Spider-Man Truly is Home

Spider-Man: Homecoming poster

Since 2002, the movie going audiences have been introduced to three incarnations of Spidey. From 2002 to 2007, Tobey Maguire starred in Sam Raimi’s Spider- Man trilogy, and from 2012 to 2014, Andrew Garfield starred in Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man series. With both series’ sequels being cancelled due to backstage drama, and Sony pictures being in financial trouble, Sony approached Marvel Studios to share the character. In 2015, Tom Holland was cast and was set to make his appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Audiences were given a small preview of what the new Spider-Man was like, but his small role didn’t give audiences much for them to judge. Until now that is.

I can understand the fatigue of this franchise. In the past 15 years, there has been 6 Spider-Man movies that consists of three different actors playing the titular character. This may be annoying and admittedly frustrating, however, Jon Watt’ Spider-Man: Homecoming is a breath of fresh air. Given the fact that it takes place in a the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this interpretation of the character is much more younger and inexperienced, giving audiences a much more comic book accurate story and an opportunity to see the character grow and mature in future installments.

Left to Right: Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland, and Tobey Maguire

The Good

When the film was still in development, Marvel Studios president, Kevin Fiege, said that the goal was to make a John Hughes-esque film, given the fact that this incarnation of the character is much younger than its predecessors and it will actually feel like Peter Parker is in high school. They did just that with this movie. What Marvel Studios has been doing recently is creating sub-genres with their movies and so far, it’s been working. Tom Holland plays a much more humorous version of the character that will have audiences roaring with laughter. The movie is just hilarious overall, with none of the humor being forced and hitting the right comedic beats.

As much as it is a comedy and super hero movie, it is a coming of age film that many people can relate to because of its theme of identity. Peter Parker wants to be Spider-Man all the time, but his inexperience and hot head attitude clouds his judgement. He’s a naive young man who thinks he knows what he wants, and that’s something a lot of youth think. Tom Holland is able to capture the struggles of not just being a super-hero, but being a high school student with responsibilities. Michael Keaton brings a frightening performance to the Adrian Toomes/Vulture character. What is even more frightening is how relatable he is. Given his backstory and motives, he has a distaste for the world that distorts his perception, one that clashes with Spider-Man’s sense of morality.

Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, AKA The Vulture

This is the first film in a planned trilogy and what it does so well is that it handles Peter Parker’s and Spider-Man’s character development slowly. What viewers got in this film is an inexperienced Spider-Man and irresponsible Peter Parker. I can only assume that the end goal of this trilogy, if they actually get to the third one that is, is to give us well developed character that we get to see grow.

The Bad

The only problem that I had with this film is that drags on a little, and what I mean by that is that some scenes feel longer than it should have been. It just prevented the film from running smoothly.

Overall Thoughts

As someone who grew up watching animated Spider-Man shows and reading comics, this a movie that has heart and soul. I sat in theaters in 2002 when I was 5 years old watching Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, and it is the reason why I have come to adore the super-hero genre. In my opinion, Tobey Macguire had the best interpretation of the Peter Parker character, while Andrew Garfield caught the spirit of being Spider-Man, but none of them were actually able to find a balance in both personas. After watching this film, Tom Holland is the perfect blend of Peter Parker and Spider-Man.

Final Grade

A

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