- Best Peter Parker in film
- Fun, funny, action-packed
- High school drama took centerstage
- Plot was a bit all over the place, but it worked
I saw the new Spider-Man movie this weekend (well, it was barely still the weekend when I sat down for the 9:30 showing late Sunday night, but still), and I’ve got some thoughts about it. Before we dive in, here’s your SPOILER WARNING. I won’t do a deep dive on the plot and al the nuances therein, but I will be talking about the movie in broad strokes that will certainly give away lots of stuff.
So if you haven’t yet seen the flick, now’s a good time to bail.
Okay. here we go.
Long story short, I really liked Homecoming. In terms of Spider-Man movies, I think this one had lots of the good stuff, and very little of the things that have dragged down some of the past film iterations of our favorite wall-crawler. First, Peter Parker. Tom Holland completely and utterly embodies the role of the comic-book Peter, right down to his Queens accent.
Sure, Tobey looked the part and had that perfectly Parker down-on-his-luck look, and Garfield brought more corny joking/Spider-Swagger to the role. But Tom Holland brought it all, from a picture-perfect high-school-age Peter to confident-but-still-learning Spider-Man.
Next, the villain. The ONE villain. Unlike the glorious mess that was Spider-Man 3, Homecoming focuses on just one big bad in the form of Michael Keaton’s enigmatic, utterly interesting, and yes, even terrifying, Vulture. Sure there were some nice easter eggs of other class Spidey foes, but they were just that–background noise. It was Keaton, from start to finish, who supplied all of the stakes in the film and managed to create an honest-to-goodness threat to Peter, his loved ones, and (parts of) New York City.
The action scenes were breathtaking, the high school dramas that played out were believable and the dialogue that these 15-year-olds spoke throughout sounded realistic. That might be Homecoming’s best trick, actually, in that it created teenage characters who were not at all cookie cutter versions of what Hollywood thinks teenagers are.
My favorite part of the movie, though? My very favorite thing about the film? That’s easy. It was not having to sit through Uncle Ben’s death for the millionth time in my life.
And with that great omission came great clarity–there’s no need to tell the origin story of every single superhero ever in the movies. We know Batman’s parents were killed–we’ve seen, like, 30 Wayne couples shot in Crime Alley over the years. We know Uncle Ben bites it because Peter messed up–that’s the gravitas of the hero, sure, but we know it already.
Even when it comes to the Vulture, we get the quickest, snippiest back story ever told in a comic book movie, and that was AWESOME. We got all we needed, and not a second more. And guess what? It worked. It absolutely worked.
And so does Spider-Man: Homecoming, on a lot of different levels. The movie works, and it’s fun, and it’s a must-see while it’s in theaters.