Now that the embargo has lifted, the first reviews for Spider-Man: Homecoming have swung onto the web.
Spider-Man: Homecoming marks Spider-Man’s first stand-alone feature within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film draws inspiration from Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man run and teen comedy’s of the past as it follows Tom Holland as Peter Parker balancing his dual identity of a budding superhero while navigating the everyday life of a teenager in high school.
The film has been met with mostly positive reviews, with praise being given to Holland for his performance as the web-slinger as well as Michael Keaton’s villainous Vulture and the diverse cast who make the most out of small roles, however, the film seems to work better as a teen comedy rather than a superhero drama but that’s what makes it a heartwarming and fresh take on the web crawler.
You can check out a round-up of what the critics are saying below.
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman:
The film’s novelty is that Spider-Man, though he’s been enshrined by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as an Avengers apprentice, barely has a handle on how to harness his powers, or what to do with them. To a degree, the film’s novelty works, though with a qualifier: This Peter is such a normal, awkward dude that he’s a touch innocuous — the closest the Marvel Universe has come to giving us a superhero who wouldn’t look out of place on the Disney Channel.
The Hollywood Reporter’s John Defore:
Satisfying from its day-of-the-dance prelude (where Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May shines) all the way to its fiery, cathartic conclusion, this sequence hints at the film Homecoming might have been — had Marvel Studios execs and a half-dozen screenwriters not worked so hard to integrate Peter Parker into their money-minting world. But integrate they do, and the film wraps up with an ending recalling the incoherent, have-it-both-ways finale of Iron Man 3 — attempting to embrace the “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” ethos while exploiting the rich-dude glitz afforded by Spidey’s new buddies. Hang in there, True Believers: Maybe it’ll get better the second time around.
Entertainment Weekly’s Leah Greenblatt:
If the setting and story arc are mostly familiar, the movie finds freshness in its casting: classic supporting players and new additions — from Marisa Tomei’s boho-cool Aunt May to Zendaya’s wry classmate Michelle (who like most movie nerds, is still improbably gorgeous beneath her smudgy make under) — feel modern without being unduly, laboriously reworked. Members of the extended Marvel family also pop up in brief, winky turns. (Captain America: The classroom visual aide your high-school principal never knew you needed.)
TheWrap’s Robert Abele:
It’s almost too bad digital avatars for good and bad (one suited, one winged) take up so much of the mano-a-mano time, but until the usual operatic CGI excess takes over in the final stretch, the human versions of Holland’s brashly charming innocence and Keaton’s coiled, menacing energy make for gripping opposites. (And frankly, when is the all-CGI Spider-man finally going to look realistic? The evidence suggests there’s still a ways to go.)
USA Today’s Brian Truitt:
Once we get to the hallowed halls of Midtown School of Science & Technology — an anticlimactic turn for Peter after hanging with quasi-mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) — Homecoming becomes the perfect teen movie that you never realized Marvel needed, complete with girls debating Thor and Spider-Man’s hotness quotient in gym class and Captain America starring in cheesy physical-fitness videos. Peter is regularly picked on by academic rival Flash (a winningly popped-collar Tony Revolori), and our sophomore hero pines for the coolest senior in school, Liz (Laura Harrier) — and gets called out for it in biting fashion by quirky classmate Michelle (Zendaya).
Forbes‘ Scott Mendelson:
Since we’re getting a sequel anyway, I will end by saying that there is potential for a second film that is much better than this one. All they need to do is offer a Spider-Man who at least does more good than harm. The biggest problem with Spider-Man: Homecoming is that you’ll find yourself agreeing with J. Jonah Jameson. Peter’s heart is in the right place, but this time out he is a threat and a menace.
Collider’s Matt Goldberg:
Homecoming is drastically different than the other Spider-Man movies, but it’s for the better. You care more about his relationships (the relationship between Peter and Ned is just the best), his classmates (Zendaya is a scene stealer as deadpan friend Michelle), and even the villain. Keaton is legitimately terrifying as Toomes but his goals are remarkably relatable. He feels jilted by the system, and he’s taken up a life of crime to support his family. That may not be on the level of “Try to destroy the world,” but I’ve found that the MCU villains with more modest goals tend to be more compelling.
IndieWire’s David Ehrlich:
When you cut through all of the spandex and special effects, superhero movies are really just high school movies with bigger muscles, bigger budgets, and bigger constraints. Indeed, the best moments in the giddy, fitfully entertaining “Spider-Man: Homecoming” are the ones that gleefully conflate the likes of Stan Lee and John Hughes, delighting in the extent to which both of their signature genres tend to revolve around emotionally unsure young people who are struggling to juggle their double lives.
Cinemablend’s Sean O’Connell:
Spider-Man: Homecoming gets it right. It pulls off an extremely difficult task of seamlessly transitioning a new (but old) character into an established universe, while also casually seeding the landscape with references and Easter eggs that can — and will — pay off in future Marvel and Spider-Man movies. Listen and look for classic Spider-Man villain references, Avengers nods, possible directions for exciting new stories and callbacks to things we saw in the MCU before. It also has the greatest ending scene of any Marvel movie since the first Iron Man movie. It’s that much of a game-changer, and it’s that rewarding. This is what’s possible when you bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where he belongs. As the title suggests, Spider-Man is home. We can’t wait to see what Marvel and Sony do with him next.
Mashable’s Angie Han:
What really gives Homecoming an edge, though, is its specificity. Watts sets his film in a New York City that actually feels like New York City (there are even bodega cats!), and then fills his cast with big talents who can make the most of tiny roles. You could argue that these stars are being wasted – sequel possibilities aside, why cast Zendaya or Tony Revolori to do that little? – but Homecoming gives them the room to breathe and come alive. Even a boring debate teacher played by Martin Starr will get a line or two that suggests a complicated history and hidden depths. Were Homecoming just another coming-of-age comedy, it’d be a very solid one. You could almost mistake it for one, if it weren’t for repeat appearances by the likes of Iron Man as Peter’s mentor and Vulture as Peter’s nemesis.
IGN’s Jim Vejvoda:
As with the very best of the web-slinger’s Marvel stories, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a winning combination of a fun superhero adventure tale with a heartwarming story about a regular kid dealing with some very relatable issues (well, relatable in the non-superhero sense anyway). Tom Holland’s Spidey can’t swing back onto screens again fast enough.
Den of Geek’s David Crow:
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a triumph for all involved. It reboots a pop culture icon who previously appeared played out and enjoys charisma to spare, designing a pretty little web for itself in its corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One that feels mostly organic in how it ties into other movies, as opposed to the mechanical effect a number of MCU films have had.
We Got This Covered’s Robert Yamiz Jr.:
Even though Keaton could have used a bit more screen time to flesh out his character, Homecoming wisely opts to develop Peter’s journey, neatly laying the groundwork for both the hero’s continuing evolution in sequels and his role in the greater MCU itself. It may not quite reach the heights of Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, but Spider-Man: Homecoming emerges as one of the character’s strongest films to date, granting him a clean slate and infinite room to grow.
So what do you think? Do you have your opening weekend tickets to see Homecoming yet? Let us know in the comments below.
The film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly and Bokeem Woodbine, as well as Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Michael Chernus, Kenneth Choi, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, Michael Barbieri, Angourie Rice and Abraham Attah. Here’s the official synopsis:
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.