With a little help from the MCU, Spiderman Homecoming finally returns the lovable web-slinger to glory.
Homecoming is a fun, fast, and funny romp through Spidey’s most convincing teenage years put on film. Tom Holland carries the film with a youthful exuberance mixed with the weight of growing responsibility. Michael Keaton is a tremendous yet tragic villain, and even Parker’s schoolmates are satisfactorily filled out to lend enough emotional weight to his civilian life.
We’ll start with Holland. While the first sequence had me worried Holland’s portrayal would be far too obnoxious to enjoy, that was merely a comedic setup for the premise of a young Spiderman fresh off of his first foray with The Avengers. For the rest of the film, Holland gracefully walked the line of excited teen, coming off believable, fun, and easy to root for.
School life is at the center of the story, but the teen drama isn’t over the top. There’s just enough to make Peter’s double life more stressful, grounding his superhero aspirations with reality. His fellow Academic Decathletes were enjoyable and I particularly enjoyed Zendaya’s sarcastic and mysterious Michelle Gonzales.
Outside of school, the action is no slouch. Several setpieces are bursting with tension and heroics that had me mentally pumping my fist. Spiderman is relatively underpowered compared to most Superheroes, and that makes him a wonderful underdog. His webbing relies on intelligence, rather than brute power. He darts around powerful enemies and obstacles, easily batted away but ever resilient.
Michael Keaton’s Vulture was easily one of my favorite super villains of the past decade. He had understandable motivations and a tragic quality, yet still appeared very dangerous. He wasn’t just bad for badness sake.
Overall, this is exactly the effortlessly entertaining movie the Spiderman franchise needed after the disastrous Amazing Spiderman reboot.
Fans of the man-spider are in for a glorious vindication, and if you’re tired of the superhero formula, this could be a refreshing summer cocktail of fun, laughs, and excitement.
Highly recommended for all. Spiderman is back.