Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review
Live-action Spider-Man films have been around since 2002. The first set of movies starred Toby Maguire, and then later Andrew Garfield. But what did these five movies lack? They were not created with the involvement of Marvel Studios, as part of their ‘Cinematic Universe’. These other ones also did not have Tom Holland in the role of Peter Parker. Now things are getting better and better…
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” starts with a direct nod to “The Avengers” (2012), with the aftermath of the fight over New York City against the alien race of Chitauri. The clean-up crew is led by Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), and when he is pushed out of the job by the government, he takes much of the alien technology. Eight years later, he and his crew have an underground network of alien-based weapons sold to the highest bidder. Toomes has created a flight suit and calls himself the Vulture.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is in high school, and with no specific back story, he is an amateur crime-fighter called Spider-Man. He is noticed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and he joins Stark on a mission in Germany. For details on that, see “Captain America: Civil War” (2016). Stark gives Peter a Spider-Suit upgrade. It is very high-tech, but it is limited by the “Training Wheels Protocol”. Peter keeps his secret identity hidden from his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). But by accident, his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) finds out.
Peter and Ned attend a science-based high school in New York, and they are part of the Academic Decathlon team. Also on the team are Liz (Laura Harrier) and Michelle (Zendaya). Peter attempts to live as a secret superhero while also navigating high school. Peter wants so much to be part of the Avengers. He calls and reports in daily to Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), so that Happy will report this to his boss Tony Stark. Peter decides to live a little dangerously, and he and Ned disable the “Training Wheels”.
Perter Parker as Spider-Man has a couple of run-ins with thugs that have the Toomes alien-tech weapons. He even has a run-in with Toomes (as the Vulture). He tries to get the attention of Tony Stark, and he wants to let him know that bad things are afoot. There are some pretty decent fight scenes in a New York bank, and then at the Washington Monument. Spider-Man has a number of high-tech tricks up his sleeve, even when he meets up with the Vulture on the Staten Island ferry. However, things get out of hand. Iron Man has to come to the rescue, and Peter Parker gets demoted.
But later, when he gets a date with Liz to the school Homecoming dance, he finds that the danger has only begun. Peter Parker will need his strength and his will to beat the Vulture in a final fight. Little does he know that his school life and his secret Spider-Man life are about to cross paths. The events that lead up to this are a bit of a surprise, so you can find out when you see what happens…
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a welcome change to the Spider-Man movies, and now that it folds into Marvel’s Universe, that makes it even better. The addition of Tom Holland as Peter Parker is terrific. He is much more in line with what a high school nerd kid should look like. Just because he has super Spider-Strength and Spidey-Senses, he still is awkward asking a girl out to a dance. Or even worse, learning to slow dance with his Aunt May…
All the casting is brilliant, especially Michael Keaton as the Vulture. The Toomes character does not get much in the way of development, but Keaton is great with a sarcastic line or a flinty, squinty sneer. All the high school related characters are fine, and the criminal gang of Toomes is also pretty good. Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau are again doing the roles that they do so well. Marisa Tomei does not have a lot of time in the movie, but she still makes an impression…
Overall, because there were six writers, I guess that some ideas did not have time to get fleshed out. Adrian Toomes goes from a blue-collar worker to an underground super criminal in a matter of minutes. Peter Parker’s experience with the radioactive spider is glossed over, so you can watch other movies to get into his back-story. Because Peter is a high school kid, he does not have a car, so getting around is more difficult. But he does make it to where he needs to go.
However, the overall attitude of the movie is refreshing and self-referential. It is almost like a PG-13 version of “Deadpool”. It has a humorous side, but it also gets into a father-figure situation between Peter Parker and Tony Stark. Plus there are some nice little cameo performances every once in a while: Chris Evans as ‘Steve Rogers: School Fitness Adviser’ on the school TV. Also, there is cute segment with Gwyneth Paltrow again playing Pepper Potts, helping Tony Stark announce the latest Avenger.
It’s enough to make your Spidey-Senses tingle…
Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review
Spider-Man: Homecoming Summary
Directed by: Jon Watts
Screenplay by: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier