Marvel Makes Spider-Man Relevant Again
Spider-Man: Homecoming: A Review
It’s been a rough ten years for Spider-Man. Aside from Sony’s refusal to sell the film rights back to Marvel, attempts at creating a cinematic universe like Marvel, and a bunch of somewhat poorly received films, everyone seemed to have given up on the poor web-slinger, Spider-man, until now. After Sony made a deal with Marvel, and Spider-Man made his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Captain America: Civil War, played by up and coming British actor, Tom Holland, the first teenager to actually play Spider-man. Holland’s portrayal of Spider-man was so well-received, a spin-off was announced, and Spider-Man: Homecoming, starring everyone’s favorite, friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man is fun, fast-paced, and above all, heroic. Marvel works its magic again.
Spider-Man: Homecoming, in essence, is probably the purest Spider-Man film I’ve ever seen, because it’s the one that gets the character the most. Not having to adhere to the typical origin movie standards, Holland’s Spider-Man is very witty, while also being very geeky at the same time, taking the best aspects of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s previous Spider-Man performances and combining them together.
Unusual for a Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Spider-Man: Homecoming features a fairly strong villain in the form of Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture, played by Michael Keaton. (The former Batman is playing another Birdman this time.) What makes Vulture work as a villain is his presence is treated as a true menace and his motives are clear. The first scene even opens with him, as we (the audience), see Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) being fired from his job. This is done to set up his reasoning for becoming a villain. This is different from other Marvel villains, who are generally given little screen time and more pushed to the backburner of the film, so as to not outshine the hero. The film also cleverly alludes to other Spider-Man villains by having three of Vultures’ henchmen being Mac Gargan, aka The Scorpion, Phileas Mason, aka The Tinkerer, and Herman Schultz, aka The Shocker, potentially setting them up to return for a sequel.
In addition to Tom Holland’s outstanding lead role, the supporting cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming is fairly strong, as well. Marisa Tomei plays the youngest and hottest Aunt May yet, who is fairly understanding, but at the same time, worried about her nephew, Peter. Peter’s high school schoolmates, in New York City, are diverse and include: Jacob Batalon as Ned, his sidekick and someone he can talk to; Laura Harrier as Liz Allen, his love interest in this particular installment; Disney star Zendaya as Michelle, a geek girl; and Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, whose whiny, bullying, rich kid persona is one of my biggest gripes with the film, though, thankfully he’s not in the movie much. Robert Downey Jr. also shows up as Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, but he does he take over the film, not making this “Iron Man 4” in spirit. In fact, Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan, Iron Man’s assistant, has more screen time and gets his biggest role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.
The production in Spider-Man: Homecoming should also not be swatted at either. Marvel films are generally called out for their weak or dull cinematography (something that I don’t entirely agree with), but Salvatore Totino’s cinematography in Spider-Man: Homecoming is very bright and colorful, representing the character and the film’s tone quite well. The film’s production design is also superb, bringing New York City to life. While Michael Giacchino’s score suffers from the same problem that most Marvel scores and modern scores, in general, suffer from, that is, a lot of noise, it does feature two fine themes, and the film’s music becomes very appropriately heroic sounding during the right moments.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a fun, fast-paced, superhero action film, and is one of the very best from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I don’t know if this film is my favorite Spider-Man movie yet, but it’s certainly tied with Spider-Man 2 (2004) for the title. It gets just about everything right about the character and his mythos, and it’s loads of fun as well.
Playing now at Entertainment Cinema, Lebanon: Standard, 11:45am 2:50pm 6:35pm and at Cinema 6, Claremont: Standard, 12:50pm 6:50pm and in 3D, 3:50pm 9:40pm.
To read Dunkirk: It's The Real Deal, A Film Review click here.
To read The Advantages and Disadvantages of CGI: One Film Nerd's Opinion click here.
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