Directed by: – Jon Watts
Produced by: – Amy Pascal, Kevin Feige
Starring: – Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Laura Harrier, Jacob Batalon
Runtime: – 133 minutes (2hrs 13 mins)
Homework can wait. The city can’t
Five movies, two reboots and three actors within a 15 year time span should be a cause of concern for fans marvel’s resident web-slinger but Tom Holland’s teaser of Spider-Man was well received as one of the highlights of the critical and commercial darling that was Captain America: Civil War. Despite how small this movie is in scale compared to the other Marvel movies it’s a significant event for Marvel studios as the company’s most popular character and most prized assets gets his own movie under the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not the badly planned Amazing Spider-Man universe Sony pictures were planning since they rebooted the hero with Garfield taking charge as Parker.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is set two months after the events of Civil War, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has returned to his home town of Queens, New York to fight miniscule crime in his neighbourhood like Bike theft, shoplifters with his technologically enhanced- suit that was gifted to him by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Still thinking about the fight he was involved in Civil War, Peter believes that he is proved his worth to be an official member of the Avenger and is even willing to abandon his high school life, friends and even his Aunt may (Marisa Tomei) who is wondering why Peter has been acting weird lately.
Trouble brews when a group of criminals start committing robberies and dodgy arms deals with technologically advanced weapons that was created out of alien technology which eggs Peter to investigate the origins of said devices. We find out that that the technology is the handiwork of Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) and a few of his goons who are selling them to make ends meet. Peter Parker hopes to use this opportunity to bust these criminals without the help of the Avengers. This situation leaves us asking whether Peter should use this as an audition to prove that he can be an Avenger… or whether he should focus on his academics and the upcoming homecoming dance.
- British youngster Tom Holland knocks it out of the park as Peter Parker and Spider-man once again. I personally believe that his interpretation of your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is the most balanced one yet as he manages to successfully capture the characters sarcasm when he is in his in costume and adds a serious level of physicality to the role with his sheer athleticism and gymnastic skills. He also manages to nail the dramatic side that Tobey Macguire was renowned for while adding is own flair during the film’s tense moments. This is achieved through the fact the film made a wise decision to make the character younger, which in turn means that Holland can convincingly portray Parker as a good natured and intelligent kid who is naïve and is in over his head.
- The previous Spider-Man movies focused on Peter Parker’s struggles outside school but Homecoming goes the opposite way and ultimately sees itself as a high-school comedy movie first filled with jokes that hit the target and a Marvel movie second as it just happens to feature a few Marvel Superheroes and is set within the Marvel cinematic universe. This new approach is rather refreshing as it focuses its efforts on telling a single story without the need to focus on the world building aspect that tends to hamper some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe features and other films outside this universe.
- The movie keeps its spotlight on Peter and his class mates who get a considerable amount of screen time throughout the film’s three acts and luckily Holland’s young co-stars are equally likeable and believable in their respective roles. Jacob Batalon has fun portraying Peter’s nerdy best friend Ned who loves playing with Lego star wars and is very inquisitive and excited about Peter’s double life as Spider-Man. Zendaya gets a few laughs from the audience with her character Michelle, an awkward loner with a dry sense of humour and Laura Harrier does a decent job portraying Liz, a straight A student who happens to have her hand in almost every extra curricular activity and also plays the love interest to Peter parker which is a nice variation from the Mary Jane and Gwen Stacey route that most casual fans of Spidey are used to. One of the more interesting spins the movie makes with its cast is the depiction of Parker’s bully Flash Thompson who is no longer a jock but a fellow nerd of sorts who loves to antagonize Peter through his words and not his fists and ironically adores Spider-Man. Tony Revolori definitely succeeds in making the audience like this new spin on the character . With that said the movies.
- One of my major concerns about the movie during its promotional run is the fact that it made a big deal out of Robert Downey Jr. reprisal of Tony Stark and Iron-Man which gave many people the impression that he will feature heavily in this movie and up-stage spider-man. I am happy to report that this is not the case as he is relegated to a mentor role and only appears at the key points of the story. Downey Jr. still plays his egoistical billionaire, playboy, philanthropist character with conviction and seeing him trying to be a father figure to a younger hero does provide the film with a few good chuckles and heart warming moments as he steps in for Uncle Ben. Jon Favreau returns as Starks bodyguard and assistant ‘Happy Hogan’ who has the unfortunate job of keeping an eye on Spider-Man and its great to see the character return. Marissa Tomei does alright as a younger and more attractive Aunt May who also supports Peter and is the end of a lot the film jokes which revolve around how attractive she is.
- A point of criticism that most Marvel Cinematic movies get is their villains. Most times they are devoid of proper character development and play second fiddle to the heroes and ultimately tend to be an empty vessel that instigates the action sequences. Michael Keaton’s performance as Adrian Toomes/ Vulture is without a doubt the best villain since Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. He is a sympathetic villain who like Walter White from Breaking Bad operates in moral grey areas for a good cause that makes him all the more compelling and intriguing to watch. What makes the character more interesting for me is the fact that he has enough in common with Peter to make him a great foil to the web-slinger. The movie also features other villains that have made their appearances in the comics and other forms of media but unlike Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Homecoming chooses to smaller villains like the Tinkerer (Michael Chernus) from the web heads extended gallery of rogues and smartly use them as the Vultures goons.
- Spider-Man: Homecoming is chock full of subtle references and Easter eggs that fans of the superhero and will definitely enjoy looking out for and the movies action sequences are awesome and really highlight Spider-Mans powers and gadgets and were exhilarating to watch.
- This comes of as a nitpick but the movie should have been a bigger affair but it unfortunately doesn’t leave the impact and it feels like a by-the- numbers Spider-Man film. At the end of the day this feeling isn’t as a result of the films shortcomings but the fact that Sony and Marvel didn’t give the audience the breathing room to forget about Garfield’s last performance as Spider-Man, which was only three years ago.
- While there are some dramatic moments in the movie, I feel that this version of Spider-Man is missing a lot of it, which gave the Sam Raimi trilogy; despite how ridiculous it got sometimes (I’m looking at you Spider-Man 3) a lot of heart. Sam Raimi understood that Peter Parker was a hero that was struggling with many problems like finding ways to help Aunt May in terms of finance and trying to get gips to his uncle’s famous words. The movie sacrifices those aspects of the character for a feel more laughs and while it works the first and second act of the film for the most part, it sometimes means that the film lacks emotional substance. Though I must still applaud how relatable this version of the character still manages to be through Holland’s performance.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a great return to form for the Web head as it full of laughs, great action sequences and a little heart. It’s colourful, it’s fun and it’s new youthful approach works extremely well as a standalone movie that fits into Marvel Cinematic Universe without making to many compromises for the sake of world building. This is a movie you should definitely check out.
WORTH A WATCH