A few years ago, the North Koreans hacked Sony and released a lot of their e-mails. The biggest thing to come out of this was that The Interview almost got pulled from release, but also that Sony admitted they had handled Spider-Man rather crappily and they were looking to make some sort of deal with Marvel to have him enter the MCU. They seem abandoned at the time, but fan pressure saw both parties back at the negotiating table and Spidey was able to join the other superheroes in Captain America: Civil War. But now he has his own movie with Spider-Man Homecoming, the question is whether it’s any good or not.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland, The Impossible) is still obsessed with the time he was called in from Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr, The Judge) to fight Captain America in Germany. But while he is told to stay close to the ground and concentrate on regular old street crime, his hope to impress Tony Stark leads to him crossing paths with Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton, Birdman) who has been making dangerous weaponry with alien artifacts left after battles with other superheroes.
Firstly, we have to see how Tom Holland does in the role of Spider-Man. After all, the debate is divided right now. Tobey Maguire was a great Peter Parker, but not that great at Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield was a brilliant Spider-Man, but he never seemed to be the right fit for Peter Parker. However, as we hoped from his cameo in Civil War, Holland manages to be both. As Peter Parker, he manages to be that awkward teenager that we all, unfortunately, recognise as being eerily similar to us at school. But when he puts on that suit, he eases into being a cocksure hero who is always able to come out with a great one liner. I don’t want to dismiss the good work that both Maguire and Garfield did, but the fact Holland is brilliant at both roles makes him the best Spidey yet.
The one thing Marvel has historically struggled with in their MCU films is their villains. They have usually been very forgettable. There’s been a noticeable uptick since phase 3 started but this is where we finally get our first great villain since Loki. It helps that Adrian Toomes, also known as the Vulture, is played by Michael Keaton. While he’ll always be an amazing Batman, the fact he has never played a comic book villain before is shocking because he is perfect for it. He has the right mix of both humour, which you always need for an MCU role and menace which makes him especially terrifying in one certain scene in his car. He’s also got a very understandable backstory and a great twist which takes him to that next level as a truly great villain.
And we briefly mentioned it there, but the humour is on point. Because it’s Spider-Man and they have typically been funnier in their source material, this allows the director Jon Watts (Cop Car) to make this an outright comedy at points. It is probably the funniest Marvel film so far, especially when you have Michelle (Zendaya, Shake it Up) getting some killer lines to deliver. I thought Peter’s sidekick Ned (Jacob Batalon, Watch Room) was amusing as well, a great effort considering he could have slipped very easily into being annoying. You know the film is doing well with it’s writing when even the teacher gets a few laugh out loud moments.
The thing that gives Spider-Man Homecoming that bit more is the relationship that Peter has with Tony Stark. Don’t think you are getting a movie where Spider-Man and Iron Man team up to take down a villain, Robert Downey Jr is in this movie for about twenty minutes, if that. But he does make the most of his scenes to be a more serious character for once. There is a very obvious father-son relationship between the two, suggesting at the hurt Parker still has over what happened to Uncle Ben. Because yes Batman movies, you can show the pain of a previous event without spending 30 minutes having an overly dramatic flashback. It makes Stark appearing in this movie much more than a cameo designed to shift a few more tickets.
It all sounds really good but then we get to the action. While the set pieces of the ferry splitting in half and Spider-Man fixing it alongside him saving his friends in the Washington Monument are really impressive, the fight scenes are an absolute mess. It doesn’t help matters that they are usually set in the dark and not the proper dark but that day-to-night rubbish which persists in blockbusters that can afford better. But they are also clumsily shot with a lot of quick close-up shots and you can barely tell what’s going on in certain scenes, especially the van chase and the climactic battle on the plane. It’s a huge shame as it lets down the movie.
While I think many of the Spider-Man movies get a bad rap, I still really like The Amazing Spider-Man and I don’t care what you think, Spider-Man Homecoming easily marks itself out as one of the best, if not the actual best. It has the best Spider-Man as Tom Holland is brilliant at both parts, a seriously intimidating villain thanks to the general brilliantness of Michael Keaton and a general atmosphere which just makes the film a joy to watch. Spider-Man Homecoming is just a whole lot of fun.
What did you think of Spider-Man Homecoming?