. I’ve already mentioned him being young, but Holland also has the acting chops, the charm, and the wit that a Spider-Man would need. The fact that he was 19 when they were filming, they can use this kid for the next 10 years and really let him grow with the character. Of course, with Marvel Studios produced movies – the villain is always on the weaker side of things. Thankfully, Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture works here. We learn why he turns evil from the very start of the film and it makes sense. Nothing is scarier than a villain who truly thinks he’s right, and Keaton portrays that perfectly. I enjoyed every scene that Keaton and Holland were together in. Side note – Michael Keaton loves playing bird themed characters. He was of course Batman, then he starred in Birdman, and now he’s the Vulture. Crazy.
We also get great performances by Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned, Zendaya as the “weird” girl Michelle, and of course, the lovely Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. I love the younger Aunt May take in this film. The connection between Peter and Aunt May feels very much more real when they are closer in age(rather than being a 15yr old with a 70yr old aunt). We also get some Avengers cameos, of course Iron Man and Captain America(as seen in trailers). For those of you wondering how much screen time Iron Man gets, he doesn’t hog the spotlight so don’t worry. This isn’t Iron Man 4. He has about 4 scenes, but of course it is important to the story as Stark is pretty much Parker’s mentor. We do get some villain cameos with The Tinkerer, Shocker, and one that might not be so easy for non-fans to catch(don’t want to spoil it). It’s also great to see Donald Glover as Aaron Davis aka The Prowler(from the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series) and it’s also a nice little easter egg when he mentions his unnamed nephew(which fans know is Miles Morales aka the future Spider-Man).
While Sony is trying to set up their own Spider-Man universe, which starts with Tom Hardy’s Venom movie(which may or may not include Spider-Man), it’s great to know that the solo Spider-Man movies are back with Marvel Studios. The “Homecoming” subtitle could have very different meanings. It could be because Peter’s homecoming dance has a part in the movie, or because the character of Spider-Man is finally back home with Marvel Studios. Either way, we got the best Spider-Man movie since Spider-Man 2. It’s up to you where you want to place it, but in my opinion – Spider-Man: Homecoming is in the top 2 Spider-Man movies of all time, which makes it one of the best superhero movies of all time. Although it could have had a more stronger, action packed climax, the movie still did a fantastic job in rebooting(again) the web slinger and has us excited for what’s to come. I’m giving Spider-Man: Homecoming a 9/10.