Review by CJ
Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Zendaya
Other notable appearances:
Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Connelly, Chris Evans, Selenis Leyva, Donald Glover, Kerry Condon, Kirk Thatcher, Stan Lee
After helping Iron Man take on Captain America and other heroes against the Sokovia Accords, Peter Parker returns to Queens and his life as your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Between juggling school and superherodom, Peter finds time to uncover an illegal weapons ring that sells products based on advanced alien technology. Will Peter be able to take on the baddies and still make it to prom on time or will he and his juggling act be squished?
Best. Spider-Man. Film. Ever.
For many years, Spider-Man was my absolute least favourite superhero and this was based purely on the previous films. I generally read DC Comics and had never read a Spider-Man comic, so I was incredulous about the popularity of a character whose film portrayals always seemed whiney, painfully annoying and dreadfully inept. I have a dear friend who loves Spider-Man and for the longest time, I just didn’t get it. Now I do.
The Spider-Man portrayed by Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming is young, he makes mistakes and he has a whinge every now and then — but who doesn’t? He makes up for this by being humorous, kind-hearted and courageous to a fault. As a character, I am absolutely a fan. Holland’s portrayal goes a long way towards making this possible too.
As a side note, I loved that the eyes on the Spider-Man suit could dilate and squint. It adds so much depth to the mask and, as a result, to the hero side of the character.
Iron Man is just the best, isn’t he? If you loved Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Iron Man in the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films, then his appearances Spider-Man: Homecoming will not disappoint. An added bonus is Favreau reprising his role as Happy Hogan for the first time outside of an Iron Man film. He embodies everything we have come to know and love about the character, including his name drastically conflicting his general disposition.
If Michael Keaton is a good hero, he is a phenomenal villain. His performance as Adrian Toomes is comical, a little bit over the top and thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
The plot is simple enough and, praise be to the Marvel Gods (so … Thor? I guess?), there is no origin story to be found. No mention of the, presumably, ill-fated Uncle Ben and no footage of the spider’s bite or the transformation taking place. The story starts almost directly after the events shown in Captain America: Civil War and we are led on from there. Enough of Spider-Man’s history is repeated through Peter Parker that new fans shouldn’t miss out on too much, but it never feels forced or “telling not showing”.
There is a lot of fan service in Spider-Man: Homecoming for both fans of the MCU and fans of Marvel Comics. There is even more nerd-cred in the form of a cameo from Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Remember the punk on the bus? He has grown into the punk on a street! Keep an eye out — if you blink you’ll miss it.
I can genuinely say that I am impressed by this new and improved cinematic Spider-Man. It’s yet another instalment in the MCU that is a must see for any fan of the series or superhero films in general.
Final tips: Keep an ear out for a reworked version of the classic Spider-Man theme, most noticeably during the Marvel opening credits scene. Make sure to stay for both the mid-credits and end-credits scenes.
“You just don’t do anything I would do. And definitely don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. There’s a little gray area in there and that’s where you operate.”