Directed by: Jon Watts
Produced by: Marvel Studios
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Laura Herrier, Robert Downey Jr.
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Run time: 133 minutes
Release date: July 7, 2017
Synopsis: A young Peter Parker begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero, Spider-Man. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor, Tony Stark. Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. – Metacritic.com
From the start, Spider-Man: Homecoming benefits from one key point that any remake/reboot has going for it – it doesn’t need any kind of character build-up or introducing. By now, after five previous Spider-Man films, audiences should be used to and know more than a passing knowledge of who Peter Parker/Spider-Man is. We don’t have to spend another 30 minutes finding out how Peter got his powers or how the death of his Uncle Ben set up his quest to become Spider-Man. And Homecoming takes full advantage of that by jumping right into this new story without having to reflect back on Peter’s past. So, that right there is an immediate up for the film.
Then you have these amazing performances by veteran actors like Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei that lend a lot of credibility to the film and make the viewer feel comfortable with the film from the very start. But that all pales to the performance by principal actor Tom Holland, who again shows audiences that he knows what the Peter Parker/Spider-Man character is all about. Holland absolutely nails who the character is and what his purpose is as a hero… even if this films is the set up for that entire ideal. That Peter needs to realize that his importance as Spider-Man is more than what he can do as an Avenger and the impact that he makes to the community is important. That there is nothing wrong with being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. And it’s funny at the end just as Tony Stark realizes how wrong he was about Peter that it almost comes crashing in his face if it wasn’t for, well – someone else important making the quick save.
But going back to some of the other characters in Homecoming, first, I really loved Jon Favreau in his role as Happy Hogan in this film. It is a great seeing him interact in the way that he does with Peter throughout the film. And watching that relationship unfold over the course of the film was amazing. Second, I loved Michael Keaton as the Vulture/Adrian Toomes because he just seemed so damn menacing as the villain for the film. And his motivation for being the villain in Homecoming fits right in with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe so perfectly that it actually makes perfect sense. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man is just that… there is not much that doesn’t feel right about the character and it was great seeing him as the main link to the MCU for this film. Oh man, and Jacob Batalon as Peter’s friend Ned… that was absolute genius. My wife thought he was a bit annoying at the beginning of the film, but come on – which one of us wouldn’t act a little like him if we found out that our best friend was a super hero.
My only complaint with the casting is that I just wish that we could have seen a bit more of Marisa Tomei as Aunt May because I love her as an actress and thought there could have been more done with her character. Seeing a young Aunt May interact with Peter and the chemistry between her and Holland was quite interesting and I thought that a wonderful chance was lost there not including her more. Of course, at the end of the film, just before the credits role, seeing what happens and her reaction… priceless!!! Trust me, you have to see it for yourselves.
All in all, I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming – and that title really says it all right there. Having the Spider-Man character come into the proper MCU is a thing to celebrate as it feels that finally the right team was behind setting up a great Spider-Man film. The two Amazing Spider-Man films were kind of lackluster to me. And Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, as great as 1 and 2 were, kind of lacked some of the spirit that made Spider-Man the quirky hero that fans loved. (Just don’t get me started on Spider-Man 3.) But Homecoming just feels right. Some people may be tired and bored of the Spider-Man character by now, and that’s fine: six films later would do that to a lot of people, especially if there is no consistency to how good the films are – but I think that Spider-Man: Homecoming just might change a lot of their minds, and is a great jumping on point for younger fans wanting to see a Spider-Man closer to their age take on the role.
Oh, and be sure to check out the two credit sequences that are included for the film. Trust me, they are pure fun to watch…