Release Date: July 7th, 2017
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Directed by: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr.
I’m going to be honest, I was very skeptical about Spider-Man: Homecoming. Excited, yes, but skeptical. See, I grew up with Tobey Macguire as Spider-Man, as many of us undoubtedly did. Spider-Man 2 is by far still one of my favorite superhero movies to have ever been released, despite the absolute travesty that was Spider-Man 3.
Then came 2012, the year that the world was going to end, and with 2012 came Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man. I recount my fear and excitement for this film as well. It had been 5 years since 2007’s Spider-Man 3, and Sony was ready for a fresh start and a break from the Raimi trilogy of films. I recently saw my posts reacting to the film from when it first came out in 2012: I said that it felt like I was watching a comic strip, and to that end, The Amazing Spider-Man still feels that way. But then came it’s sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in 2014, and it was Spider-Man 3 quality with the number 2 in front of it instead. The film simply tried to do too much, and to that end, for most people it was a flop.
Then came 2015, it was announced that Sony and Marvel Studios had reached a deal, and that Spider-Man would be coming home to Marvel.
And what a glorious return it was! Tom Holland’s brief scenes as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War were phenomenal. The young actor certainly proved his ability to act alongside the likes of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.
That brings us to this year’s Spider-Man outing, Homecoming.
I will say without a doubt that Spider-Man: Homecoming is at least my second favorite superhero film to be released this year (second only to Wonder Woman, of course). Tom Holland returns to portray a young Peter Parker: throughout the film, he explicitly states several times that he’s only a sophomore in high school, so it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing a twenty-something Peter Parker out of the MCU any time soon, and this is something I’m grateful for about this film. I’m also grateful that I don’t have to witness Ben Parker dying for a THIRD time on film.
Though of course, Ben’s death is still referenced, and is still a very important part of why Peter Parker is the way that he is. Of course, as a superhero, he wants to keep his identity secret, and when asked if May knew (played by the lovely Marisa Tomei), Peter states that he “Can’t do that to her after what she’s been through.”
This is something that obviously will always affect the character of Peter Parker, as through Spider-Man, he wants to protect people and right wrongs, as he spends the film confronting illegal arms manufacturers and dealers, led by Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toombs (The Vulture).
And speaking of Michael Keaton, I have to say that he gave an absolutely standout performance in this film. In recent years, Keaton has been seen more in comedies, or even biopics, and I had begun to think that he had lost his edge. Boy have I never been more wrong. Avoiding specifics, I’ll just say that while what the character is doing is obviously HIGHLY illegal (Don’t steal alien technology from the government and produce weaponry from it, kids), he does it because it earns him the money he needs to provide for his family. There’s one very specific scene near the climax of the film where Keaton sent chills down my spine with the way he was able to intimidate. Again, Keaton’s performance was absolutely awe-inspiring to me.
But returning to the original point I was getting around to, it’s important to note that Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t strictly a superhero film, as it focuses a decent bit of the film on Peter Parker’s daily life as a high school student. It could be said that this is more of a high school comedy, with a side of superhero film.
What I mean by that is that the focus of the film is on how Peter, the 15 year old, super smart dorky high school kid is dealing with a new world of possibilities. The majority of the movie is Peter coping with his new abilities, and even being tempted by them in the ways that a 15 year old kid could be (in that the girl he has a crush on likes Spider-Man, so Peter is tempted to use Spider-Man as a party trick to gain himself favor with her).
Overall, Homecoming was a fantastic film and a wonderful addition to the MCU. Peter Parker is going to find his place in the universe as time progresses. One aspect of the film has raised a bit of confusion for me, however. At the beginning of the film, it shows the cleanup effort following the Chithuari assault on New York from 2012’s The Avengers, then skipping to the events of Homecoming taking place “8 years later.” My confusion comes from the fact that I’ve been operating under the assumption that any given MCU movie takes place in the year that it was released, given that in 2016’s Civil War, Vision states that it had been 8 years since Tony Stark had revealed his identity as Iron Man. Homecoming, however, takes place DIRECTLY following the events of Civil War and may even have parts take place during the climax between Winter Soldier, Captain America, and Iron Man. So I’m just really confused on the MCU timeline or I guess, timeframe?
I’ll leave off on this note again, Homecoming was fantastic and Tom Holland’s Peter Parker has definitely already earned his place in the MCU.