a SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING musing
Finally in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), THIS is the Spider-Man we’ve been waiting for. Played by Tom Holland, Peter Parker is a sophomore, navigating the hallways of high school, all while getting used to his powers and being Spider-Man. After CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, Peter eagerly awaits a call from Iron Man to participate in more missions, wanting to be an Avenger. Meanwhile, he decides to investigate the disappearance of Chitauri weapons in New York.
The thing that stood out the most was the high-schoolness of it all. Spider-Man works best when Peter Parker is on the younger side, dealing with this newfound power (and responsibility). HOMECOMING really nails the angst and naivety that every teenager seems to go through. The movie makes you understand each decision Peter makes, and therefore makes it more fun to follow that decision tree. Tom Holland is so damn good in the role, I can’t wait to see him in more of the MCU.
The rest of the movie is rounded out with a perfect cast of characters and actors, with some small roles sprinkled in to hint at further plot threads in the future, while the major players get pretty damn fun things to do. Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture, played by former Batman and Birdman actor Michael Keaton, is one of the best MCU villains so far. Keaton makes the most out of every scene, and his character actually makes reasonable decisions while being extremely menacing. If you’re worried about Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr doesn’t have a ton of screen time nor steal the movie away from Spider-Man at all, but does make an impression whenever he is on screen, as usual. His presence gives Peter something to look up to, and plays on a storyline where Spider-Man wants so badly to join the Fantastic Four. All of Peter’s high school friends are perfectly cast and seem like they actually are all in high school, for once. (In my Second Thoughts coming out after a second viewing of this movie, I will go into more spoilers about the other characters!
Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t always live up to its fullest potential. (MINOR MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD) The Homecoming dance feels like an afterthought when it shouldn’t, Aunt May doesn’t seem affected by Uncle Ben’s death nor do they mention him, Peter’s intellect and ingenuity doesn’t factor into many parts, etc. There were more little annoyances that could have been easily fixed with a line or two, but these things were so so minor in the big scheme of things.
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is a great addition to the MCU and finally shows a great teenage Peter Parker in behavior and look. There are some incredible dramatic moments, the big highlight being a beautiful, quiet warehouse scene between Holland and Keaton, coupled with amazing sequences we haven’t seen in a Spider-Man movie before. Every actor and actress shines in this minor miracle of a film collaboration between two major studios. Well done.
RATING: BEST OF THE BEST
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)