Never got the chance to see this in the cinema, so I watched the blu-ray last night and can finally comment on it… or Review it even! Spider-Man – Homecoming is great film, the very definition of “fun”, plus it overcomes that classic MCU film problem and has a really good villain in it. So let’s take a closer look!
Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control, a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons.
Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into helping Stark with an internal dispute with Captain America, but soon resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger. As Spider-Man, Parker continues to help with the little crimes, hoping for the next call…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Cast of Characters:
A Super Marvel Team-up!
Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland) – After the adventure of a lifetime during the brief Superhero Civil War, Peter Parker is trying to readjust back to what passes for a normal life for him, which is school and low-level superheroics. Still, every day he checks in with Stark and co., hoping for his next big mission…
Adrian Toomes / Vulture (Michael Keaton) – After getting the shaft during Battle of New York clean up, Toomes turned to crime as a means to pay for his family’s happiness. For over 8 years he manufactured weapons using stolen alien tech, but you know what they say about all good things…
Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) – Tony Stark never had any children, but he is starting to enjoy his role as mentor to young Peter Parker. That being said, he is weary in using himself as any kind of role model, which makes the job rather difficult…
Liz (Laura Harrier) – Adrian Toomes’ daughter and the person Peter has a crush on… that’s going to end well…
Ned (Jacob Batalon) – Peter’s best friend, and the very definition of the “overweight nerdy kid” stereotype.
Harold “Happy” Hogan (Jon Favreau) – The bodyguard and driver for Tony Stark, who is given the task of looking after Peter post-Civil War, much to his distress…
Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) – May Parker is the sole carer for Peter, but luckily for her he’s not much trouble… as far as she knows…
And many more!
The Bad is actually one of the Good points! Hooray!
First off, as was evident in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland captures both Peter Parker and Spider-Man perfectly, and is helped out by a great script. His nerdy antics are spot-on, not too over the top (that’s for his best friend Ned to do, apparently…) but still endearingly geeky. His Spider-Man is still inexperienced but is starting to get the hang of the funny one-liners and quips, and of course the fighting aspect. I’ve seen people complain about the less-than-traditional versions of Peter Parker’s aunt and school friends, but after five films of traditional Spider-Man I’m happy with the changes. It still feels like Spider-Man, but it’s different enough that it feels fresh.
Obviously another thing that makes it feel fresh is the fact it’s taking place in the MCU, with Robert Downey Jr. returning to the screen as Tony Stark / Iron Man during this film. He does a perfect job as a person awkwardly trying to impart knowledge but not really knowing how, but you know deep down he has a real fondness for Peter. He also doesn’t take up too much screen time, despite what the posters would have you think, this is still very much a Spider-Man story, just with a few appearances from Iron Man (a lot like the comics, really, having a brief cameo or tie-in issue spread about a larger story)
Another thing that makes this movie sparkle is Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes (a.k.a. The Vulture, not that he’s ever called that in the film…) His villain is completely believable, much like the best MCU villains (Kingpin and Purple Man from the Netflix branch of the Universe) he has an understandable excuse for his actions, and unlike the other two, it’s actually more forgivable. I mean, I won’t say he was a nice guy, obviously, he was selling deadly alien weapons to street thugs, but he did it because he had a family to support. If there is ever a good reason to turn bad in a desperate situation, it’s that, and he plays it perfectly. Sometimes sympathetic, other times cold and/or angry, it’s quite amazing how many layers were added to a comic villain that was actually more of a gag character as time went on.
There are a lot of great set pieces here, most of which you can see in the trailer, but there you go. The scene with Spider-Man climbing the Washington Monument, Spider-Man trying to hold together a ferry that has been split in half with just his web and his own strength, and the final battle with Toomes on top of a plane (and then on the ground below, which admittedly isn’t shown in the trailer, at least…) are all great viewing. There is also a call back to the classic “Spider-Man trapped under rubble and gaining the power to lift himself free through sheer willpower” scene from the comics, and a proper smile-inducing end to his fight with Toomes, where he actually saves him from being killed, because of course he does! Then he wraps him up in web and ties him to the containers he was about to steal with a sarcastic note attached to it. Dead-on Spider-Man, right there!
One of the standout moments of the film… that everyone saw in the trailers before hand.
There isn’t a lot negative really, it’s such a fun film that the running time flies by. I will say that Peter’s friend Ned is a bit too far into the stereotypical nerd spectrum, to the point where sometimes you know you’re watching a character rather than believing he could be a real person. He plays the role perfectly, for the record, but that role could have been tuned down just a tad.
Also, I’m kind of sad to see we get two versions of one of my favourite Spider-Man villains, The Shocker, and neither really had any impact, or even remotely looked like him, not a single yellow patch-work mask in sight! (though I did like that both ended up wearing a jacket with the yellow patch-work sleeves on, at least. That was a nice nod…)
The wing is going through his hood, for the record. It’s not quite a fatality!
Spider-Man – Homecoming is correctly titled, after a few missteps with film Spider-Men, Spider-Man has come back home to Marvel and they’ve immediately grabbed on to everything that made the comics so much fun. You root for Spider-Man / Peter Parker throughout the film, as you should, and you also get a great villain to boot, which is normally the MCU’s biggest problem. A fun film I can’t recommend enough!