Following his cameo with the Avengers in Civil War, a young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns home under the supervision of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). Struggling to adapt to a normal routine, Peter is eager to prove himself as a superhero and goes in search of criminals. However, when a vengeful arms dealer (Michael Keaton) threatens to reveal Peter’s true identity, his powers are truly put to the test. 

As the third official revival of the Spider-Man franchise, it’s safe to say that this superhero needs no introduction. Now back in the hands of it’s rightful owners, the Marvel Cinematic Universe picks up exactly where we left it. Having stolen Captain America’s shield in some airport shenanigans, Peter has now returned to life with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). But having been fitted with a state-of-the-art superhero suit from Tony Stark, Peter is eager to get out and fight crime; tackling bank robbers and petty thieves on the streets of New York. At the same time, Peter picks up on a gang of arms dealers selling something beyond your usual weaponry, Peter stumbles upon arms dealer Adrian Toomes (Keaton).

Forget everything you’ve seen before. Unlike the Spider-Man introduced by Sam Raimi back in 2002, this Peter Parker is a refreshing take on the geeky highschooler. Peter is obviously Spider-Man in secret, he is also your average kid who just wants to fit in and is constantly battling his own social awkwardness. It is a combination of this and Holland’s performance that makes the character so endearing and (equally) amusing. From shooting at the airport fight from Captain America: Civil War on his phone to building a Death Star with his best friend, there is something far more relatable in Holland’s representation then we have seen previously. Further to this, Peter is barely in control of his powers and despite his super-duper suit, seems to fall flat on his face on more than one occasion.

As with the majority of superhero narratives, audiences are naturally expected to suspend disbelieve in several instances. True to it’s genre conventions, Spider-Man: Homecoming does follow a refreshing take on the comic-book template, there are some very minor plot holes which perhaps are best taken with a pinch of salt (or just ignored entirely. For example, Peter disappears constantly throughout the film – even on school trips when he’s meant to be supervised by a teacher. Yet no one thinks to ask where he’s been. As such, the genre suggests it is far more of a comedy over anything else. 

Much like Ant-Man (Peyton Reed, 2015), the film focuses far more on humour – but this is possibly it’s biggest success. Besides the laughs there is also a great deal of heart with some thrill and action thrown in for good measure. Whilst it is quite clearly constructed of your standard narrative building blocks, this does in no way take anything away from the enjoy-ability of the film. However, if you’re looking for the darkness and grit of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Joe and Anthony Russo, 2014), you’ll most likely be disappointed…or wonderfully surprised. 

Director, Jon Watts, is somewhat of a rookie when it comes to blockbuster movies. Best known for the Kevin Bacon crime/thriller, Cop Car (2015), he makes a seemingly natural step in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with comedic references from Ferris Bueller and beloved comic book heroes. Just as he pitted children against an adult villain in Cop Car, Watts showcases the same dynamic here when Peter is forced to fight against Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture. 

Sporting his fluffy-collared bomber jacket, we are immediately introduced to Spider-Man’s new nemesis. Opening the film to Adrian’s backstory of a failing business, it seems that Marvel has attempted to give this particular villain a real purpose; besides ‘just wanting to watch the world burn’ or seek revenge. Instead, the Vulture is all about the money. Having suffered financial loss directly at the hands of Stark’s company, he and his crew now scavenge for alien technology, left behind from The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012), and turning them in to deadly weapons for sale on the black market. Sadly, whilst Keaton himself is always compelling, his character felt a little rushed in part. In the CGI heavy finale in which The Vulture and Spider-Man must battle it out, it felt somewhat drawn out and anti-climatic. Keaton’s Vulture does, however, provide the movie with some very cool scenes (no spoilers) including his bird-like armour and amusing one-liners. Overall, a worthy opponent for Peter Parker. 

All in all, it may not be perfect but it’s arguably the best Spider-Man we’ve seen so far. Including in this success is a brief performance from Zendaya (as Peter’s quick witted classmate, Michelle) and a short lived but ever present cameo from Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr.) himself. It’s safe to say that the film gets progressively more enjoyable as it goes on. The story may be nothing new and neither are the characters but you can find comfort in this funny, refreshing take on a legendary superhero narrative.

Movie Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming
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About The Author

Sophie Elizabeth

Sophie is a film blogger from South London with a degree in Film Theory and Major Production. Sophie currently works in digital marketing but in her spare time you'll find her writing reviews or at the cinema. Sophie loves all things Star Wars and Hollywood but having specialized in the Horror genre, monsters are her first love. She'll watch absolutely anything given the chance - you can find her also on her blog, http://www.popcornandglitter.co.uk Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophieathawes