Well, this was a long time coming, but I finally got to see “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Before I start the review, I want to mention that I haven’t liked a Spider-Man movie since Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2.” I mostly hated the third movie and only bothered to watch “The Amazing Spider-Man” once (it was okay). So, I went into this movie with high hopes. Did it live up to my expectations? Let’s dive in and find out.
The plot kicks off during Peter’s stint in “Captain America: Civil War” and follows up with him two months later. Now under the supervision of Tony Stark’s pal Happy, Peter eagerly awaits another Avengers mission while solving mundane problems in New York City and dealing with high school. But when a new threat shows up in the form of Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture, who’s selling off weapons made from Chitauri tech, Peter takes it upon himself to stop him no matter what. Will he succeed and become a superhero worthy of the Avengers?
I really enjoyed this movie. The fact that the plot coincided around “Civil War” was a nice touch and it was a simple story to get into. I’m so glad they avoided doing yet another Spider-Man origin story in favor of just giving us an adventure. That said, I did have issues with the high school segments. They felt a bit cliched and tended to drag the movie for me. This also applies to Peter’s “romance” subplot, but thankfully it wasn’t too overdone and was put aside to focus on Peter growing into his superhero role. I also found it a little hard to believe that the Vulture and his crew of contractors were able to craft weapons from alien tech. It just seemed bizarre that these seemingly average guys were able to quickly understand and utilize this stuff.
I absolutely loved the performances here as well. Tom Holland continues to impress me as Peter and I adore how dorky this version is. He feels like the Peter I’ve been wanting to see for a while. Him being younger here makes his eager attitude and overconfidence not too obnoxious, and his Spider-Man was fun to watch. I also found myself liking his friend/sidekick Ned as the movie went on. I was slightly annoyed by him at first, but his role as Peter’s confidant quickly grew on me. And I just have to mention how good Michael Keaton was as the Vulture. He found the right balance between acting as an intimidating criminal and your average Joe. I liked how relatable he felt, though I didn’t feel quite as much sympathy for him as I did for Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock. Plus, compared to the laughable outfit from the comics, his costume here was awesome and almost frightening.
Since I’ve made a point to avoid late trailers for Marvel movies, I was a little worried about how often Tony Stark would appear in “Homecoming.” Don’t get me wrong, I love Robert Downey Jr. and Tony is my favorite Avenger, but I was afraid he might overshadow Tom’s performance. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded and I felt they involved him just enough. The fact that he was in a fatherly, mentor role just made it all the better and his scenes with Peter were some of my favorites. I was still perfectly fine with him having made Peter’s suit and once it’s potential is unlocked, it made the already fun action scenes even better.
Overall, aside from my complaints about the plot, I thought “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was really good. I haven’t seen “Spider-Man 2” in years, but I feel this movie is close if not on par to it for me. Both movies have interesting villains, with one being a tad more sympathetic (Doc Ock) and the other being a bit more relatable (Vulture). Both show two Peters on opposite ends of the scale, with one having more experience (Tobey) and the other still learning the ropes (Tom). Finally, both are part of an ongoing story, with “Spider-Man 2” being the second in a trilogy and “Homecoming” being part of the MCU. Ultimately, “Homecoming” is the best Spider-Man film I’ve seen since “Spider-Man 2,” and I can’t wait to see future MCU adventures with this Spider-Man.