Overall: 17/20 – A
Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau
**Spider’s web of spoilers**
Do you ever look at a word you’ve spelled a hundred times correctly and go “that’s not right?” and yet it is? Yeah, that’s me and Spider-Man. I can’t wrap my head around the dash. I know it’s a stupid thing but I don’t feel like there should be a dash and yet it looks wrong without it. But that’s neither here nor there. Once again, our friendly neighborhood superhero has swung into theaters. For the 6th time. And 3rd incarnation. So how does he stack up against his previous selves? Pretty dang well, to be honest.
Spider-Man Homecoming delivers well-timed jokes, decent suspense, and an ability to like Iron Man again.
Our movie actually starts in Civil War where audiences finally get to piece together how Spider-Man ends up in such an epic battle and it’s kind of hilarious. It definitely starts the movie off on a good note. Our villain gets introduced early on and it’s worth mentioning that this probably the best villain arc I’ve seen in awhile. For once, you get to see the creation of a villain, an honest hard-working man who’s been screwed over one too many times, so he sets out to provide for his family the best he can. The timeline is a bit murky and doesn’t quite jive with the rest of the MCU despite the writers best attempts and it’s fairly obvious to anyone who has seen the movies and can, you know, add.
It’s a bit of a slow build, punctuated with several awesome introductory fights as Peter Parker tests his newly fledged wings against the minor criminals that Queens has to offer. Several bike thefts and churros later, he finds himself up against more than just your average jailbirds who are sporting some alien tech. Rebuffed by Happy (his unofficial hands-off babysitter) and eventually put in time-out by Iron Man himself, the young super-hero takes on his biggest challenge yet: to prove that he really can be Spider-Man. It ties in nicely with the rest of the stories from MCU and though Iron Man is in it, it doesn’t detract at all from the high-school craziness that is Peter Parker’s life.
Tom Holland flew into viewers’ hearts the second he snapped up Cap’s Shield during Civil War and hopefully will be swinging around for a while. He is the epitome of gawky, ungraceful nerd, who has a heart of gold. While the high-school scenes play out like a cheesy fan-fiction story, it’s never dull and often times downright hilarious watching Parker’s best friend, played by Jacob Batalon attempt to be the guy at the computers, while epically failing at keeping the most basic of secrets. Michael Keaton stars as Vulture and his interactions with Peter are some of the best scenes in the movie. The one issue I have falls on the shoulders of Aunt May, played by Marisa Tomei. Don’t get me wrong, she is a great actress and does her best. However, she’s not who I pictured playing Aunt May and just doesn’t seem to fit in with the overall tone of the movie. It’s almost like watching two teenagers rather than one. However, she does interact with Holland well and her ending line in the movie is beyond perfect. Deadpool would approve. (Still disappointed he didn’t manage to sneak into the movie – tbh). Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau are still both amazing at their characters and it is nice to see Tony Stark and Happy together on-screen again.
The CGI in this movie is not what I call stunning, but it is definitely well-crafted. The alien tech looks real; the explosions are appropriately heart-stopping, and to be honest, it’s so character driven that you don’t pay a lot of attention to the background. There’s not much special about suburban backyards. However, the fight at the end, and Spider-Man’s appearance at the Washington Monument are two of the best visually laid out sequences in the entire movie. The true standout is the newly crafted Spider-Man suit and it’s voice – Karen. Watching Peter explore the suit is one of the more hilarious parts of the movie.
I wish I could say that the music was overwhelmingly awesome but it seems to be standard Michael Giacchino fair. The only true standout was the opening theme song, played with the Marvel credit that is the cleverly modified original television theme done by J.Robert Harris. The rest of it is forgettable. But at least it doesn’t detract from the movie and does help build suspense. It’s just no Baby Driver soundtrack.
Overall, this is a solid superhero intro and points to good things for Tom Holland and Sony Entertainment in regards to working with Marvel in the MCU.
Adults: Again, solid superhero movie with awkward teenagers and hilarious one-liners and a surprisingly decent storyline. Go for it in theaters!
Children: Also, a good choice. Particularly for younger teenagers who will understand every cringe-worthy high school moment. Nothing truly scary or even super-violent to be honest. He really is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.