Quick Hit: One of the best Spiderman movies out there.
The line was full of anticipated fans. Several of people weren’t going to get into the theater, some were, but all would end up seeing the movie eventually. One of the biggest tent pole movies of the summer: Spiderman Homecoming. The Marvel/Sony experiment that is guaranteed to make money. But will it hold up to the standard that the MCU has set for itself?
Actually my friends, it’s better than the vast majority of them.
Spiderman: Homecoming manages to survive as a “Breakfast Club-esque teenager finding himself movie” at times, while providing one of the best Spiderman interpretations on screen. Peter here is presented as an actual teenager with superpowers. Not the Tobey Macguire masquerading as a teenager. And that is frequently the most realistic part of a movie about a teenager with the powers of a spider. This interpretation of Spiderman is still learning about his powers. In fact, the high tech suit that mentor Tony Stark has given him is even under the “Training Wheels Protocol”.
That makes the intense presentation of Michael Keaton’s Vulture that much better. Keaton is by far one of the most fleshed out villains in the MCU. His villain has motivation for his actions instead of just being evil. Keaton shows that he has no trouble owning the screen and delivering monologue after monologue. Most of them are simply working man’s jargon, but there are some moments of absolutely chilling dialogue between him and other characters. The danger is palpable to Peter’s life, and the scenes with the Vulture are not the ones where you fear for Peter’s life. Spiderman/Peter frequently endangers not just his own life, but others as well.
Keaton isn’t the only stand out. Tom Holland is also full of the same charm and life that his Spiderman was in Civil War. You want him to succeed so badly. From the opening minutes of the film (sneakily tying us into the rest of the MCU), the excitement of having a teenager as the protagonist of the film is right there, and Tom Holland is the perfect example. You can tell how much fun he is having in the role, and it spills out to the other characters. Ned (expertly played by Jacob Batalon) is an amazing foil for Peter. Providing an instantly projectable character for every audience member, Ned continues to exhibit the excitement that you feel about seeing your best friend be a famous superhero.
Another thing that impressed me that I referred to was the scenes of Holland as Peter Parker didn’t seem like throwaway scenes, or scenes that revolved only around a love interest. Here the scenes fully paint Parker as a teenager with a life outside of Spiderman: he’s in band, on the Decathalon team, math club, etc. etc. This is one of the Peter Parker’s that fanboys like myself have been waiting for. I really enjoyed the continued pace of the movie. We get a near 50/50 split between Spiderman and Parker, and that’s the way it should be with a hero and his alter ego.
My last bit of praise will fall on the action scenes and the comedy that comes with them. Spiderman is a hero that is always having fun, and that’s exactly what is presented. One of the funniest scenes involves Spiderman in a suburb. It’s these moments contrasted with the frantic, manic action. Rarely is our hero not flipping or spinning when presented with something that needs to be done. It’s impressive and fun, and the visuals sell the action. I happened to see it in IMAX, and would recommend it as such. There is also a streak of comedy that runs through the film. It’s broad and allows the actors a range of humor, from slapstick to deep.
One of the things that is a bit of a red herring in the trailers is Iron Man. You would almost think that he was the second most important character in the film if seen only on the trailer. However, after a slow start to the movie that seems like it will trend in that direction, the movie is allowed to exist on its own plane. Sure, it is heavily within the MCU, but it stands on its own feet and is better for it. That slow start happens to be the only thing that wrong with a very good film.
That’s why I’m giving what I consider the second best Spiderman movie ever an “A”.
For more on this movie check out IMDB.
P.S. Enjoy both after credits scenes. I know I did.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"