What is it about? After the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is back at high school. Trying to manage to still be a normal teenager, Peter wants to do more than just be a neighborhood Spider-Man as The Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges, causing trouble as a threat towards Spidey.
How is it? 8.9/10 Spider-Man: Homecoming is a sensational movie that not only does justice to the character, but provides the audience with a truly entertaining experience.
The Ups Following his fantastic performance in Civil War, Tom Holland shows us that he really is Spider-Man. He is the perfect choice for the character and embodies the Spider-Man from the comics. He’s clumsy, gets excited about being a superhero, and is naive but extremely likable. Tom Holland not only looks like he’s the character, but also acts it: his role here sums up what an actual high schooler would do if put in this situation.
The comedy here really works. Homecoming is a really, really funny movie. Everyone has their comedic moments, but standouts are Peter, his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and high school outcast Michelle (Zendaya). Another thing to give the film props for is the high school element. On top of being a superhero movie, it is also a John Hughes-esque teen movie. It captures a high school feeling and shows Peter in class, with friends, and during his day-to-day life. Overall, the tone here is like a Spider-Man comic: it’s colorful, fun, funny, and hopeful!
The CGI here is truly spectacular. All the work on Spidey, Vulture, and Iron Man is amazing and assists the action. Speaking of which, the action is superbly choreographed and you get to see Spider-Man swinging around neighborhoods, using his suit and powers in special ways. There are lots of great set-pieces, and the standout for me is the Washington DC sequence glimpsed at in the trailers. It’s a fantastic mix of action, comedy, and suspense.
As far as characters go, this movie hits home. Ned, Peter’s best friend, is excellently performed by Jacob Batalon. He’s really funny and acts like a real best friend: that is, he gets excited when he finds out Peter’ secret, and pressures him with questions. Michael Keaton gives a charismatic performance as the Vulture. The character’s motivation is easy to get behind of. Additionally, the character isn’t hard to sympathize with: he’s not too strong of a villain, as he is a smaller-scale one, but entertaining nonetheless. Iron Man is used sparingly here so that he doesn’t steal the film from Spidey, which is a great thing. But when he’s on screen, you can’t deny how entertaining Downey is. Stark’s assistant Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) has a small role in the movie, which I won’t say too much about, but his use and relationship with Peter is always a delight. The bully Flash Thompson is approached differently here, as instead of a stereotypical “jock”, this time he’s snarky and mean to Parker, which was an interesting version of the character. There’s a fresh take on Aunt May as well, and Marisa Tomei gives a good performance as her.
The romance in this movie never bogs it down. It’s present, and when there are elements of it onscreen, it’s organic and plays out well. It involves Peter’s teen crush on a girl in his school named Liz (Laura Harrier), but I won’t say anything more. The plot here is not too predictable, and there are plenty of surprises and turns. The MCU connections in Homecoming are not distracting and there are some fun references to the greater universe. Spider-Man: Homecoming does deliver on emotion and has a hopeful, good-hearted Spidey.
Composed by Michael Giacchino, the score for this flick is great. It contains an awesome rendition of the classic Spider-Man theme from the 60s.
The Downs One character I didn’t love in Homecoming was Zendaya’s character Michelle. She was very one-note and sort of hung around to make sarcastic comments and mope: not to say she isn’t funny, but she is very minor and inconsequential. There are quite a few characters in this movie, some of which end up underdeveloped. Some examples of this are Michelle and Donald Glover’s mystery character who I won’t disclose the identity of here.
Another problem I had with this movie involved its marketing. Some of the trailers had been infamous for giving away some big set-pieces, and while there are surprises to be had, there was some unnecessary spoiling. There were also some really great moments that didn’t need to be hinted at in trailers.
Finally, the stakes in the movie aren’t very large. Because Spider-Man is a street-level hero, stakes are lower here, especially at the end. Even though that was the feel of the movie, it still felt a little underwhelming and made it harder to feel invested in the finale.
Overall, I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming. It delivered on everything I expected, and brought even more to the table. The story was ambitious, the film was never short on comedy, all the action was executed perfectly, and Tom Holland was the perfect Spider-Man.