Spider-Man: Homecoming, serves as the second reboot of the Spider-Man franchise and the sixteenth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by John Watts, Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland as the titular web-head who is reprising his brief but spectacular role from 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. This is the first solo Spider-Man film that integrates him into the ever-expanding Marvel universe, which only opens a new window of opportunities.
Spider-Man: Homecoming follows fifteen-year-old Peter Parker, who is trying to balance his personal life with that of his crime-fighting alter ego, Spider-Man. Although Peter is great at solving petty crimes, he feels an overwhelming urge to prove himself to his mentor, Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). On top of managing his teenage angst which includes a homecoming dance, Peter must face a newly emerged super-powered figure, the Vulture (Michael Keaton).
No matter your opinions on Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Spider-Man, it’s easy to say that both bolstered different qualities of the character extremely well. Maguire played a great Peter Parker while Garfield played a great Spider-Man, however, Tom Holland is able to play both parts in the highest regard. After seeing Holland in Civil War, it’s difficult to see any other actor playing Spidey so well, and Homecoming does nothing but exemplify this. Holland’s portrayal of Peter is refreshing. He feels like a kid who can’t wait to leave school so he can put on a colorful costume to fight crime. Then, when he dons the suit to become Spider-Man, he’s extremely funny and cool. Holland’s Spider-Man lacks confidence, even though he wants to have it. He’s the first onscreen Marvel hero who is scared to be a superhero, or at least scared that he’ll fail. Even though he possesses unnatural powers, Holland gives us an extremely realistic character.
Michael Keaton plays Adrian Toomes whose crew used to salvage debris and items from the Avenger’s battles, but after Tony Stark put Toomes out of business by creating the Department of Damage Control, Toomes and his crew use tech that they had collected to build a suit with mechanical wings allowing Toomes to become the Vulture. Keaton’s villain is different from others in the MCU. He’s an average guy who feels that he has been cheated out of his fortune. He isn’t evil, he just wants to do what he thinks is right. Keaton does a fine job of playing Toomes, the only downside is the rather limited screen time he has.
The supporting cast also does well. Peter’s best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon), serves as the comic relief and is very enjoyable to watch and Peter’s rival, Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), is a nice updated take on bullies in film. Peter’s crush, Liz (Laura Harrier) is likeable, as is Michelle (Zendaya), who provides many unexpected moments of comic relief. Downey returns as Stark for the eighth time and is as likable as ever. He and Peter’s father-son-like relationship is one of the many highlights of the film and it never feels like Downey is overstaying his welcome.
Many of the action sequences are fun to watch, mainly due to the cool new gadget that Spider-Man has in this film. Tonally and aesthetically, the movie is really fun, featuring low stakes and colorful scenes. Not only does the movie look great, but the music is also appealing. After already composing 2016’s Doctor Strange, Michael Giacchino returns to score the film and it is delightful, and it even pays homage to the 1960’s Spider-Man cartoon.
Sixteen films in, it seems as if Marvel has another hit on their hands. It’s hard to believe that Spider-Man: Homecoming had six writers, since it rarely feels disjointed or rushed. Although it isn’t the finest Spider-Man film to date, the inclusion of a light-hearted tone, great directing, and a great performance by Tom Holland, makes Spider-Man: Homecoming feel like a home run.