The third time really is the charm with the latest Spider-Man saga.
Spider-Man Homecoming is just what the fans wanted. It’s the nerdiest, and best, Spider-Man film to date, reaching $117 million at the box office opening weekend. Only Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 have made more this year.
The story opens right where Captain America: Civil War left off. This Spider-Man retelling doesn’t start from the beginning with Peter Parker’s legendary spider bite, but rather it covers a very specific time in Peter’s life as a 15-year-old highschooler, specifically during Homecoming season.
Tom Holland is the Spider-Man comic book readers know and remember — epitomizing the kid inside the suit that made Spider-Man the unique superhero that he is. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark also brings a solid performance, serving as somewhat of a father figure to Peter Parker. Although the new souped-up Spidey suit Stark gifts Peter with is a little off-putting, as it seems the suit’s technology simply makes him into a mini-Iron Man, Holland still manages to show Spider-Man as his own, unique hero.
Marisa Tomei, on the other hand, is quite different from the Aunt May readers will remember in the comic books. She’s more like a big sister to Peter, and Peter a kid brother. But it works.
Gwen Stacy will forever be Peter Parker’s true love, and Emma Stone’s performance as Gwen opposite Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) is still the best portrayal of Spider-Man’s infamous other half, but Michelle (Zendaya) looks like a promising potential love interest in the next chapter of the Spider-Man saga.
Marvel doesn’t have a villain similar to the Joker’s fame and fails at developing its villains as well as its heroes. DC even had a film dedicated entirely to villains in Suicide Squad, while Marvel’s villains in film thus far can’t compare to The Joker’s celebrity.
However, Michael Keaton’s portrayal of The Vulture is one of the best supervillain performances thus far, giving an emotional depth to a character in which no other Marvel villain has come close to having — definitely surpassing Loki and his family drama or Ultron’s boringly flat depiction.
Not only is this particular Spider-Man film different that the rest, but this Spidey is unlike any other Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. This Spider-Man thus has a youthful, but not juvenile, air to it, thanks to Holland’s portrayal.
The title, Spider-Man: Homecoming, has a two-sided meaning. Not only is it a high-school coming-of-age story that’s fun and endearing, set in the midst of Peter’s Homecoming dance, but it’s also a homecoming for Marvel. Spider-Man has always been Marvel’s best superhero, and it’s about time he made his debut with the Avengers.
Ultimately, Spider-Man: Homecoming brings the youthful quality straight from the comic books to the big screen.Tom Holland is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Be sure to go check out this web-slinging hero in theaters this week, and make sure to stay until the very end; Marvel fans have learned that patience is key with these films, (staying until after the credits are completely over is unspoken doctrine.)
Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures