There has been a plethora of Spiderman movies in recent years and they have slowly diminished if not in quality at the very least in impact. When Marvel became involved with Sony to connect and produce the new Spiderman film to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe there was just a glimmer of hope. There was always a question of whether we could put up with another Spiderman story with a new beginning and yet another reboot. The great news is the Spiderman: Homecoming works because it feels fresh and has a whole lot of fun while telling its story. It’s not a perfect film by any means but it doesn’t feel fatigued or tiresome either. If you want more details read more of our review below.
Peter Parker returns to a rather normal and mundane life as a high school student after his big moment fighting rogue Avengers and superheroes. He now finds himself back in Queens, New York worrying about his popularity, girls and the occasional bank robber. It isn’t until he cross paths with Adrian Toomes, a criminal known as the Vulture who repurposes the remains of alien technology for profit, do the stakes become higher and soon test what Peter’s understanding of being a hero is.
Spiderman: Homecoming seeks to entertain its audience by making a smaller film. It has a tight focus in the sense that it wants to tell the story of how someone can be both a superhero and a teenager at the same time. Its action is not on cataclysmic events but helping the guy who makes the best sandwiches in Queens or your friends out when their lives are in peril at the Washington Monument. It’s about balancing the desire to be with the prettiest girl in school as yourself but you’re not sure if she would be more impressed with the guy in a red super hero suit.
It’s not exactly an earth-shattering story but it doesn’t plummet into the teenage angst of every other high school story. It helps that it is all done with a great sense of humour. You will find yourself laughing quite a bit. It’s not necessarily jokes that being set up but it feels more in tone with something like Ant Man rather than the more full-on contemporaries. The reason why Spiderman doesn’t belong in the suburbs is quite amusing.
Still it’s able to move into more serious gear when needed. One of the best scenes in the film involves a wonderfully tense ride between Toomes and Peter. It’s brilliant and comes after a nice twist in the plot as the film heads towards its finale. This scene is also a reminder of the wonderful casting of Michael Keaton and Tom Holland who both delight in their various roles. The supporting cast also enhances the chemistry on screen and the more observant comic book fan will notice many Easter eggs and potential sequel material.
One of my concerns was the potential for this film to be overshadowed by the presence of Avengers story lines. Those who saw the ridiculous Tony Stark poster for the movie might have had the same feelings. There are definite connections but they are not trying to set something up but just simply identifying each other’s existence in the world. Stark is a father figure for Peter but he is a terrible one, never quite sure what life lessons he is attempting to teach. He is a cool but absent father at best. But it also allows for Spiderman Homecoming to not rely on the Marvel wheelhouse to succeed as well.
There is an awareness clearly in the minds of the creators of Spiderman: Homecoming that the audience knows who Peter Parker and Spiderman is. We understand how he gained his super powers and who he is meant to love and all the various main points of the lore surrounding him. So, Homecoming just doesn’t waste time on it. This approach is where much of the film’s freshness come from and allows the movie to tell it story without getting caught up in the familiar origin tale.
This for the most feels like a positive quality but on reflection it’s not entirely the case. There feels like besides for any other character than Adrian Toomes there is essentially no back story, no third dimension to any of these characters even Peter Parker. So, an assumed understanding of both who they are and what motivates them is applied almost across the board and this makes the film superficial. It’s doesn’t strike me as deliberately so but in an attempt to be efficient and not belabour familiar themes they have in the end created a fairly light weight affair. It might seem like a contradiction given the previous paragraph but somehow the balancing act between some character depth and retelling an old story is off.
Spiderman: Homecoming Review Cheat Sheet.
Spiderman: Homecoming is a welcome return to form for the franchise. It suffers none of the fatigue of the reboot that has become quite common place. It is a fun, focused and highly polished return for the web slinger. The acting by the two leads is fantastic and makes for an extremely engaging film which is only surpassed by Sam Raimi’s Spiderman 2. A desire to not fall into familiar beats of storytelling makes things feel a little bit light weight but otherwise an overall enjoyable experience.
+ Great casting especially the leads.
+Story is smaller and never overshadowed by the wider marvel Universe
+Great sense of humour.
+Doesn’t cover too much familair ground
-Fails to flesh out most of the characters making it feel superficial.