BY RYAN MACKETT
I KNOW what some of you must be thinking: “another Spider-Man movie?” Well, yes, naturally. Especially after the two failed Amazing Spider-Man films. So, what makes Spider-Man: Homecoming so special? A few things.
First and foremost, Marvel Studios was able to work out a deal with Sony Pictures to be able to use the character. Even though Spider-Man is a Marvel character, Sony holds the film rights to Spidey. This would explain why, up until now, Spider-Man has been noticeably absent from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The MCU version of Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, made his glorious and near-perfect debut in Captain America: Civil War. Homecoming picks up a few months after Civil War.
We see Peter having to go back to living his life as a teenager, going to high school, dealing with teenage romances and bullies, all while doing his best to help clean up the streets of New York as Spider-Man. On top of all this, he anxiously awaits his next Avengers mission from Tony Stark.
The film brings back Holland as Spider-Man, and features Robert Downey, Jr. as Stark. Jon Favreau reprises his role as Happy Hogan, Marisa Tomei plays Aunt May and a superb Michael Keaton plays one of the MCU’s best villains since Loki.
Keaton is perfect as Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. Vulture. The way the filmmakers connect this Spider-Man film to the bigger MCU through Toomes is perfect. Spidey’s reintroduction to the MCU could have felt awkward and forced. Instead, audiences are not only given a great, well-rounded villain in Vulture, the world of Spider-Man meshes near-seamlessly with the MCU.
I absolutely loved the film. The movie was hilarious and so much fun, yet it had heart and emotion. I was actually surprised by how heart-felt some of the more dramatic scenes were. The film was essentially a John Hughes Breakfast Club-Type coming-of-age film that just so happened to feature Spider-Man.
I appreciated how the film didn’t try and have Spidey tackle some huge global catastrophe. The film’s threats were smaller in scale than what we are used to in these comic book movies, but seeing Spidey triumph was no less thrilling because of it.
I also appreciated how the filmmakers used a bit of restraint with Tony Stark’s character. This movie could have very easily turned into an Iron Man film.
There are undoubtedly some big plans for Spider-Man in the next phase of the MCU. It’s great to see Spider-Man back at home with Marvel. The Marvel Studios filmmakers really get these characters and continually nail the tone of these films, which make them so delightful and entertaining. Highly recommended.
Ryan Mackett is an artist and film enthusiast who resides in Thunder Bay. Email questions or comments to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.