Possible spoilers ahead!
After the airport battle in “Captain America: Civil War,” Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is back Queens, New York,attending high school, and apprehending purse snatchers and other small time criminals. At least now he’s doing so with a little help from a technologically enhanced Spider-Man costume that designed by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
Peter i supposed to check in with Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) regularly, but the truth is, Peter’s bores. After the airport battle in Civil War, Peter feels he is more than ready to leave his old life as an ordinary high schooler, and become an official member of the Avengers. But this would also mean leaving behind his neighborhood, friends, and even his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) behind.
Things take a serious turn when some mysterious and extremely powerful alien weapons begin popping up all over the city. Going against Tony Stark’s wishes Peter investigates where the weapons are coming from, and eventually discovers the man behind the weapons is named Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton). Despite the danger involved, Peter sees this as his big chance to prove to Stark that he has what it takes to be an Avenger.
I may be the only hardcore comic book fan out there who has never loved a Spider-Man movie. I find the Sam Raimi unwatchable, and even thought I enjoyed aspects of both Amazing Spider=Man films, I’ve only seen them once. Out of those five movies, the only one I watched more than once was the 2002 original.
But, I’m very happy to say that I’ve finally see a Spider-Man movie that I love, and can’t wait to see again, because “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is everything I could have ever hoped for in a Spider-Man movie and more.
Director Jon Watts did an incredible job in mixing the classic John Hughes high school movies of the 1980s, and modern-day comic book films. The end result is a very funny high school superhero comedy/drama, and perhaps best of all: “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is strong standalone movie set in the MCU. When was the last time we were able to say that?
Tom Holland’s charismatic performance and young age further makes this version of Peter Parker more convincing as a kid who’s in way over his head, compared to any of the character’s previous onscreen versions. The same way Gal Gadot is now and forever Woncer Woman, Tom Holland is now THE Spider-Man, and the best one yet in my opinion.
Homecoming costars are equally likable and believable in their respective roles, especially Jacob Batalon as Peter’s enthusiastically best friend Ned. I thought he would get annoying, but he turned out to be a very likable character. Zendaya was also good as the whip-smart, and somewhat antisocial, Michelle. She even got some of the film’s best one liner’s, but I do wish she had been in it more.
Perhaps the reason for this is because Laura Harrier as the popular yet friendly girl Liz, gets most of the spotlight. I didn’t have any issues with Liz as the love interest, it was actually a nice change of pace seeing Peter Parker fall for someone else. My only problem with the cast was the way the movie portrayed Flash Thompson. It was as if they filmmakers couldn’t decide if they wanted Flash to be a jock, bully, or just a nerd. There were a couple of moments when this took me out of the movie.
Meanwhile, the adult figures in Peter’s life also get moments to shine. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark only pops in a few times, but each sequence was great. Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May – effectively serves as Peter’s support systems, and I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see an Aunt May that still enjoys life.
On the villain side of things, I was pleasantly surprised. Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/Vulture is definitely an upgrade for MCU villains. For once we got a fully developed antagonist, we know who he was, became, and why. Keaton makes Toomes a charming, and compelling character. Even my mother in law said she wanted to root for him.
For me, one of the film’s biggest highlights was Spidey’s new Stark created suit. I thought it fit the story that was being told. But I’m sure some fans will complain some of the suit features probably are over the top, but I personally loved the suit’s A.I which Peter calls Karen. The voice is belongs to Jennifer Connelly, who gave the part some great personality. I hope we hear more of Karen in future movies.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is an excellent addition to the MCU for sure, but what I like best about this movie is that it can stand on its own. Homecoming is one of those movies even casual moviegoers will enjoy. At the end of the day, this is a great high school buddy comedy that just happens to be about Spider-Man, and I for one loved that.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” score: A-