Thanks to an unprecedented agreement between Sony and Marvel, the reboot brings the web-slinger back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So how does one revive the appeal of Spider-Man after 5 previous movies? By sending him back to school of course.
After stealing Cap’s iconic shield and single-handedly taking down Ant-Man (when he was a giant), one would assume that Spidey would be ushered into the esteemed ranks of The Avengers. But nope, Peter Parker is unceremoniously dropped home – back to his quiet boring life.
Stark sees Parker as someone who can potentially be a better superhero than him but he fears for the teenager’s safety and tells him to focus on school instead. Although the 15-year-old kid wants to contribute more, he feels sidelined by Stark and reluctant baby sitter Happy Hogan (who ignores his calls and texts).
Meanwhile, Parker is struggling to transition back to his school life routine again. We see him daydreaming in class, skipping Academic Decathlon meetings, and bailing on his best pal Ned so he can attend his secret “Stark internship”. But really, all Parker cares about is to get out of school and roam the streets of New York City as Spider-Man.
It doesn’t help that the enthusiastic chap is left with a gadget-filled supersuit filled with bells and whistles that he hasn’t familiarised with. Unlike the previous 2 versions with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, “Homecoming” doesn’t waste time in showing how he got bitten by the spider or how Uncle Ben dies (thank goodness).
As if juggling his teenage and heroic lives isn’t stressful enough, Spider-Man encounters the deadly Adrian Toomes aka Vulture. He discovers that the former businessman and his salvage team have been stealing alien artefacts and advanced weaponry. These high-tech weapons are then resold to the criminal community after being modified and proliferated.
When Parker is brushed off by Stark and Hogan yet again, he decides to take things into his own hands. Eager to prove himself to his mentor and the world, the web crawler decides to confront the bad guys. But is this young superhero ready to take on the big leagues?
The charming factor to “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is that it doesn’t just lean into the MCU, we also get to witness this beloved character in his formative years. Some of the best superhero films feature the main characters in their formative years where they’re just figuring out their powers. Case in point: the first “Iron Man” movie and “Captain America: The First Avenger”, or even last month’s “Wonder Woman“.
In “Homecoming”, Parker isn’t perfect or invincible. In fact, he’s rather bad at being Spider-Man. Now this isn’t something you usually see in superhero flicks – a hero struggling to be heroic. Tom Holland nails his performance in capturing the awkwardness and coming of age journey as the newbie hero. Die-hard fans will enjoy how authentic his character is.
The rest of the cast also shine in their roles. Michael Keaton plays Vulture with gusto. He’s a decent hard-working man that ends up on a dark path after being screwed by the system. Not only is Vulture a formidable villain, he’s also a critical link to the Spider-Man world and the Avengers connection. The Staten Island Ferry fight scene between Vulture and Spider-Man is easily one of the best action sequences in the movie.
Another highlight is Spidey’s relationship with Iron Man. On one hand, you have Parker who longs for a father figure. On the other hand, Stark has had a strenuous relationship with his dad. By putting these 2 individuals together, there’s an interesting dynamic to explore.
Parker may not need Stark’s permission to battle criminals, but he still longs for validation and bigger thrills. “Homecoming” cleverly portrays the steps Spider-Man takes in order to get beyond his childish urges.
For a superhero kid growing up, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is easily the best Spider-Man film by far. Funny and heartfelt, the movie doesn’t just grow on you as you’d get to witness the titular character growing up in front of you.
Psst, in case you didn’t already know, there will be 2 bonus scenes, so remember to stay put in your seats. While you wait for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” to hit theatres, feel free to check out 10 interesting fun facts about your favourite web slinger.
Enjoy the first 4 minutes of the movie here:
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” swings into theatres today (Wednesday, 5th July 2017).