Spider-Man: Homecoming Review
Spider-Man: Homecoming has been a delight to watch, but it certainly didn’t look as though it would be a success when it was first announced. The Spider-Man movie franchise belongs to Sony, and after a series with Tobey Maguire starting in a 2002 and another with Andrew Garfield I think the franchise was dead. Yet Spider-Man also belongs to Marvel Comics. And so Spider-Man ended up in last year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Now, Tom Holland is back for his second outing as Spider-Man in a full-fledged movie entitled Spider-Man: Homecoming. It is a movie that more than anything else is a teen-movie, similar in vain to WarGames and Jurassic Park. It doesn’t contain the deep and dark plots of other MCU movies, or Star Wars for that matter. Yet the movie succeeds in delivering because more than anything else it is fun. Tom Holland’s depiction of the naïve Peter Parker will instantly remind everybody of the best parts of their youth. In fact a lot of this movie takes place in Peter’s high school.
A small summary
The movie starts with a recap of events since Civil War. Tony Stark informally recruited Peter as a member of The Avengers. Peter quickly gets frustrated when he receives no missions. At the same time he drops out of a number of school activities – to make time for possible missions and to be Spider-Man. After one attempt at stopping an ATM robbery Peter’s best friend Ned discovers his alternate identity. And so begins the comical duo’s journey to try and be cool without revealing Peter is Spider-Man.
This proves to be quite heard., especially after Peter uncovers a gang that has been selling Chitauri weapons to criminals. Pursuing the gang, headed by Michaels Keaton’s excellent depiction of Toomes, sends Peter’s life in a tailspin. He is forced to come up with ever more elaborate schemes to stop Aunt May and his school friends from finding out who he really is. In the meantime Peter denies he is pursuing criminals to Happy Hogan and Tony Stark.
Fall and get up again
All this entangling of events make Spider-Man: Homecoming such a fantastic movie. Peter is by no means a perfect Spider-Man, he stumbles a lot, falls a lot and by his aunt May’s account he is already on his fifth backpack. In the meantime Ned finds it increasingly harder to resist the urge to reveal to everyone that his bestfriend is Spider-Man. Things come to a head when Peter interferes with an FBI string operation and gets his suit confiscated by Stark.
With a promise to stop being his alternate ego Peter tries to mend his life. He again enrolls in classes and extra-curricular activity and asks his Decathlon teammate Liz out for the homecoming dance. Here events of the story finally come to a head. In a scene that reminds me a lot Michael Mann’s Heat Peter discovers that Liz’s father is the man he has been searching for, while Liz’s father Toomes realizes Peter is Spider-Man. As Peter feels he has no choice but to be Spider-Man his private life immediately unravels again.
Peter manages to stop Toomes, who intents on stealing Chitauri weapons from Stark, but also loses Liz when she moves away with her mother. Peter declines Tony’s invitation to join the Avengers, but Tony does gives and enhanced Spider-Man suit. The movie does end on a high note. Peter remains a member of his Decathlon team, while quiet friend Michelle (Zendaya) becomes its team leader. While trying on his suit his aunt May walks in on him. In the mid-credit scene Toomes remains quiet about the identity of Spider-Man to his fellow convicts.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is weird movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love it to bits. It reminds me a lot of the first Iron Man and the Ant Man movie. It is off beat, timely and in this case ridiculously fun. I suppose weird can be a good thing, Star Wars must have been weird when it was first released. Sadly Spider-Man: Homecoming is also a bit too long. At 133 minutes it is perhaps 20 minutes too long. Yet the movie shines through its excellent cast, there is just nothing wrong to say about Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and Laura Harrier. The amount of supporting cast also does not get in the way. Spider-Man will be back for a sequel in 2019. I can hardly wait. Though Tom Holland will reprise his role in next year’s Avengers: Infinity Wars.