I have to be honest, even though I thought Tom Holland’s Spider-Man proved one of the best parts of Civil War, I did not feel excited about yet another reboot of his own movie series. I absolutely did not want to sit through poor Uncle Ben getting killed yet again, Pete getting bitten by a spider again, another turbulent romance with Mary Jane, and then a retread of the same villains we’ve also already seen.
Why didn’t I have faith in Marvel?
Spider-Man: Homecoming won me over completely. It avoided all of those things I most dreaded. Instead, we’ve got a Spider-Man finding his way months after Civil War. This Spider-Man movie felt completely fresh and absolutely a part of the larger Marvel Universe. Other than the web-slinging and the colors of the suit, Homecoming departed from much of what has already been done with Spidey on the big screen. Tom Holland looks like an actual high school student. He acts like an actual high school student. He sounds like an actual high school student. He’s got a whole new group of supporting characters. Even Aunt May is a big departure from what we’ve already seen and they had some hilarious ongoing gags about her attractiveness.
As you’ve seen from commercials, Happy Hogan and Tony Stark play huge roles in this film. This also sets it apart and makes it far more funny than any previous Spider-Man movie. Tom Holland has great chemistry with pretty much everyone, but especially with Robert Downey, Jr. and Jon Favreau.
In terms of tone, Homecoming is pretty lighthearted and humorous. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t have some serious action scenes and real suspense. I wouldn’t say it’s scary at all, but the Vulture is definitely an intimidating villain in both appearance and action.
Speaking of whom, Michael Keaton undeniably crushes it as the Vulture. He delivers a multifaceted character who is both sympathetic and even likable. I love how they set him up, the motivation they give him, and then his mindset. I think that, along with Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, he is the best cinematic Spidey villain yet. Maybe even the best contemporary Marvel movie villain, for that matter.
What delighted me most about Homecoming, though, is that it genuinely surprised me several times. There were huge character revelations that I didn’t expected that made the story all the more intimate and definitely increased my investment. I cared about virtually every character in this movie!
Spider-Man: Homecoming managed to somehow surprise while keeping a funny, light tone with real moments of suspense. Tom Holland oozes charisma while emanating Peter’s intellect, charm, youthful indecision, and — most importantly — innocent heroism.
Against all odds, I am fully committed to this third Spider-Man reboot. Here’s hoping Tom Holland will serve the anchor to Marvel’s cinematic universe for many years to come.
(Did you enjoy this review? Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)