With the Marvel and DC Comic box office invasion, it’s inevitable some stories and characters will get re-boots or even solo films. One of the characters falling into the former category is the awkward teen, Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. 2017 saw his story receive a “homecoming” following his intro into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in ‘Civil War.’
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Marvel Review
The story remains primarily (in the basic sense) the same with some new faces. In the titular role steps Tom Holland as Peter Parker; a geeky high school student who’s aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is raising him. Bored is synonymous with most teenagers, but Peter’s is of a different sort. Enthralled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter anxiously awaits news from his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downy Jr.) he’s needed. When news doesn’t come, Peter spends his free time preventing petty crimes in his neighborhood; all while he masquerades by day as a typical high school student.
Things become perilous when a new villain presents himself, and Tony must again mentor his young friend, helping him with what he thinks he wants. Upon first reading this character was to receive another introduction, my first thought was, “Really?? We need another Spider-Man?” In many ways I still feel this is an unnecessary move on Marvel’s part. That said, I will concede Holland’s Peter is funny and an entertaining addition to the impressive ‘Civil War’ film. Though it’s now been quite some time since I watched this film, we’ll endeavor to look at some of the my pros and cons. Though the overreaching idea of this story remains the same, there are core differences. One of which being the tagline that this Spider-Man is a “neighborhood friendly Spider-Man.”
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The writer’s play with the idea of keeping this incarnation of the iconic character as more of a small-town hero, fighting to save the little guys rather than the jet-setting pursuits of his mentors. This opens doors to some lighthearted humor, which is a welcome change, especially considering how progressively dark the Marvel films have become. The people who surround Peter are also a welcome addition. His high school friends are hilarious, most notably Ned. Then there are the tricks and awkward misses he has with his aunt as he tries to keep his alter ego quiet. The excuses he has to sell keep the giggles coming; one of the most humorous moments involves him locked in a warehouse.
Bringing this colorful world to life are the actors behind the personalities. It’s fun to see a “sassy” aunt May; the banter between she and Stark is hilarious, but then, one of the best wins of this film is the “bonus scene” that gives fans answers to Tony’s personal life. Holland is quite good filling big shoes, and for this particular “version” of Spidey, I think he does well. Also part of the impressive cast list is Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau and Zendaya. It’s her character I have most issue with. Don’t misunderstand, it’s not that I don’t like her character (she’s all sass and dry wit), it’s more the “cop out” the writer’s turn her into that I didn’t love.
Despite any so-so reactions, ‘Homecoming’ is entertaining. Like any Marvel film does, Spider-Man keeps us invested with its ability to balance between the breath-catching and dangerous tension, and lighthearted humor. It’s certainly one that will wind up in my DVD tray again. With another ‘Avengers’ film in our near future, and a 2019 Spider-Man sequel, I suspect this isn’t the last we’ll see of Spider-Man.
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CONTENT: There is some typical profanity, an occasional innuendo, and action/adventure violence. The film is (appropriately) rated PG13.