Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review (Spoiler Free)
Our favourite hero, the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, gets his third reboot in two decades. The difference is, this time around Marvel Studios is calling the shots!
Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau,
Marisa Tomei, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Bokeem Woodbine,
Michael Chernus, Donald Glover & Robert Downey Jr.
Run Time: 133 min.US
Release: 07 July 2017
UK Release: 05 July 2017
German Release: 13 July 2017
In preparation for the upcoming Black Panther comic book blockbuster, I decided to analyse Spider-Man: Homecoming, which I missed reviewing last year. The young wall-crawler is, next to DC’s Batman, my favourite superhero since childhood, so when Marvel and Sony finalised their deal, my nerdy heart was going nuts! To see a Spider-Man adaptation made by Marvel Studios that would finally include him in the MCU, was a dream I was hoping to see come true for so long. Well, last year in July we finally obtained what we wished for and it was… a mediocre disappointment to say the truth.
Following the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter (Holland) finds himself living his normal, “boring” teenage life again. Distracted and wanting to prove that he is more than simply Iron-man’s new sidekick, he starts ignoring his high school duties and social life. Once the Vulture (Keaton) emerges as a new villain, Peter needs to reconsider his priorities.
Homecoming manages to exhibit a good balance between Peter’s high-school life and his secret existence as Spider-Man, just as it was done in the comics. The best comedic moments are delivered when these two lifestyles collide, as he is unable to find an equilibrium between the two; often choosing his crime-fighting vigilante side than normal high school Peter. Those funny elements are mostly delivered by clever use of sarcastic dialogues and teen-anxiety. Simply put, this is a well-written coming of age/superhero plot.
The story, however, contains quite a few issues that still nag me. For one, with all the technology implemented into Spider-Man’s suit and the Iron Man/Tony Stark cameos, it feels at times less like a Spidey flick but rather like an Iron Man 3.5, with the Web-Slinger assisting. Being a Spider-Man fan, it really irritated me seeing him being downplayed in his own solo film. Also, the twist at the end, which sheds a little more light on the villain’s persona, feels unconvincing and is too much of a coincidence.
Tom Holland is great as Peter Parker (Spider-Man). He manages to portray him as a person, rather than the wall-crawling superhero and that is exactly how it should be since Spider-Man is first and foremost Parker, trying to imitate a more self-secure version of himself. I loved his constant state of astonishment and surprise babbling as if it were taken directly from the comics. Just as with the suit, though, the writers tried to update the character by giving him a few of Miles Morales’ social trades. A shame, since Holland could have carried the role on his own.
Michael Keaton plays Adrian Tombs - a.k.a. Vulture - and he is as always fantastic. The background story explains his motivation for becoming a supervillain and makes absolute sense. This is also one of the better villains shown in the MCU; Keaton gives the character charisma as well as a sense of moral, therefore being somewhat likeable and the updated look on his suit gives him more of a threatening look. Also, just as a fun fact, how ironic is it that this is his third role playing someone in a suit with wings?
Jacob Batalon portrays Ned, Peter’s best friend and one of the worst characters in this movie. He is a shitty friend most of the times and when he does preach righteousness, it’s usually too late. Batalon’s role is nothing more than a copy of Morales’ best friend, Ganke Lee, and should not have even been included in this superhero flick. I also found it unnecessary for Ned to figure out Parker’s secret identity - this was shown in the trailer, so it’s not a spoiler!
Zendaya plays Michelle, a quiet and introverted teenage girl who likes to observe and give off sarcastic comments. She is smart and I found her persona to be relatable. The only issue I have with the character is a revelation about her at the end of the story. It would have been better to leave her the way she is.
Laura Harrier is great as Liz, Parker’s love interest. A smart and popular girl, who focuses on school and extracurricular activities. Although limited in screen time, she manages to give her character some depth. Marisa Tomei got a lot of backlash for obtaining the role of Aunt May, but she is great and I had never an issue with a younger version of the character.
As with most Marvel pictures of late, Homecoming looks handsome on screen; using strong and vibrant colours, however, it also has a very synthetic touch that distracts at times. Ironic, since it is a comic book adaptation after all. The action sequences are choreographed and captured really well, contrasting the more grounded camera work for the high-school scenes. It also makes use of terrific aerial shots mixed with the breathtaking New York landscape. The CGI is great for the longest part, but I was able tell at times that the web-slinger is completely animated, due to the acrobatic movements he performs on screen, while swinging from building to building.
Verdict: As an absolute Spidey-fan, I need to confess that this blockbuster was kind of a letdown, leaving me fairly cold. While it contains a lot of facets that work really well and make it a true Spider-man film, the story also includes a few aspects that drew away from the ultimate web-slinger experience. This included: too many Tony Stark and Happy Hogan cameos, the suit containing too much tech, a couple of side-plots with twists that felt forced and one character I could not stand! Ned is an incredibly irritating friend, who doesn’t know how to shut-up and tries to ride on Peter’s fame as Spider-Man, once he figures out his best friend's secret. On the other hand, Tom Holland is amazing as both, Peter and his web-headed alter ego while Michael Keaton totally nails it as the Vulture - by far one of the best villains the MCU has to offer! In the end, I will give Spider-Man: Homecoming a 7 out of 10.
As I also missed reviewing the second and third Thor, as well as both Guardians of the Galaxy flicks, I decided to catch up on them shortly before the release of Infinity War, so look out for these reviews. Thank you for reading and please leave a comment below, letting me know what you thought of Spider-Man: Homecoming.