FILM REVIEW: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man when a new threat emerges.

If there was ever an Academy Award given for “Movie With Unfeasibly Large Burden of Expectations Attached” then Spider-Man: Homecoming would easily win it. Almost as soon as the project was announced, Spidey fans worried (usually in public) whether the Marvel Cinematic Universe team could rehabilitate the character after the run of underwhelming movies from Sony. These fears were somewhat mollified when we saw Tom Holland in action in Captain America: Civil War, but news that Michael Keaton would play the Vulture caused another anxiety spike (Quick aside:  I found it hilarious that once again Michael Keaton was at the centre of a controversy about him playing a comics character !).

I was not immune to these fears (though I was pretty sure Keaton would be awesome), so when my wife and I saw Spider-Man: Homecoming over the weekend it was with a mixture of excitement and anxiety.  The great news is that the anxiety was blasted away immediately once the movie started with an orchestral version of the 1960s Spider-Man cartoon theme song !

From that moment on I was impressed and excited, growing more so as the film continued. There were many, many easter eggs for us comics folks (which I will discuss in an upcoming article), plenty of web-swinging, thief-catching action for the teens and a heartfelt coming-of-age story which tugged the heartstrings of all (especially those of us who watched John Hughes films when we were younger).

As you know I will not spoil any of the plot, but I MUST mention a couple of things which were just plain awesome: the cameos and links to the Marvel Universe (both the cinematic and comics versions) were perfect, with the cameos by Captain America being a pure joy. The action set-pieces were incredible, especially the one involving the Staten Island Ferry.  Best of all, there was a scene in the movie which was lifted straight from the very best of early Spider-Man comics by Lee and Ditko which had me cheering out loud (which was even more embarrassing than usual, as I was the only person who was vocal about the scene).

In summary, Spider-Man: Homecoming was that most rare movie: it was better than the hype suggested, allayed fears about its potential shortcomings immediately, and delivered a super-hero film in which there was no origin, yet was very much about the hero finding their way and becoming a better crime-fighter (and person !).  We both loved it and agreed that this was not just by far the best Spider-Man movie we’ve seen, but also one of the best movies about teenagers since The Breakfast Club !

 Rating: 5/5 webs !

ReviewerBrett Harris 

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