Spider-Man: Homecoming is the first Spider-Man movie that I’ve actually looked forward to in a long, long time. This incarnation was introduced to audiences in Captain America: Civil War aka the best Marvel movie ever made. He’s young, dorky and quick with the sarcastic one-liners so he should fit right in with the current crop of Marvel superheroes.
The Peter Parker of the comic books always embodied everything I love about the Marvel franchise – a celebration of nerdery and the triumph of the little guy – and Tom Holland’s version of the blue and red web weaver appears to be true to that original character where past movie-verse iterations fell somewhat short.
I’ve never quite been able to bring myself to like Tobey Maguire’s version of Spider-Man, perhaps because of director Sam Raimi’s unerring ability to create movies lacking in any of the traits that endeared the original comic books to me. Perpetually overrated, Raimi’s films were visually stunning (for the early noughties) but lacked both character and wit.
This had such a negative effect on my relationship with the character that I’m forced to admit that I’ve never seen the Andrew Garfield version and probably never will – the trailer alone told me that it still wasn’t quite what I was looking for and my standards have apparently become quite high when it comes to this particular superhero.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is set several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War. Peter Parker (Tom Holland), with the help of his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr), tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture (Michael Keaton), emerges.
Marvel are taking Spider-Man right back to its roots, casting 21 year old Tom Holland as the teenage superhero. For comparison, Tobey Maguire was 27 and Andrew Garfield was 28. And this is very much the story of a modern teenager – in a nod to the character’s journalistic roots, the trailer suggests that Peter is a YouTuber.
With an impressive 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has been hailed by critics as “flashy, punchy and heartwarming” (The Irish Times) and a “razor-sharp reboot” (The Guardian). Having wrestled control back from Sony, Marvel seem to have hit upon a winner here, following up from the blistering box office success of Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange.
Of course, Sony won’t be giving up their claim to the Spider-Man brand any time soon, they’re teaming up with Marvel on this one but by connecting Spider-Man: Homecoming back with the main MCU storyline, Marvel has safely assured its return to the mothership for the time being at least. Without having seen the movie yet, I have one complaint – don’t you just hate trailers which make you feel as if you have seen it already?!