Spider-Man is a well known and much beloved superhero and pop culture icon. He has been adapted numerous times for cartoons, video games, novels, audio books, toys, clothing and now for a third run of movies. Last night alongside my girlfriend and several of our friends, I settled in to watch Tom Holland's return to the big screen as the wisecracking webslinger.
Jon Watt's brought Spider-Man properly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a film that combines all of the best elements of the early Spider-Man comics; Peter Parker being pulled into the life of a superhero because of a desire to make good after Uncle Ben's death; the chaotic misbalance of superhero activities taking its toll on Peter's school and home life; an excellent team-up of sorts with another leading Marvel Comics hero, and two final points, villains that are engaging and are for sure to come back at later points, and lots of great dialogue/banter from Spidey.
In short, this is a movie that defies any and all expectations, quite honestly it is practically screaming for a whole line of Spider-Man movies to be made (or as many as can be made, not counting crossovers into other Marvel Studios projects).
Tom Holland nails it again as Peter Parker, with the film taking place only a handful of months after his team-up with Tony Stark and the Avengers in Germany. Peter finds himself bitten yet again, this time by the thrill of putting on the Spider-Man suit and going out to fight crime, do good, save the day and prove himself as a potential Avenger. Along the way he learns about responsibility, stepping up and taking a stand to face the odds when no one else believes he can and doing it all while still being only a sophomore in high school.
Michael Keaton, oh wow Michael Keaton! What a performance! He took the Vulture, arguably one of Spider-Man's oldest villains (first appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #1, May 1963), but a villain who up until now has only appeared in the various cartoon shows. That has now all changed. Marvel fans and movie lovers get a Vulture who is neither comedic or silly, but is gritty, determined to make it in a world that gave him the short end of the stick, and will kill Spider-Man in order to achieve his goals.
Rounding out is a great support cast, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man (providing mentor-support to the fledgling Spider-Man), Jon Favreau returning as Happy Hogan (acting as a sort of handler for Peter). Marisa Tomei as Aunt May (still dotting on Peter like always), Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds (thankfully not evil like his comic book counterpart, instead Peter's best friend), Zendaya as Michelle Jones (sassy classmate of Peter and Ned's), Laura Harrier as Liz (Peter's love interest/crush), Logan Marshall-Green as Jackson Brice (one of two men calling himself Shocker in the movie), Bokeem Woodbine as Herman Schultz (the REAL Shocker, taking up the title and providing muscle to Vulture), Michael Chernus as Tinkerer (another classic Spider-Man villain running with Vulture), Donald Glover as Aaron Davis (uncle to Miles Morales and giving a hint that he will show up later in the series), with Gwyneth Paltrow making her return as Pepper Potts and Chris Evans showing up in a very amusing Captain America cameo. And speaking of cameos, it just wouldn't be a Marvel movie without Stan Lee showing up again in another of his hilarious small roles. All in all, both the main and support cast for this movie are top notch, each character is their own personality, not just wall dressing for the story to be moved along.
Locations and special effects and music, all knocked out of the park! From the streets of Queens to Washington D.C., Peter Parker's world keep's getting bigger as he keeps suiting up. Talking about special effects, such great special effects! Spider-Man's web slinging and power's in action, Vulture's flight suit, Shocker's gauntlet's, all of these elements tying together for another superhero smash! Lastly, this is a killer soundtrack! There's songs from lots of great artists, Canned Heat, Flock of Seagulls, Icy Black, the list just goes on and on.
Spider-Man: Homecoming does well for the first installment of movies that will be under the Marvel Cinematic umbrella, much in the same way Iron Man did back in 2008, it provides a fresh take on a long-standing Marvel favorite, one finally getting to stand tall as a part of the ever-expanding Marvel franchise. It lays the groundwork for more stories featuring Tom Holland as Spider-Man, with lots of hints and references to other Marvel movies, potential characters and stories to come within the Spider-Man framework. This action-packed, story/character driven and laugh loaded hero movie gets a whooping high rating of GO SEE IT, along with a rousing THIS MOVIE IS FANTASTIC!