It’s no secret that I have an undying love for Marvel. And Spider-Man has been part of my life ever since Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends (though I mainly was a fan due to Firestar). So it was great news that Spidey finally came back to Marvel and became part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With Tom Holland in the blue and red suit, he made his first (short but very cool) appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Now, Spider-Man is back with his own feature film: Homecoming.
Reboot of the reboot
This is the third time this century that Spider-Man has a new face and a new director. And yes, maybe that’s a bit much. First we had the Sam Raimi trilogy (2002, 2004, 2007) with Tobey Maguire in the lead. And let’s be honest: nobody really loved Tobey. And Raimi killed his franchise with the terrible third part. In 2012 and 2014 Marc Webb (who wins the award for best name for a Spider-Man director ever) gave us two The Amazing Spider-Man films. Andrew Garfield was an amazing Spidey and this universe started off showing great potential, with a Sinister Six film maybe being next. But again, the last film was total rubbish and the reboot got killed.
And now, here is Tom Holland. In Civil War he was directed by the awesome Russo Brothers (who are now filming the new Avengers films). For Homecoming, Jon Watts takes the helm. Watts doesn’t have quite the reputation his predecessors had, but maybe that’s a good thing. He certainly did a banging job with Homecoming, so let’s hope he’ll get to stick around for any sequels (hint: he will). And let’s face it, there will be sequels, plural. It also looks like Marvel and Sony are teaming up again for this sequel so that’s very good news as Sony did a terrible job with, say, The Fantastic Four reboot.
You’ve lived under a rock if you don’t know the plot of this film so I won’t be too elaborate about it. Look it up if you have to. Short summary: Homecoming picks up a couple of months after Civil War. Peter Parker is trying to balance his life between school and being a newly found superhero. Also, he really wants to be an Avenger/do more high profile gigs for Iron Man so he kinda stalks Tony Starks assistant, Happy Hogan. When he pretty much stumbles upon the new bad guy in town, Vulture (Michael Keaton), he has to choose between his friends and his secret identity.
The title really says enough: Spider-Man is back in a high school setting, with a homecoming dance included in the mix (yes, ofcourse it’s also a homecoming to the MCU). And this is where he belongs. Spider-Man is a teenager. An akward, geeky, smart and sometimes weird teenager. Not a twenty-something, as Maguire and Garfield were. And those two settings maybe started in high school, but it was clear from the beginning Spidey wasn’t as young as he should be, comic-wise. So this is a very refreshing take. Besides being a superhero, there’s Peter Parker having to deal with things like dating, trusting his best friend and avoiding school bully Flash, who keeps calling him ‘Penis Parker’.
Casting done right: check. Nowhere in the near future, will I want anyone other than Tom Holland as Spider-Man. He has the physique, the humor, the awkwardness, the manner of speech, the facial expressions. I reckon that in all reviews anywhere, no matter if they are very positive or negative, all critics will agree on one thing: Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man ever. He is such a delight to watch. And the other casting choices are good too, from Peter’s classmates to the criminals he’s catching. Although it has to be said that the talents of both Donald Glover and Zendaya are absurdly under-used. Their characters could have basically been written out of the film and nobody would miss them.
Homecoming is fast paced, super funny and balanced. It doesn’t rely too heavily on CGI, as you might expect from superhero films. The cameo’s from other MCU hero’s are spread out nicely. It may feel that Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr, cool as ever) saves the day a bit too much, but in retrospect, it all makes sense and it’s just enough Tony. The gadgets are cool and Spidey’s new suit is a nice touch. It’s also refreshing to see a bad guy like Vulture and to see where he’s coming from. And it is so gratifying that there is no mention at all about uncle Ben or ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. The biggest negative for me was the inevitable end fight, which I won’t spoil any more than just mentioning it here. All in all, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a BLAST and you should definately see it.
The future for the Spidey-verse
Spider-Man will next appear in The Avengers: Infinity War and the yet unnamed Infinity War sequel, in 2018 and 2019. And while nothing is known about the official sequel other than that there will be one, it has been said that ‘Homecoming 2’ will be set a few minutes after the fourth Avengers movie. Also set to come out somewhere in the near future: a Venom film, with Tom Hardy as Venom. I’m still rooting that Life is a secret Venom prequel. It looks like Spider-Man is set for the next couple of years, as long as Sony and Marvel stay friends. I sure am looking forward to seeing Tom Holland a lot more. Oh, and there’s an after credits scene, obviously. It may just be the funniest one yet. So stay in your seats and be patient.
If you have no patience, here’s a – pretty much unrelated to anything here – video of Tom Holland’s Lip Sync Battle to keep you occupied: