In the span of 15 years, we’ve seen 5 Spider-Man movies and 3 different actors playing the hero. As a fan of the web-slinger, I honestly can’t get enough of him. I know a lot of people would disagree, saying there’s severe franchise fatigue here. I say no to the haters. Toby Maguire played the nerdy Peter Parker very well. I loved Andrew Garfield’s wise cracking Spidey, and his awkward, adorable relationship with Gwen Stacey. Now we have Tom Holland who IS Spider-Man. The Disney partnership with Sony is a dream come true. We finally get to see our wall crawler team up with the Avengers. My inner child was screaming with joy during the airport battle in Civil War. I’m happy to report that the joy continues with this next installment in the new Spider-Man franchise. It paves the the groundwork for some potential exciting stories (Sinister Six anyone?).
Spider-Man: Homecoming begins with Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Michael Keaton) and his salvage team cleaning up the carnage that took place during the Battle of New York. They can make a pretty penny off of selling the weapons the Chitauri left behind. However, this is quickly shut down by Tony Stark’s Department of Damage Control. With Adrian and his crew out of a job, what’s the next best thing to do? Why, you take the extra Chitauri weapons you’ve found and sell them to the highest bidder (because it’s the responsible thing to do). Fast forward to Civil War. Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has been recruited by Tony Stark to help him take down Captain America and his team. We get to see some behind the scenes of all this going down (even what he was up to before, during, and after the airport fight). Peter is ecstatic to be a part of the whole thing. He films everything, flipping out over how cool it all is. This new Spider-Man is great. They’re really embracing the kid side of the character, which I’ve always loved. His excitement and drive to do great things is the heart of the film. Fast forward 2 months later and Peter is back to his boring life. He is trying so hard to impress Tony, and wants nothing more than to be a part of the Avengers. When opportunity presents itself in the form of a weapons deal between Aaron Davis (Donald Glover, who is in fact the uncle of Miles Morales!) and Adrian’s goons, Peter is thrust into a battle he might not be prepared for.
Tom Holland was born to be Spider-Man. His energy and excitement is overflowing. He’s a cute, lovable guy (my 6 year old daughter told me this. I thought we had a bit more time before this phase started) who has way too much going on in his life. You’re really rooting for him to succeed in this film. Marisa Tomei is gorgeous as Aunt May. I like that they’ve gone with a younger version. She can relate a bit more to things, and fits right in with Pete and his friends. Michael Keaton is intimidating as Vulture. A particular scene involving him and Peter in a car is a real nail biter. This is a guy you do not want to mess with. He’s got morals, which I commend him for, even if they are a tad bit skewed. Robert Downey. Jr is fantastic and always reliable as Tony Stark/Iron Man. The fatherly relationship he has with Peter is hilarious. Also of note is Peter’s best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). Early on (and in the trailers), Ned finds out that Peter is Spider-Man. Now all Ned wants is to be Peter’s “Man in the chair” (think Oracle for Batman). It’s a great friendship that I’m looking forward to seeing development in future films.
Director Jon Watts (Cop Car, Clown) handles the source material very well. The action scenes are all great (particularly the bank robbery) and even have their funny moments peppered throughout. The web slinging is also much more grounded. There aren’t many high buildings around Queens (which is brought up in hilarious fashion) for Spidey to shoot his webs up and swing from. The soundtrack is also great, and one I definitely will be purchasing. With classics from The Rolling Stones to The Ramones, it’s almost on the same level as both Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks. As always, be sure to stay till the very end of the credits. One thing to watch out for is if you’re taking the little ones. Your 6 year old might end up asking you what porn is, like mine did (that was a fun conversation WE DIDN’T HAVE).
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a giant step in the right direction for the hero. It lays the ground work for future installments and has me excited for all the villains we’re going to be seeing. Spider-Man is in a good place. Tom Holland embodies the role and is everything we could have hoped for. Bring on the Sinister Six! – NVJ