Spider-Man:Homecoming is aptly named and a warm welcome home for ol’ webhead. Between Civil War and this standalone film Spidey is fully ensconced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and all of the promise that was shown in his brief appearance in Civil War is fulfilled.
One thing many fans were worried about was yet another retelling of the origin story as it’s been told enough times already in movies, TV and comics. It’s well covered ground at this point. If this is something of concern for you fear not. Happily director Jon Watts and the writers have left well alone and pick up where Civil War left off, with Spidey being an established character and burgeoning hero. However what we do get is a well crafted and highly entertaining emotional origin story for Peter Parker/Spider-Man. It’s a coming of age story. As it should be as Peter is only 15 here and in high school. As he should be in my opinion. Those were always my favorite stories for the character.
Tom Holland absolutely delivers big time in the role! He perfectly pulls off a genuine and earnest performance, expertly displaying all of the wide range of emotions and insecurities of a 15 year-old-boy. Peter is wrestling with the usual issues of adolescence along with trying to re-acclimate himself back into his life fresh off the events of Civil War. He’s anxious to prove himself worthy to his new found father figure in Tony Stark who is both too busy and reluctant to really devote time to him. Stark leaves his chauffeur/assistant Happy Hogan as a liaison between himself and Peter and Happy is anything but with a constant barrage of texts, and phone calls from an overeager Peter. When Peter as Spider-Man stumbles across a group of arms dealers dealing in weapons and tech made from discarded and salvaged Chitauri technology from the first Avengers film he decides this is the opportunity he needs to prove himself.
The group of arms dealers is headed by Adrian Toomes played by Michael Keaton. Toomes is well known to fans as The Vulture and Keaton is superb! He is incredibly menacing onscreen and very early on shows how far he’s willing to go to achieve his goals and protect what he feels is deserved. The early hype and buzz surrounding Keaton’s turn as the villain is very well deserved. Outside of Loki villains have long been a bit of a weakness within the MCU. Until now. Much like Loki the backstory given to Toomes allows the character to have a certain amount of empathy to be given to him by audiences. He’s dangerous and deadly but not without reason or cause which in turn makes the character more relatable. Some of his motivations are hard to argue with and I found my self thinking “The man has a point.”
Between the top notch performances from the leads, as well as a fantastic supporting cast, coupled with the usual action set pieces you’ve come to expect from Marvel Spider-Man:Homecoming is among the most entertaining Marvel movies yet. It’s arguably the funniest one so far but not at the expense of drama and high stakes. As a matter of fact there were two scenes in particular that absolutely silenced the audience I viewed it with last night. Which is saying something as it was a pretty raucous crowd that was very into the movie. The weight and gravitas of both scenes, that I wont spoil here, absolutely sucked the air out of the room and you could feel the audience grow uncomfortable.
Somehow Marvel has delivered yet again. There are plenty of laughs and excitement for younger fans and enough weight and drama older fans will appreciate. To paraphrase a famous line from the Spidey comics, Face it Tiger, we just hit the jackpot!
As a side note I saw this movie at SilverCity Hamilton Mountain Cinemas to take in the D-Box presentation where the seats move around with the onscreen action. Absolutely incredible! Easily the most active D-Box movie I’ve seen yet. Well worth the trip if you’re so inclined. Just buckle up for it and maybe take some gravol 😉