Film Review: Spiderman Homecoming
Despite being in its third recent Hollywood reboot, Spiderman Homecoming is fresh and original enough to give the franchise a new lease of life.
This is the third time Spiderman has gone through a cinematic makeover, so everyone knows his origin story; kid gets bitten by radioactive spider, his uncle gets killed, and of course, “with great power comes great responsibility”. We get it. Thankfully, Spiderman Homecoming trusts its audiences enough to spare these nitty gritty details, giving it the space to tell an entertaining and charming story about a nerdy teenager with superpowers, learning how to be a hero.
We’re introduced to a 15-year-old Peter Parker coming home (hence the title) after his airport brawl with the Avengers, as seen in Captain America: Civil War. He’s eager to become an official Avenger, but his mentor Tony Stark believes he has a lot to learn and leaves him to deal with petty crimes in Queens, becoming a quite literal “friendly neighbourhood Spidey.”
But Peter gets restless, fast, and picks up a trail on an underground black market dealing with alien weaponry, headed by Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. Vulture. Peter is clearly straining to be on the same level of superheroism as the Avengers, struggling to prove he can play with the big boys and girls.
This is what sets this Spidey movie apart from its past iterations, and other Marvel movies. It captures the sweet, witty and enthusiastic side of Peter and his alter ego that we all love, and puts him in a situation that he’s still getting to grips with. He falls, stumbles and crashes into everything, after all, he’s just a kid that’s starting out in his profession. This makes the character a lot more relatable than a hero that suddenly gets powers and randomly knows exactly how to handle them. It captures Spidey’s missteps alongside his ‘beating-up-bad-guys’ expertise, including a standout moment that had me rooting for him to pull through when he was at his lowest.
Tom Holland is no doubt the definitive on-screen version of the web-slinger, as he nails the lovable and nerdy nature of Peter Parker and the clumsy but iconic Spiderman. Despite sharing screen-time with Robert Downey Jr. and Micheal Keaton, who surprisingly aren’t in the movie as much as I’d have liked, Holland steals the spotlight every time. Keaton’s Vulture, a working class everyman who becomes a daunting master criminal to adapt to a changing world, is undeniably one of Marvel’s best villains but unfortunately doesn’t get the time to be more fleshed out. However, the rest of the supporting cast do get more space, with best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) a key player in some of the best scenes. Elsewhere, MJ’s (Zendaya) quirky outcast attitude towards Peter had me chuckling out loud.
Ultimately, Sony made a good decision letting Marvel take control of Spiderman with this latest incarnation. We’re treated to an amusing and thrilling ride that will have audiences wanting plenty more from this Peter Parker.