Spider-Man: Homecoming - Home, sweet home.

July 7, 2017

Homecoming is an appropriate title for the film in a number of ways. In the forefront, it says—boldly—welcome home, Spider-Man (to Marvel Studios). It also says welcome (back) to those who may have fallen off of the Marvel train due to fatigue. And after 15 previous films, could you really blame them for getting burnt out?

 

Spider-Man was the film that Marvel desperately needed to rejuvenate audiences into continuing to follow its grandiose scheme. It opens the movie in a familiar way, and rides all of the (at least, Tom Holland related) good vibrations from Captain America: Civil War. Smartly, the film forgoes any sort of backstory because, let's face it, do we really need to see uncle Ben die a third time? It's aware that some pretty tragic events take place, but treats them exactly as they are—memories that you don't always need to relive, or poke or prod at.

 

So with all that time not being used with redundant backstory, what've we got left? A lot of Peter Parker. Specifically, Tom Holland's rendition—and what a job he does. Holland manages to mesh all of the qualities you'd expect of a perfect Pete—whether it be geek-ing out on tech, awkwardly treading through new situations, or just fumbling through high school life.

 

 

At about the midway point of the movie, the film lulls you into this sense of comfort. Like, alright, this is the Peter Parker that I expected (or hoped for), doing all the things that a spider can. And then things immediately take a nose-dive. Holland turns the dial up to 11, and just hits you with an incredibly poignant moment. And it hits hard.

If Homecoming proved anything, it was that it doesn't take another world-ending, catastrophic, Avengers-related event to exemplify importance.

But that's just it. The set-pieces in play are world ending.

 

Peter's daily life shenanigans might just be a drop in the pond for Mr. Stark—but for him, they're everything. And when things inevitably go awry, they do so with a weight that not a lot of other Marvel films have been able to emulate.  His clash against Michael Keaton's Vulture character were nothing short of amazing (see what I did there). The Vulture is easily the most menacing Marvel villain yet, and is hopefully setting a new trend for all villains to follow.

 

That being said, Homecoming is largely a light-hearted affair. Peter's best friend is basically a metaphor of the audience—saying and doing all of the things that we'd picture ourselves doing. The rest of the supporting cast does a great job heckling Peter, and despite all of his shortcomings—Marisa Tomei's Aunt May does a stellar job of always picking him back up. It also checks off all the boxes that you'd expect: Avengers tie in's (but not too many), set ups for a sequel, and worthwhile post-credit scenes. (If you were expecting a ton of Iron Man, it doesn't quite check that box. But this isn't Iron Man 4, remember?)

tldr; should you see it? Oh yes.

Spider-Man: Homecoming caught me off guard. It got me invested into Peter's mundane little high school world, and then quickly tried to tear it all down. As much as I love seeing enormous set-pieces with the biggest ensemble of Marvel stars—this film had me thinking—maybe things are actually better off in this friendly neighborhood.

 

9/10

 

1-2: Horrendous, wouldn’t recommend watching even if free of charge.
3-4: Potentially has some good ideas, but overall still lackluster.
5-6: Average, a decently good time; go see it if it's free.
7-8: A solid recommendation, and well-rounded film; warrants a purchase after home release.
9: No glaring flaws; deserves to be watched multiple times.
10: Masterful, must-see; filmmaking at its finest.

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