A spoiler-free review
Before Spider-man Homecoming, audiences had become tired of Spider-man movies. There had not been a good film featuring the web slinger since Spider-man 2, back in 2004. Spider-man 3 was one of the worst comic films ever made, follow by a lackluster Amazing Spider-man, that had an equally lackluster sequel. So, when homecoming was announced, fans could only be so excited, remembering the string of disappointments that had been produced over the last decade. Spider-man Homecoming , however, comes as a pleasant surprise to viewers and delivers on all of its promises. It is the Spider man movie we didn’t ask for but welcome nonetheless.
The film starts off with flashbacks to Spidey’s role in the Civil War, showing just how off his element Peter was. It then fast forwards a few months to Spider-man dealing with everyday street crime and high school. However, he is looking to prove himself to Iron man and earn his place in the Avengers. This oppurtunity comes when he stumbles along the Vulture dealing weapons, salvaged from the Chitari invasion in the Avengers.
Tom Holland returns as Peter Parker and gives a performance that has many critics declaring him the best Spider man yet. Holland gives the audience a young Spider-man learning how to use his powers and balance high school with vigilantism. His Spider-man is not a polished crime fighter at all. He gets cocky when he shouldn’t and often does not think before he acts. This is what makes this Spider-man so great; he is portrayed as an actual teenager struggling with everything like most teenagers are. This is something which Holland depicts very well as he shines in the role. He does not go overboard with the role and makes Peter seem like a stereotypical over-emotional teen, while at the same time, does not make Peter seem flat and boring. Holland manages to put together a performance that is simultaneously both charismatic and realistic. He makes Peter feel like a real world teenager dealing with real world teen issues in a film universe with a talking tree.
Spider-man Homecoming manages to do what no Spider-man franchise before has: give an authentic representation of high school. The films representation of high school contributes to the movie. In fact, if you were to erase all of the marvel and Spider-man material from it, it would still be an excellent coming of age tale. High school students, in the film, look and sound like teenagers, because they are actually played by teenagers and young adults. Something like this might not seem as though it’s noteworthy, however it is refreshing not to see 30 year olds fail in pretending to the 15 year olds. Also, high school in this movie is not a one dimensional cliche. Instead, it’s given the complexity which most high schools have. Though they are in the background, the audience can see the different layers of social clubs and groups in the school. This gives Spider-man Homecoming a Breakfast Club like tone which sets it apart from not only Marvel movies but most comic book movies period.
Michael Keaton is another high point in the film. He presents Adrian Toomes, the Vulture, the first villian that Spider-man ever fought. Though, in the comics, Toomes is evil for the sake of being evil, he is much more of a complying character in the movie. In the movie, Toomes is essentially a man mistreated by the system trying to feed his family. He does not want to take over the world or destroy the city. He just wants to lay low and make a few bucks. This is a role that Keaton masterfully plays. Keaton is able to show Toomes as violent and intimidating one moment and then calm and cheerful the next moment. He is able to do these shifts instantaneously. He goes so indepth with the role that you do not really see Michael Keaton anymore, just Adrian Toomes.
So, overall this film gets a five out of five from me. I almost never give a movie such a high rating but Homecoming is one of the few ones that deserve it.
Writer: Jaylen Pearson
Editor: Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi