Directed by Jon Watts,
Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Zendaya
The relaunch of Your Friendly Neighbourhood Webslinger in his own series of films catches us up with Peter Parker after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Now Peter is trying to cope with normal life after working with the Avengers, but back in America he’s not called upon by the Avengers or Tony Stark, who has placed him under the charge of his own bodyguard Happy. While Happy seems to be avoiding the calls there is a rash of new alien weapons hitting the streets, and a flying mechanical menace, and oh, he also has to find a date for Homecoming.
I’m going to share something with you, I never liked Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man, I didn’t enjoy his outings in the costume either, and that is not all down to Garfield. I just didn’t like the films, they seemed to want to expand the Spider-Man Universe and were, for some studio reasons, held back from fully doing so. Well in Spider-Man: Homecoming the restraints have been taken off and we’ve got what I truly believe is the best Spider-Man film ever. It’s a bold claim but this is the closest to the character that I’ve read in the comics for over thirty years that I’ve honestly ever seen.
The reason for this is that Tom Holland is both the perfect Spider-Man and Peter Parker together, and also the villain of Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes (aka The Vulture). Keaton gives the cartoon villain a more realistic motivation, and rather than hamming it up on screen delivers real menace. Toomes is angry with Stark and the Government’s new Department of Damage Control, who have taken away his contracts for cleaning up after the Superhero battles. He has a family and employees that he cares for. You understand the reasoning for Toomes going rogue, he’s not just some psycho who for no good reason puts on a strange suit and causes chaos, he’s a real human backed into a corner and turns to crime.
There is a balance in the film between Peter trying to cope with school and his crime fighting duties, along with waiting to be accepted fully as an Avenger, and that is reminiscent of the original Spidey tales, that his personal struggle is as important as his heroic struggle. When his friend finds out that he’s really Spider-Man it complicates things for his life and adds a lot of comedy. The romance for Peter and Michelle isn’t shoehorned into place, which is nice, it’s a background story and feels better for that. Zendaya is fine as Michelle and considering the amount of online backlash after her casting was announced we should learn to calm down when casting is announced.
Sony and Marvel need to stop the pretense that the worlds are not connected, as Homecoming leans heavily on the established Marvel Cinematic Universe and it benefits from it, as Civil War did from having Spidey. The design of Vulture and the other villains is kept firmly in reality which is always the best way to turn the comic villains into threatening beings. Tony Stark and Happy are on hand as background characters, trying to make sure that Peter concentrates on his world rather than trying to be an Avenger. This is exactly what the Superhero films needed, taking away the worldwide destruction that is over used, and bringing it to a local level. The action is there to aid the story and character development and understanding the villain is just a man trying to take care of those who depend on him makes him all the more menacing.
Spider-Man Homecoming is the perfect Spider-Man movie for me, I’m sure a lot of Sam Rami fans will disagree and I still enjoy the two films he made (I know he made three, but that third one…) but Homecoming nails the future of the character to a wall and says ‘We know what we’re doing now’. There are a few things that annoyed me but they were so brief that I forgave them; Holland and Keating are fantastic and I cannot wait for the rest of this world to be explored. With Sony and Disney now working together we should be able to wear our Spider-Man onesies in public again, no matter what our partners or the courts say, it’s a good time to be a fan of the Webslinger again.