Spider-Man: Homecoming is the best incarnation of Spider-Man on the big screen as the web-slinger joins the Marvel Cinematic Universe in his first big screen adventure.
Following his brief appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) returns to the big screen for a new adventure. For years, there was talk of Larry David playing the Vulture if Sam Raimi had been allowed to make a fourth Spider-Man movie. I don’t know how that film would have looked but Michael Keaton does a fine job as Adrian Toomes. Keaton of course is no stranger to the world of superheroes. He was the caped crusader when a darker version of Batman reached the big screen in the late 1980s.
I like the approach that they take at the start of the film. It turns out that Peter Parker was taping video diaries while in Berlin in Captain America: Civil War. We see some of those same clips from the previous film but from a different angle this time around. Parker is now back home in Queens where he’s living with Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). Both Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) have a close watch on the teenager. Stark and Parker have a difference of opinion when it comes to Parker’s future. Stark just wants Peter to be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Peter, on the other hand, has ambition and wants more than that. Unfortunately, Peter’s ambition gets him into trouble and almost gets people killed.
The writers and filmmakers were smart to not depict Parker being bit by a radioactive spider in this version. This version offers a fresh new take and a much different tone from the previous films. Since we’ve already seen the origin story twice, a third incarnation was not necessary and gives us more time for story development. We more or less got a new origin story in Captain America: Civil War. Instead, the film starts off with Vulture’s origin story with Toomes heading up a salvage crew at Avengers Tower. This is before an organization, Damage Control, takes over. He’s not happy but with all the tech they still have, Toomes and his crew decide to profit for themselves.
It’s because the origin story was already taken care of that we more or less get off and running with the action. This helps the film stand apart from those previous Spider-Man films. Nothing against Sam Raimi or Marc Webb but I feel that the MCU version has Peter Parker’s tone right for the first time in years!
Spider-Man: Homecoming is without a doubt one of the best Spider-Man films to date.
DIRECTOR: Jon Watts
SCREENWRITERS: Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers
CAST: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
(Originally published in July 2017)