Spider Man: Homecoming – Review

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Fans of Spider Man were over-joyed that Marvel had got back the movie rights to Spider- Man, allowing him to appear with some of our favourite heroes such as Iron Man, Captain America, but how has our friendly neighbourhood Spider Man fared in his own standalone movie without the other Marvel Superheroes?

 

Spider Man: Homecoming takes place days after the events of Captain America: Civil War, and Marvel assumes we have seen (and remembered) the events in the 2016 film.  Quick recap, Peter Parker (Spider Man) got enlisted by Tony Stark (Iron Man) to try to stop Captain America’s mission to keep the Winter Soldier out of government hands. Fast forward to Spider Man: Homecoming, and we meet a street level Spider Man trying to balance his new life as a super hero with his commitments to school and his loved ones. 

This year’s Spidey/Peter Parker is played by Tom Holland, so how does his take differ from from Toby McGuire or Andrew Garfield’s take on the character in the previous Spider Man film series?

Tom Holland plays an excellent role as a nerdy, goofy genius young high school student who leads a double life as Spider Man. Peter Parker in this version of Spider Man is a lot closer to his early appearances in the comics as he is a dork to put it bluntly, and the film shows just how awkward he is when he isn’t in the costume. When the costume does go on, Spiderman is still very similar to how he was early on in the comics as he is a very street level sort of hero, fighting for the little guy (stopping robberies, helping old ladies across the street, stopping car theft). When he does try to tackle bigger problems he sometimes makes mistakes and appears out of his depth. While this is sometimes humorous, it also makes him extremely relatable and grounded, despite the super spider powers.

In the same way it is the villains that make the movie in the James Bond films, Spider Man’s villains can set the tone of the movie. Spider Man has a vast rogues gallery – Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Venom – and in previous films we have seen great versions of these villains and we have seen bad ones.

Spider Man: Homecoming features “The Vulture” (played by Michael Keaton) as the main antagonist of the film. While having a villain who is basically a bird person who has the ability to fly and commits robberies seemed a little strange,  I came to quickly realize that a villain like The Vulture makes a great parallel to Peter Parker. Both Spider Man and The Vulture fight for their loved ones, while Spider Man fights to keep his loved ones safe by making New York a better place, The Vulture does what he does to keep his family  drowning in financial debts. This makes the the Vulture is a suitable almost down to earth villain for this version of Spider Man, as he doesn’t have some outrageous egotistical motivation and is instead more akin to that of a workaholic father than a crazed super villain. 

Although his appearance is somewhat sparsely sprinkled throughout the entire movie. Robert Downey Jr does appear once more as Tony Stark (Iron Man). This time his role is less laser shooting, rich playboy, and more mentor/father figure to Peter Parker, and he keeps close tabs on Parker.  At one point in the film, after Parker accidentally put the lives of innocent people at risk during a fight with The Vulture, Stark asks for his suit back. Parker protests saying he needs the suit to be who he needs to be to which Stark replies with “If you’re nothing without the suit, you shouldn’t have it”. It is the standout quote of the entire movie, a super-hero movie version of “With great power, comes great responsibility” which results in Parker fighting Vulture in a homemade suit without gadgets.

Spider Man: Homecoming serves as a great introduction to the Marvel cinematic universe for Spider Man. It is a great take on the classic Marvel comic’s character in the modern world, although it isn’t an origin story it still feels like a beginning for Parker as a super hero as he takes his first real steps into the bigger world of Marvel. 

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