What’s better than Tobey Maguire upside-down kissing Kirsten Dunst? A lot of things, really. But in a Spider-Man movie, playing off the character’s rich cinematic and comic book history is hard to top. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” covers all the bases of the traditional story while offering many twists that keep the material interesting and relevant to the MCU.
The story begins with our lead already in the role of superhero (more or less). Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is more of a Spider-pubescent, as he navigates sophomore year of high school while patrolling his neighborhood in his free time. The pressures of school, superherodom, love, extracurriculars, and a sweet New York accent wear on him, and this drives the action. This film captures a heartfelt teen angst that the other movie franchises never quite got, and does so without going emo (thank you for your time, “Spider-Man 3”).
The usual suspects all have a twist. Ned and Michelle and Liz and nerdy rival Flash Thompson give a much different take on traditional characters, but they all fit this story. Marvel took Spider-Man in a new direction to differentiate it from the previous origin story films, and the risk paid off well.
The characters outside of Peter Parker’s circle provide a contrast to the smaller world of high school, and show just how much our hero has to grow. Tony Stark takes on the role of mentor here, though a less-than-pleased Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) does most of the handling. Michael Keaton is a down-to-earth villain as Vulture. Even Donald Glover gets a nice part! Sorry they didn’t cast you as the lead …
The whole film is bright and filled with pop culture, but never loses sight of its focus on a young hero learning to be who he was meant to be. With a fun mix of villains and easter eggs, well-placed action scenes, some comedy, and a lot of love make this a rock solid entry.
8.5/10 BroFists (Sinister 6 + web fluid + Marvel + spidey sense)