Spider-Man: Homecoming - Review
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe that no one thought would ever happen. Licensing rights and deals with other studios made it impossible, or so we thought. So for this movie to exist at all is a prize, for it to be as good as it was is an absolute triumph. Read on to see more thoughts on this bonus entry into the MCU!
I won't go into great detail here, because you can Google it, but before Marvel had its own studio, it licensed some of its properties to other studios like Fox (The X-Men and the Fantastic Four) and Sony (mainly Spider-Man). Sony had success with their first Spider-Man series starring Tobey Maguire but did a reboot of it far too soon and the ill-fated Andrew Garfield series didn't do what Sony was hoping it would do.
So a few years back when Marvel Studios struck a deal with Sony to share the character, it was exciting, welcome news. Who wouldn't want to see Marvel's most popular character interact with the other big name super heroes?
Spider-Man fatigue was running rampant so Marvel had to approach this carefully. They make good decisions over there at Marvel Studios so they put him in a small role in Captain America: Civil War. Spidey was home finally, and everything was right in the world.
As for the movie itself, there were so many things done right that you could tell Sony and Marvel worked together well to give the character the respect he deserved. Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man/Peter Parker combination that we've ever seen on screen. Andrew Garfield (while some bad writing was partially to blame) was not a good Peter Parker, but an excellent Spider-Man. As for Tobey Maguire, if you could get over the fact that he looked 40, he was a decent Peter Parker/Spider-Man combo, but everything else surrounding him was excellent (for the first two movies of that trilogy anyway).
Holland perfected the Queens accent, and is believable as both a high school Peter Parker and the wisecracking superhero too. His friend Ned (played brilliantly by Jacob Batalon) was a scene-stealer and it will be a cruel world if we can't get him and Michael Pena's Luis on screen together in some capacity.
The film itself is clever too, in that it inverts the normal hero journey. Peter started with triumph coming off of his victory in Civil War. He has the nice suit and a nice set of skills. The suit can do more but he doesn't train the traditional sense to earn it. He finds a short cut, became too big for himself, then had to regress to a more homemade traditional style. It is backwards from the traditional arc, but we've seen Spider-Man take that path several times in the last few years now, so this was a welcome change. Plus, it worked for a 15 year old high-schooler in a world full of billionaires, Demi-Gods and Super Soldiers.
The addition of Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man was one that could have been disastrous. We signed up to see Spider-Man: Homecoming not Iron Man 4 (though I would sign up to see that too!) He was used perfectly though. Stark enhanced and enriched Peter's story, yet didn't take much of the spotlight away from him at all. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) was great too. A few scenes ignited the chemistry we saw in 2008's Iron Man and it was fun to get a glimpse of that again. After Avengers: Infinity War Marvel would be wise to cease the big "event" films all together; instead, have the smaller more intimate stories where the different heroes can hop between each others movies; sort of like how the comics actually are.
Marvel seems to have solved their villain problem too. Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes is one of the best villains the MCU has seen. The reason he is doing what he is doing makes sense in universe, and you can actually sympathize with him to a certain extent. They were also able to get a lot of the Spider-Man mythology in there, which I look forward to seeing in future Spidey films.
The supporting cast was perfect including Marisa Tomei as a very hip and cool Aunt May, Zendaya as Peter's class mate and Jacob Batalon as Ned, who, as I mentioned above, steals the movie. Marvel has never disappointed me in casting before, and they don't seem like they are going to any time soon either.
If you've ever wanted to see what it would be like if Marty McFly from Back to the Future was a super hero, then watch Spider-Man: Homecoming. Tom Holland has many of the same mannerisms and reactions as Michael J. Fox did.
Post-credit scenes are a Marvel staple now and the two attached to this film don't disappoint. The mid-credits one is business as usual, teasing the future of Spider-Man movies. The post-credit one is brilliant and I feel that Marvel has been wanting to do something like that for years.
The future for Spider-Man is bright. We will see him next in Avengers: Infinity War out next year. I hope this deal between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures is a long fruitful relationship.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is in theaters now.
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