More than a reboot, the new movie is a home run.
The superhero craze has been going strong in movies for quite some time now, and with its long run, we’ve seen many superheroes come and go, with many having several stuttering appearances. Prior to the hit Logan, there were many attempts by Marvel to make a great standalone Wolverine movie, with all the previous attempts being, shall we say, not so successful. Wolverine isn’t the only example, however. This list also includes Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Batman, and Superman. Oh, and Spider-Man, too.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is hardly the first Spider-Man movie and it knows this. Before this, we had the Spider-Man’s of Toby McGuire and Andrew Garfield, each fairly successful in their own right (sort of), but in the end weaving too tangled of a web for Marvel to work with. Each of the previous Spider-Man’s have been reboots in their own fashion and Spider-Man: Homecoming stands to be the same, but Tom Holland’s first standalone appearance as Spider-Man isn’t just another reboot. It’s more.
Despite Tom Holland’s appearance as the new Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, it stands to reason that Homecoming needs to introduce us to his character, but it doesn’t waste time doing everything the previous movies did. For one, we don’t see Uncle Ben. We don’t see the radioactive spider that bites Peter Parker or his subsequent invention of the web slingers. This Spider-Man is very much “in media res,” in more ways than one. Peter Parker is still just a kid in the middle of high school and he’s still very much in the middle of learning—and desperately wanting—to be a superhero and adult.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a fantastic rendition that allows us to see the iconic superhero in a new light. For one, this Spider-Man in particular seems to emphasize tech in the story of the neighborhood hero. Parker is still an engineering genius, but he’s got a new high-tech suit for this movie, one made by Tony Stark himself, and it’s even got a voice similar to Iron Man’s own Jarvis. Even the villain of the movie has a similar sort of upgrade, as the writers take the old-school Vulture and give him a new set of wings. While Vulture is himself something of a lackluster villain, seeming more like something out of the rather flat Iron Man 2, the new suit at least makes him more exciting than the previously feathered version.
Beyond the tech changes, this new Spider-Man is also incredibly humanistic—and relatable. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will go out of his way to save even the bad guys, ensuring he doesn’t injure them too seriously if he can help it. Although this movie is on a slightly smaller scale than we may be used to with The Avengers and all, it goes to show that, as “your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man”, this new Parker doesn’t mind doing small jobs to help others out.
In addition, one of my favorite points of the movie was how realistic its characters felt. Zendaya is great as a wise-cracking, deadpan Michelle, and kudos to Jacob Batalan for his hilarious performance as Parker’s lovable best friend, Ned. Oh, and, of course, Tom Holland is fantastic as an awkward and friendly Peter Parker (though the others might steal the show sometimes). Even Vulture is relatable as a working man, trying to provide for his family, though his principles may be a little off, and he relates to the events of The Avengers in a way that might make you start to look at the world’s superheroes a little differently.
Fans of the Spider-Man movies won’t be disappointed with Spider-Man: Homecoming. There’s plenty of action to keep the story moving, and although the previous series made good use of its moments of tragedy, this one is much more of an upbeat good time, one that captures what it means to be young, with friends and family, and trying to find your way through things together.
Spider-Man: Homecoming comes highly recommended and if you haven’t seen it yet, you should.