With great power comes great responsibility.
That must have been the mantra Marvel Studios had been living by during the production of “Spiderman: Homecoming.” After securing the creative rights to one of the world’s most popular superheroes, Marvel did what it does best: pull off a wonderfully directed and enjoyable film.
“Homecoming” does not take itself too seriously, something Spiderman movies have been inexcusably guilty of recently. The movie does not waste time on Peter Parker’s origin story, something even the most casual fan should be familiar with by now. Instead, “Homecoming” picks up where “Captain America: Civil War” left off, with a fledgling Spiderman just beginning to realize his full potential, armed with a high-tech Spidey suit provided by Tony Stark.
Tom Holland’s portrayal of the young web-slinger stands above any other Spiderman performance. Gone are the days of Tobey McGuire’s pathetic teary-eyed monologues, never again shall Andrew Garfield awkwardly stutter his way through another film.
Holland was the perfect choice to play Peter Parker. At age 21, Holland still has that boyish charm and punky attitude so familiar to Spiderman fans. When he is not donning infamous blue and red tights, Holland deftly portrays what it’s like to be in high school. He and his dorky best friend, Ned, finds themselves as social outcasts, trying to vie for the attention of their peers and superiors.
“Homecoming’s” great strength is in its humor. Holland’s comedic timing is spectacular, especially when combined with a healthy dose of slapstick gags and situational comedy. Watching Spiderman create a hammock out of a web while talking to the computer system inside his suit about his high school crush is exactly what this film needed.
From the trailers released earlier in the year, it seemed that Robert Downey Jr. would be playing a larger role in the film as Tony Stark/Ironman. However, Downey Jr.’s involvement is minimal, but his performance is also not shoe-horned in and he commands the few scenes in which he appears.
If Marvel Studios has a weakness in filmmaking, it would the development of its villains. The problem seems to have been remedied in “Homecoming.” Michael Keaton as the Vulture, gives the audience reasons to sympathize with his criminal efforts seconds into the film.
“Homecoming” revolves around the importance of family and how one can be blinded by loyalty to it. The Vulture is driven to crime because of his desperation to support his family, something almost all audience members can relate to. His character arc comes full circle at the film’s conclusion, giving a satisfying ending to an already stellar story.
When the film falters, it is minimal. Much of Parker’s development into Spiderman centers around his high-powered suit. While some diehard fans may object to this creative liberty taken by Marvel, it still offers an enjoyable tale about growing into a role and accepting responsibility. The new storyline also gives Stark a chance to offer a new slogan to Spiderman’s latest chapter: “If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
Never before has a Spiderman film been so well-rounded. The comedic highs hit their mark. The emotional lows also land, and each struggle is felt with great gravity.
Spiderman has finally come home, and by the looks of his latest film, he is here to stay.
Brandon Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org