It feels as though it’s been a long time coming, but Peter Parker has returned to theaters in his first stand-alone project in three years! I looked forward to seeing Homecoming because of how much I enjoyed the fresh portrayal of the young web-slinger in Captain America: Civil War. He’s youthful, naive, and definitely inexperienced, yet someone worth watching evolve into a hero.
Spider-Man: Homecoming picks up shortly after the events of Civil War and Peter (Tom Holland) is still riding a high from the experience of working alongside the Avengers. He is eager to be more than the “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” and seeks out greater responsibility from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). When he stumbles across the dangerous Vulture (Michael Keaton) and uncovers his evil scheme, Spider-Man sets out to exact his own form of justice.
I liked the fact that Holland’s Peter lives in the real world and still has to endure all of the challenges that come with being a teenager. Whether that was showing a lack of confidence in himself or saying all of the wrong things to his crush, it was apparent that he was a kid still figuring it all out. Homecoming isn’t what I would describe as an origin story, but it definitely looks at the humble beginnings of a superhero with mounds of potential.
It was surprising and also gratifying to see Tony Stark step into the role of a mentor because of his track record of being notoriously self-absorbed. However, we have seen him evolve over the course of the last several years and it has been a very organic and natural evolution. Downey Jr. comes across as downright parental in this performance and it honestly works. The relationship between Stark and Peter is like coming full circle. He gives a sense of support to the youngster and doles out some tough love on occasion. Stark also gifts Spidey with some new fancy gadgets.
In addition to his impressive strength first showcased in Civil War, Spider-Man also has an upgraded suit with cool new features like “web grenades”, front and back cameras, a deployable drone, and his own voice activated system called Karen. While he doesn’t know how to use all of the features to the best of their abilities, it sure is fun watching him try.
Homecoming is aptly titled as we do see the return of familiar faces. Jon Favreau reprises his role as Happy Hogan and serves as Peter’s grumpy handler, while Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper shows up in a meaningful moment towards the end of the film.
There are also fresh new additions to Peter’s life: Ned, played by Jacob Batalon, is his funny best friend and confidante, Laura Herrier stars as Liz his crush from school, Tony Revolori plays the school bully Flash, and Zendaya rounds out the bunch as the wise-cracking loner Michelle. All of them were believable and likeable characters who infused quite a bit of color and humor into the movie.
That is one of the biggest departures for Holland’s Spider-Man; the film is not drab or depressing and the bright visuals make it even more entertaining to watch. It’s also incredibly funny; funnier than I ever imagined a film like this could be.
Michael Keaton stars as Adrian Toomes AKA Vulture and he is probably one of the most developed villains we’ve seen in the past few years. Unlike many other baddies in the MCU, he is a pretty normal guy; he has a family and holds down an honest job, that is until he becomes disenchanted with the system and eager to have his own piece of the pie. He’s been the little guy for too long and decides to do something about it. He and a few cronies steal alien tech weapons and begin harvesting them with the intent of making a profit around the neighborhood.
As is the case in these situations, a little is never enough and the villainous alter-ego Vulture is born. The scenes where he and Spider-Man face-off are wildly entertaining and I really don’t think Vulture would have been as solid an opponent if played by anyone else other than Keaton. He’s a talented actor who almost seemed destined for this role.
If you enjoy a good superhero/action flick then I would definitely recommend you check this out. It’s got all of the action and the laughs you want in a Marvel film. It will be interesting to see what the young hero gets into in his next installment. At any rate, I’m confident in this portrayal of Spider-Man and look forward to his future adventures.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts and the screenplay was crafted by a whole slew of talented people. It stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gywneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Herrier and Tony Revolori. It’s currently in theaters!
Who is your favorite villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and why? Tell me all about them in the comments below!