Spider-Man has a lot of baggage. I don’t mean Peter Parker himself, but the property as a whole. Not only has this character been in cinema for 15 years, featuring two other iterations of the character, but now he has to fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe,
which has been going for almost a decade. Oh, and all of those comics. And the animated show. So AAALLL that leads us here, to the appropriately named Spider-Man Homecoming.
The story takes place two months after Civil War, and has an unique recap of Spider-Man’s version of events from that movie. We then see Peter trying to juggle being a normal teen, take care of crime in his town, all while trying to get Iron Man to let him join the Avengers. It sets up an interesting take on Spider-Man, one that hasn’t been explored until now. What happens when you take a young hero, show him what it’s like to run with the big boys, and then take it away? It creates a need for Peter to prove himself, to want for more, and it’s a brilliant plot device. It also helps that Tony gave him a super suit, making it so that Peter has to live up to the standards that Stark seems to have set for him.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is a character that I can't wait to see grow through multiple films, unlike most of the Marvel Pantheon. He's a fun, flawed individual with so much room to change. And the writers do a great job of making sure he's portrayed as a very new hero who fucks up A LOT, all to great comedic effect. You see Spider-Man do things that you've never seen him do before, which is saying something given his legacy.
They also skip a lot stuff you've already seen. The Uncle Ben's death is referenced, but never directly, instead told through Aunt May's (Marisa Tomei) protectiveness of Peter. It's unfortunate that we don't see much of Aunt May, but the story is more about Peter's relationship with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the father figure Peter always wanted and the surrogate son Tony never did. Their interactions are some of the best in the movie.
We also get a new villain in the form of the Vulture (Michael Keaton), who is perfectly cast. He was Batman, then he was Birdman, and now he's a bird man. Perfect. He and Peter don't quite interact with each other until the last act, but when they do, they have one of the best scenes I've ever seen in the Marvel movies. And for the first time since Loki, -SPOILER ALERT- they don't kill off the villain at the end, which will lead to some fun and interesting stuff in later movies I'm sure.
This movie is definitely a winner, but it's more of a teen movie than an action movie, so if you're going into it for that, you might be disappointed. It's got great laughs, a compelling hero and a fantastic supporting cast. I can't recommend it enough.
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