When I walked out from Spider-Man: Homecoming, there was just one thought in my mind: YES.
That’s all I was thinking. Not that I wasn’t expecting that: what we saw a year ago in Civil War was absolutely amazing, but he was merely introduced to us with no real details. All was ‘limited’ to the splendid Tom Holland performance.
Spider-Man: Homecoming starts by reminding us that the movie is within the MCU. The prologue, in fact, takes place in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of New York. Disregarding the fact it also reminds us we know nothing about the MCU timeline (a future article will tackle this matter), it sets up very well the reasoning behind our villain, Vulture.
Skip ahead, we have Peter come back from Berlin with Tony, and tada he ain’t an Avengers yet but he’s pretty close. Then we have what basically a formation story about what it means to be an Avenger rather than being Spider-Man.
Don’t get me wrong: I agree with everyone who says the movie is more about Peter Parker rather than world building (also because most of the world is already built), but he’s not trying to be Spider-Man yet.
What I mean by that is easy to understand by looking what we have: Parker is a 15-years-old who tried to do good by helping people in a ridiculous custom before Civil War. After Civil War, he is a 15-years-old who just fought in the most important fight of the Avengers up to that point. So clearly he wants to become an Avenger rather than the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
That’s at least what happens most of the movie, until the end, where (without giving anything away) he starts his journey to become the Spider-Man we all know. This also would explain why we hear the Spider-Man TV Theme orchestral rearrangement just when the Marvel Studios logo shows up. Since he is not Spider-Man yet, why would we hear that?
We all could discuss how the hell Peter is going into Infinity War and Avengers 4 without being Spider-Man, and that is a good question by any means. Yet that question will not find an answer, or an attempt at an answer, in this article. Given its name.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the second best Spidey movie after Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, and perhaps in the top 5 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
All the main characters are very well detailed, including Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes (Vulture), the main villain. Not only because of the prologue, but also because of the personal involvement he and Peter will get into, and Keaton’s interpretation really elevates the script.
Tony Stark presence is not as invasive and frequent as I first thought, and I was glad he was there more as a mentor rather than a father figure.
All the side characters were fine as well. In particular, I would highlight Jon Favreau’s Happy and Zendaya’s Michelle (the latter really surprised me). I also liked very much Marisa Tomei’s version of Aunt May. Even though we don’t see her as much as previous movies, the few scenes we see her relationship with Peter we clearly get it.
Of course, Tom Holland is perhaps the best fitting version of Peter Parker. Obviously, all three cinematic interpretations are very different to each other, yet this one perfectly fits in the world created. He is exactly a 15-years-old: arrogant, ambitious, extremely overconfident. He is exactly what he should be to his age: his own worst enemy.
Tonally, the movie fits into the MCU by taking a lot from other high school movies, but what really jumps out is the obvious inspiration from Kick-Ass. Not nearly as violent or explicit, but the way Peter messes up more often than not is very similar to Matthew Vaughn’s 2010 flick.
Generally speaking, we are in front a very valid and strong blockbuster and a strong continuation fro the MCU, keeping questions open for what’s to come. Especially about Vulture.