While honestly this statement isn’t a huge stretch by any imagination, Spider-Man: Homecoming is far and away the best film we have seen on the character. Many people still hold Sam Raimi’s original trilogy close to their heart but they do not hold up well and, especially after recent iterations, it’s awfully apparent how badly miscast Tobey Maguire was in those films. Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films get a bad rap. Yes, they weren’t the best films and they had too many subplots but Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s performances were fantastic and the films were fun. I’ve been a fan of the character since I can remember and none of these films have really scraped the surface of what a series of Spider-Man films could be…until now.
Director Jon Watts, of the great 2015 movie Cop Car, injects a real sense of heart and excitement into these films. Something that I feel was missing from all of the previous iterations. This Peter Parker (played to perfection by Tom Holland) is young, intelligent, awkward, and inexperienced – everything the character should be. Spider-Man Homecoming just feels fresh like we’re discovering the character for the first time. I haven’t felt this way about a comic book character since Batman Begins in 2005 (although to a much different degree). In addition to a pitch-perfect Peter Parker/Spider-Man, we get the best villain the series has seen since Willem Dafoe’s insane portrayal of the Green Goblin in 2002. The always great Michael Keaton plays Adrian Toomes, a man who was unjustly pushed aside when his company was contracted to clean up New York after the events of The Avengers. He decides to take what otherworldly weapons he’s scavenged already and sell them on the streets. Like the film itself, this is a fresh and realistic take on the character of the Vulture. Keaton excels in the role and it’s fun to see him really chew some scenery again.
Overall, this is easily the best effort we’ve seen from Marvel since 2014’s Captain America: Winter Soldier. This new Spider-Man is fast-paced and incredibly entertaining. Director Jon Watts knows how to perfectly balance Peter Parker’s high school days with his Spider-Man nights, giving the series the much-needed shot of energy it deserves.
Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments
Runtime: 2 hours, 13 minutes