Spider-Man has had a number triumphs and failures throughout his cinematic history. The first Spider-Man film was directed by Sam Raimi and charmed its way in to the hearts of critics as well as fans. Starring Toby McGuire, Willem Dafoe, James Franco and Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man did well enough to launch two sequels. Spider-Man 2 was considered the best of the trilogy due to its spectacular train sequence and performances by McGuire and Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus. While Spider-Man 3 was considered the worst of the franchise, Sony tried to move forward with another movie which was set to include The Lizard, John Malcovich as the Vulture and Anne Hathaway as Felicia Hardy.
The studio went on to reboot the franchise after the project failed to take off and Spider-Man 3 was a cluttered mess, but The Amazing Spider-Man was a huge departure from the Sam Raimi trilogy. It features a young Peter Parker on the cusp of adulthood dealing with a lot of angst and the responsibility of being a superhero… and, well, dating his on again off again girlfriend Gwen Stacy. The film didn’t really gain any ground, but made a truck load of cash and was critically accepted so a sequel was given a green light.
In 2014, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released to the worst reviews a Spidey film has ever received. From there it seemed as if Sony had officially lost their spidey sense. They were planning on doing films featuring the Sinister Six, Black Cat, Venom and even Aunt Mae. That is until Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige sat down with Producer Amy Pascal and miraculously worked out a deal for Spider-Man to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The wall-crawler was set to join Captain America, Black Panther and Iron Man in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. There was a new star playing our favorite Web Slinger: Tom Holland. It was also the youngest version of Peter Parker to hit the big screen. To make a long story short, Holland nailed it and everyone became ripe with anticipation for his solo film. I recently got a chance to check out Spider-Man: Homecoming and I’ll give you guys my thoughts down below.
Spider-Man: Homecoming felt like a new beginning for the Spider-Man franchise. The John Hughes-vibe and the gut-busting humor absolutely nailed it for me. The film’s plot is very simple, but does a very good job in surprising you when you least expect it. The film properly builds upon the universe what Marvel has created, while building a niche for Spider-Man to handle. We meet Peter after he’s plucked out of obscurity, thrown into a Civil War between the Avengers and then dropped back home, something that is great because Homecoming basically plays as a continuation to Civil War and we get a peak inside of Peter’s life.
Tom Holland plays Peter Parker and Spider-Man like he was created by Stan Lee himself. His Spider-Man is a motor mouth that just won’t shut up. He’s smart, persistent and he just wants to do a good job as a hero. You get to see just what it would be like if a 15-year-old kid suddenly got super powers and Holland does an amazing job leading Homecoming. Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t have as big a role as the marketing would suggest, but his presence looms largely over the film. His performance as a father figure (or big brother) to Peter has really evolved since last summer’s Civil War. So, if you enjoyed that or just want to see very cool Iron Man moments, this is the film for you.
Michael Keaton comes into the movie and steals the show. The actor plays Adrian Toomes so well that you almost forget that he was once Batman instead of the Vulture. His version of Toomes is a family man who’s just trying to survive, even if that means doing some really bad things. Keaton’s Vulture is the best Marvel Cinematic Universe villain not named Loki.
Meanwhile, Jacob Batalon’s really shines in his humorous role of Peter Parker’s best friend, Ned Leeds. The rest of the supporting cast is truly remarkable as each actor brings something special to the film. Laura Harrier’s Liz Allen is an interesting choice for a love interest and she really helps push the film forward while Zendaya’s Michelle is a very comical, introverted character who doesn’t give a damn, but you can tell is secretly crushing on Peter.
Overall thoughts: With its very diverse cast, great performances, humorous plot and a very strong antagonist, Spider-Man: Homecoming finds a way to make to make you laugh and have a really good time at the theater. Homecoming has become my personal favorite Spider-Man film and I’m very anxious to see it again. It finds a way to differentiate itself from previous Spider-Man films and somehow become the best Spider-Man film ever. Go watch it and take the kids. This is something that they need to see.