Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Comic, Superhero.
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Robert Downey Jr, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalan, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green,
Year Of Release: 2017
Certificate: 12A (UK)
Runtime: 133 Minutes
Director: Jon Watts
Writer(s): Johnathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers
Synopsis: “Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.” IMDB
So here we are, our third Spider-Man reboot in the space of 15 years, with neither franchise completely finding their footing overall to sustain longevity Sony wanted. So they finally caved and allowed Marvel to use their baby within the MCU, after his first official appearance in Captain America: Civil War, he finally got his first solo outing in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”.
I just want to start this review squashing a couple of fears I and countless other people on Social Media had, that we seen the entire story in the trailers and there wouldn’t be any surprises and Tony would play a significant role. If you take ANYTHING from this review, please take that there is so much more enjoyment in this film than the trailers allude to and they implication that it is the Tony Stark show is completely inaccurate, he has a few scenes but nowhere near the amount the marketing (trailers & posters) would have you believe, anyway onto the review!
The story has a very grounded feel to it, it feels just like a story you would read in the books, it gives off the vibe of the Netflix shows only a little less dark. He isn’t jetting around the world fighting global catastrophes or world ending doom. For the most part Peter spends his time within New York helping with everyday crimes be it stealing of bikes or even helping an older lady with directions, Peter really is the “friendly, neighbourhood Spider-Man” with the exception of a small school trip to Washington which also results in Spidey saving the day after an incident with some Chitauri technology and the Washington Monument. During this time Peter is trying to squeeze his way into the Avengers to no avail, constantly attempting to contact Stark (Downey Jr) and Happy Hogan (Favreau) the former wanting him to stick to ground level work while he learns his craft as a hero. For the majority of the film Peter spends his Peter time and his Spidey time with his best friend Ned (Jacon Batalon) a character who is as funny as he is smart.
The film takes inspirations from 1980’s John Hughes films like “Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Buellers Day Off” the latter making a cameo appearance. It really stands apart from other instalments in the MCU while it is very much a superhero film, it is also a coming-of-age film showing Peter trying to find his place in the world a struggle we all experience in our lives. Peter being desperate to prove to his father figure of which Stark is the surrogate that he is ready to take on the world even though he at times even struggles to use his suit. Even with those struggles he has the self-belief to take on the Vulture, such a Spider-Man thing to do and I loved it.
The cast of “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is second to none when it comes to the MCU, be it from the leading man Tom Holland to their “academic decathlon” teacher portrayed by the hilarious Martin Starr they are all at the top of their game. I say this without any hesitation, Holland is leap and bounds above any Spider-Man we have had to date (no offence to Maguire or Garfield), he excels both “characters” in Parker and Spider-Man an ability I felt lacking in previous incarnations. Holland perfects the relatable teen vibe you want in a Parker, he is uncomfortable and happy go lucky at the same time, the same can be said for his “man in the chair” Ned Leeds played by Batalon, who is a complete scene stealer majority of times he appears he has set himself for a fruitful career in Hollywood with his comedic timing. Stand out performances come from Keaton (who didn’t expect this!) he plays Adrian Tooms with so many layers he kind of makes you partially root for him. From the broken father to the menacing Vulture, who is a very much “bully” type villain as opposed to a global takeover villain like Ultron, Keaton shows he is still one of the best in the business. I will admit the casting of Tony Revolori as Flash Thomson took me a little by surprise but the tweaks they made to character for Homecoming making him a more modernised bully who gives his licks with more verbal assaults than the traditional pushing around and hitting, he is more a self righteous rich kid than a “jock” and Revolori pulls it off brilliantly. While their screentime isn’t as much as others Zendaya as Michelle and Laura Harrier as Liz are great, Zendaya is quirky, sarcastic and has a quick stinging wit, while Harrier plays the “pretty girl in school” but not in the boring stereotypical way, she is very approachable and real not just eye candy who doesn’t see the hero it was a refreshing take on the character type. Director Jon Watts is also able to get the best out of the rest of the young cast, a trait he picked up during his time making “Cop Car” which shares a similar premise young kids taking on an adult twisted villain.
Along with some Spidey regulars we are treated to some great not quiet cameos but bit part characters with hopefully a huge future in Spidey films, I won’t spoil who they are, but if you’re familiar with character names from the books you’re in for a treat.
The visual effects are completely stunning as always within the MCU, be it the huge action sequences on the Staten Island Ferry or the big boss battle between Spidey and Vulture to the ATM robbery scene which has Parker in the tradition Spidey pose hanging upside down and still managing to take on four guys. The action sequences are on par with “Ant-Man” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2” even if they aren’t on the same scale they still deliver the same bang and enjoyment. The added additions to Spidey’s suit with his variety web slinging is executed in a very comic fashion be it “grenades” or “taser” they feel as if they were ripped straight from the pages of the comics they are so fantastical they could only be dreamed up in the minds of the comic world.
Overall, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a perfect inclusion to the MCU, it has all the heart you want from a Peter Parker story but also delivers the monumental grandeur we have came to expect from films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of the best things that Homecoming manages to do is show us that Holland is able to carry a movie and hold his own against Hollywood big hitters like Keaton & Downey Jr, making the future of the MCU very exciting indeed. Another thing that Homecoming got right was not having the fear to keep things relatively small, in relation to the MCU, it’s great to see such a big film enjoying keeping things small. If this film really is a starter to a trilogy like Tom Holland has stated, we are truly in for a treat in the coming years with Tom in the role and hopefully having Watts return. Can we all cheer from the roof tops that we don’t have a superhero fighting another gigantic energy swirly thing in the sky? Because I don’t about you lot, but I find that gimmick is sooooo played out in recent years. What we are left with is refreshing take on the comic book film, Marvel are currently 15+ films into their cinematic universe and they show no signs of slowing down in their brilliance. Spider-Man Homecoming is the film Spider-Man has needed since 2007, call back in November to see if “Thor: Ragnarok” follows suit!