What a blast. After two previously fizzled-out attempts at getting a Spidey franchise off the ground, it should come as no surprise to find this third attempt, finally under the Marvel Studios banner – that Homecoming in the title comes with a serious wink – pretty much nails it. There’s a real sense that the filmmakers sat down and looked long and hard at what worked and didn’t work about the previous films, the missed opportunities and the potential offered by the MCU, and made a conscious effort to get the train on the tracks without repeating themselves. And so they should! Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 still reigns supreme but the comic-book landscape has evolved a hell of a lot since 2004, so this is the modern era Spider-Man movie we’ve all been waiting for.
I was a bit apprehensive about this Spidey after his semi-irritating appearance in Civil War but within his own milieu, I gotta hand it to that Tom Holland kid. He nails it. The design of this Spidey suit is like the gift that keeps on giving. It’s got the articulate eyes, the web armpits, the way it hangs off Peter’s body when it isn’t sealed, it’s perfect! You can tell they studied the most iconic Spidey comic book frames and designed the suit to match. Love the diverse young cast and the youthful, colourful energy that zips throughout the whole thing. The relatively low stakes are refreshing too, to the extent that a scene involving Spider-Man crawling up the Washington monument of all things becomes legit nail-biting. I can’t remember the last time I felt that sense of scale and danger in the MCU before and their characters have scaled much larger heights. Even the potentially wonky decisions – Tony Stark/Iron Man popping in and out of a Spider-Man movie – are actually integrated, both narratively and thematically, really well.
So many little details and moments that captured my imagination. The movie never loses sight of this being the story of a high schooler and tunes its attention accordingly. The fact this movie finds the time to include a beat of Spidey seeing a load of hardened chewing gum under a school bus seat and going “gross!’ amidst a hectic action scene makes me so happy. Alternatively, the moment when a defeated Peter is trapped under a pile of rubble and just starts crying feels so honest and true. Heartbreaking. Damn did I root for that kid. I can’t say enough about Keaton’s Vulture either. Hands down the best MCU villain in a long-ass time. When the movie’s long con wth him is revealed about two thirds of the way through, it lands perfectly. It’s the kind of mischievous, unexpected plotting the MCU could use a lot more of. Bravo.
This really worked for me. Entertaining through and through and just a great time at the movies. Yes it adheres to that tried and tested Marvel formula and doesn’t necessarily scorch new earth but nor did I expect it to. Fun, fresh, all the buzz words. Already itching for a rewatch. Rating could very well go up and up and up.
Watched at cinema