Spider-Man: Homecoming is Marvel Perfection
In the age of superhero, there has been one hero on either side of the fence that’s always been substantially more popular than their counterparts. DC has Batman and Marvel has Spider-Man – their most merchandisable, marketable, and recognizable hero by a very long shot. Spider-Man has been done pretty wrong on the big screen, but with Marvel regaining the film rights and slotting him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it was time for Parker to get the film he needs right now and the one we all deserve. In true Marvel fashion, they make a great film but for the return of their poster boy, they go above and beyond to deliver one of the finest films the MCU has ever delivered.
After his mission for Tony Stark, young Peter Parker is excited to join the Avengers. After feeling left out by Stark, he stumbles upon a massive criminal empire and sets out to prove himself to be a true Avenger.
I have been a MASSIVE Spider-Man fan since I was about six years old. He got me into comics, into Marvel, and even somewhat ushered me into my love of film. While the Raimi films had merit (in particular number two), I never felt Spider-Man was done right and my love for the hero seemed to lose some of its shine. It’s almost as if the guys at Marvel understood this and bent over backward to make the best damn Spidey movie they could. They absolutely nail it too. One of the things that Sony has struggled with has been balancing Peter Parker with Spider-Man. Raimi got Parker right but always missed the masked hero part. Marc Webb more so understood Spider-Man but really missed on the Parker stuff. So, it was with great delight that Jon Watts fully grasps that Peter Parker is a kid with superpowers and handles both sides deftly.
We see how much Parker wants to be a hero, using his abilities to do anything to impress Tony Stark so he can be an Avenger. We also see a teenager going through puberty, learning to be comfortable in his own skin, and trying to find his own way in life. Both roles are synonymous with each other and Homecoming gets them both right. Even when Spider-Man is at his best, we’re reminded that he’s still a kid under the mask and someone who is trying to figure this whole ‘hero’ thing out as much as he’s trying to study for a Spanish quiz. We also get to watch Peter Parker grow from the tread on nerd out to prove himself to someone confident not just in himself but in his role as Spider-Man. His battle with Adrian Tooms isn’t just a fight between hero and villain but also a coming of age story.
“Jon Watts fully grasps that Peter Parker is a kid with superpowers and handles both sides deftly.”
Not to say his battle with The Vulture isn’t also spectacular. While Homecoming spends so much time getting Spider-Man right, they also do everything else that makes a great Marvel movie. The action sequences fast-paced and frenetic, very reflective of the titular heroes style. Even as they grow grander in scale, they never grow out of control and it was nice to actually see a hero/villain battle that was one-on-one and not have a global impact.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that Spider-Man doesn’t fit in with the rest of the MCU. From the opening frames all the way to Parker and the Vulture’s big showdown, sliding the web-slinger into the MCU couldn’t have been easier or more seamless. If I didn’t know better, I would have thought Marvel had the rights the whole time and had planned this from the get go (except for all the Sony labels everywhere). Suffice it to say, Parker is in the MCU and in a big way.
This only begins to scratch the surface of how great of a job Marvel did with Homecoming. The way the bigger world was localized down to a still up and coming Spider-Man’s beat brought out the best of Spidey and the best of the MCU. There were so many references, Easter eggs, and tie-ins that I honestly couldn’t keep track of them all. I know that Marvel movies are notorious for doing this for fans, but this was on another level. On top of all of that, the movie is hilarious. Not ‘straight comedy’ like this year’s GoG Vol. 2, but it was very funny in its own right. The jokes amplified the characters as opposed to defining them and it met the tone of the film bang on.
Which brings me around to the stars of the film. You couldn’t have asked for a better cast. From cameos, to unexpected characters, winks, and (as I’ve stated numerous times) Universe tie-ins, each and every person that hit the screen had a memorable impact. Even the much hated on casting of Zendaya turned into one of the finer casting decisions in the movie. I have also felt that Jon Favreau has been left out a lot because of his busy schedule, so I was very pleased to see him quite often in Homecoming. Obviously, Tom Holland is great and Michael Keaton is a top notch villain. Holland succeeds at being a plucky and invincible youngster who has to find his stride and understand what it takes to be a hero. Keaton manages to thwart the supposed ‘faceless villain’ syndrome that is oft complained about in Marvel films and is not only a great villain but one that you understand his reasons for doing what he’s doing. All around, everyone contributed to round out a great cast and deliver one of the funniest end credit scenes yet.
I’ve done a lot of talking about how they did a great job getting Spider-Man right. This may sound like previous poor entries have tainted my views, inflating the quality of Homecoming. I assure you that the only reason I talked about this so much is that there were 5 previous entries and almost 20 years of previous Spider-Man history that Homecoming had to stand out from. Believe me, it does. It’s action packed, heartwarming, funny, and everything about the movie feels genuine, something that gets lost a little on the grand scale that some of the Marvel films have reached. With a great cast, a steady and confident hand directing, and some genuinely stellar effects, Spider-Man: Homecoming slides into the MCU with style. It doesn’t just win as a solid movie of the year, it’s a top notch blockbuster, and one of Marvel’s top entries. If you weren’t excited about this release before, you should be. It’s well worth your time and money.
PS – The debut of Spider-Man is bittersweet with word of the passing of Joan Lee. Heartfelt condolences to Stan Lee and family on their loss.
- Spider-Man is finally done right
- Blends seamlessly into the MCU
- Characterization, action, and humor
- Literally nothing