This review contains mild plot spoilers.
Ever since the initial appearance of Tom Holland’s humorous and refreshing Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War, the prospect of a solitary film was always an appealing and attractive one. Despite the many depictions of Peter Parker over the years cinematically, from Tobey Maguire’s original Spiderman to Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spiderman, the web-slinging hero in this film felt particularly different and original from the predecessors. Homecoming blossomed in the aspect of Peter Parker’s school life and his growing relationship with school friend, Ned, not to mention the aspirational aspect of him idoling Tony Stark. While this movie sometimes relied heavily on Downey Jr’s Stark and his influence towards igniting the fuel in the main villain’s motivational fire, it did add a nice connection to the Marvel Universe. As a debut for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this was a particularly strong and enjoyable contender that warrants a second viewing.
A particular speciality and brilliance with this film was how it managed to balance the humour, both for younger and older audiences, the action sequences and character development elements. It truly felt like the Spiderman from the comics! They were able to execute the perspective of Peter Parker to a great standard, showing his life at school and his longing for identity as Spiderman. His growing friendship with Ned and his interest in Liz Allen made this film a really different and unique take on what we have come to know of the cinematic web-slinger. It emphasises the perspective of youth and how, at this current time, Peter is in a state of inexperience and blindness towards the wider world and society. He wants to be the hero and wants to prove himself, but this is in the face of youth and premature decisions. This was a particularly refreshing perspective and gave Spiderman a great connection to the cinematic universe.
Michael Keaton’s depiction of Vulture was very compelling and respectable. Not only did he depict a family man with a daughter and wife – once again making for a sympathetic narrative – that he had to support, but also a lower to middle class citizen that had worked in labour and industry for a large part of his life. His motivation of the movie, that being to seek revenge on those of higher affluence and influence within New York (most notably Tony Stark), once again reinforced the connection to the Marvel Universe. However, the biggest issue with this was that it felt as though Stark was taking a little too much limelight away from the focus of the movie that it detracted from the experience ever so slightly. We’ve seen more than enough of Stark in various other films, so this felt like a cameo appearance that went a little too far. That being said, the Vulture did have a few surprises that won’t be mentioned here for the sake of spoilers. If you’re expecting a very climatic concluding battle, don’t get overly excited because it wasn’t all that present but there were still times where he proved to be a tough for to defeat.
This leads onto my next point: the sense of danger and threat. It appeared to be limited in this movie, to say the least. Only until you get to the finale do you actually believe something may actually happen to Peter, but none of his friends are put in drastic danger to a point where you think they’re going to lose their lives. It all felt rather inconsequential, mainly because this film was trying so hard to nail the character development and relationships early. Whilst I thought the general message of Peter having to find who he truly is in order to become the Spiderman, it would have been quite a nice addition if he was actually having to save someone he cared for (similarly to how all the previous films have). This once again reinforces just how different a film it is from its counter parts, both for better and for worse.
Something very unestimated and almost unanticipated was the humour in this film. Not only did it broaden the audience and make it a very enjoyable watch for adults and children alike, but it also gave the film a sense that it wasn’t taking itself too seriously. It knew exactly what it wanted to be and executed it almost perfectly. For example, the moment Spiderman tries to sling a web and can’t because of a building not being in sight. It was simple, comedic humour that servd the purpose well of trying to lighten the mood a light and not get weighed down in self-seriousness, especially when mixed with the dramatic and action sequences towards the second act.
In conclusion, this films a very unique and creative perspective while keeping refreshing and humorous. It’s a great relief to finally have a Spiderman that feels, behaves and looks like he should. If you’re looking for a fun, exciting, character driven, family friendly film, this one is most certainly for you. Whilst it could have had some more consequential sequences and some greater significance with its reveals, this film really does blossom with individuality and character. The action sequences were entertaining, although could have been improved upon, and the overall plot of the film was solid. It’s going to be interesting to see how significant a role Spiderman plays in Infinity War and what will come in the near future.
Spiderman: Homecoming scores: