So. Here we go again. The suit has been pried from Andrew Garfield’s still warm body, been given an update, and is filled once more. A lot younger than his previous Peter Parker’s, this eager beaver has a lot of growing up to do…literally… he’s fifteen. Battling High school and heroism, for once he doesn’t have to do it alone.
Taking place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, fifteen year old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) goes back to his home in Brooklyn, where his after school activity centres on keeping the streets safe from petty thieves.
One thing Peter isn’t very good at keeping safe is his secrets, but his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) is thrilled at his friends Avenger status. As is a best-friends job, Ned tries to use Spider-Man to their social benefit, predominantly if it means getting Peter the girl of his dreams: Liz (Laura Harrier).
Making the rounds one evening, Peter stops a bank robbery in action and while fighting off the criminals, notes that their weapons are a little out of this world. In over his head but wanting to prove his worth to mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) – Peter swing in solo to track down the crews dangerous and mysterious leader.
Balancing his school life with his superhero one is far from easy, and Peter needs to decide for himself, which side of himself matters more: The boy with the mask or the boy without.
My first thought about Spider-Man: Homecoming was how nice it was to feature a run of the mill bad guy. He didn’t have any powers and he wasn’t from another planet, he was just a guy trying to provide for his family… you know… through arms deals. It was a good chance to see the impact that The Avengers had on the little people, as honourable as their intentions were – they destroyed as many lives as they saved them.
Okay – niceties aside; I thought the movie was a little too juvenile, too light, and that the events that went down didn’t have anything more than a fleeting impact on the characters’ lives. Yes they skipped the origin story that we all know like the back of our hands, but without that emotional tether to our protagonist the movie was rather passive.
Yes it was comical, the lighter tone made a change, and the story was told well enough; but the twist was a predictably overplayed one, and the constant references to The Avengers… just kept making me think of The Avengers when I thought I had paid to watch a Spider-Man movie.
The movie was good. I won’t dispute that, but it was just another good film in a long line of good films. Good movies have become the new normal which is great, but it would be nice if something surprising and exceptional made it through the pipeline.
Spider-Man: Homecoming has the unfortunate luck of having to be rated in three different categories; How it stands as a film in its own right, how it compares to the previous two Spider-Man franchises’, and lastly how it fits with the theme of the rest of the movies in the inescapable Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I’ve covered the first. To the second; it honestly ranks as the lowest. Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man is a classic, and every time Nickelback’s Hero plays, it takes me right back. Andrew Garfield was the fresh younger model and his acting was perfection through Peter’s pain. However many times I watch Uncle Ben die, I still tear up. Tom Holland played the younger and excitable role well, but, Spider-Man: Homecoming just didn’t have the depth that the last two had.
Finally, in fitting with the MCU, it was strange that they went with such a young choice, but they made it work by putting Peter under Tony’s wing. We can only speculate about his dynamic with the rest of the team, though already as the youngest and newest member – I can’t see him holding much sway.
What’s next for Spidey? – Well The Avengers: Infinity War for one – but within his own world, there are talks that any upcoming movies will take place, one per year of Peter’s time in High School.
For my sake. I hope his voice breaks long before he gets to Senior Year.