Before I get to the review, I wanted to drop a quick reminder that this Saturday, July 29th, is the NW Book Festival in Portland, OR, where I’ll be selling all of my books in print. To find out more about my books, click here.
Fifteen years ago we got our first big-screen Spider-Man experience when Sam Raimi’s aptly titled Spider-Man hit theaters in 2002. What happened after was a superhero revolution in the cinematic arts, a revolution that would eventually bring us the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Although the MCU didn’t hold the rights to the character of Peter Parker/Spider-Man for a long time, having sold them to Sony (which produced Sam Raimi’s vision), Marvel was finally able to negotiate terms with Sony after a failed reboot of the series. In July 2017, we got Spider-Man: Homecoming, and what a homecoming it was.
I’ll start this review by saying that Tom Holland is a fantastic actor, and a lot of this movie’s success has to do with his ability to own the Peter Parker character. The second thing that makes this one of the best cinematic adaptations of the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is how true it is to the comics. Even though Spider-Man: Homecoming is being thrown into the sprawling MCU and has Iron Man in it, it stays lovingly focused on its titular character via masterfully written high school-hero conflict. Homecoming further establishes itself as an individual and unique franchise, both in comparison to past Spider-Man films and to the rest of the MCU, by allowing for smaller moments in between its larger-than-life action pieces. It’s these small moments that make Peter Parker’s high school experience, social life, and even Homecoming’s villain feel relatable and realistic.
Speaking on the villain, Adrian Toomes/Vulture, I can’t say too much without undoing my spoiler-free sentiment, but I can say that Toomes is a major step in the right direction for Marvel as the studio tries to solve its commonly known ‘villain problem.’ Michael Keaton as Vulture makes the character relatable, understandable, and–most importantly–human. You not only understand his trouble, but if it weren’t for his antagonistic nature towards Spidey, the movie’s viewer might even support Toomes. Also: the most intense, low-key sinister scene I’ve ever seen in the MCU is featured in this movie between Spider-Man and Vulture, and you have to see it to understand the tension.
In closing, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a solid entry in the Spider-Man cannon. Tom Holland brings a wealth of unique acting chops to the MCU and the character. Homecoming is one of the best Spider-Man films ever made, and I’ll give it a 9/10. Plus, it builds hype for Avengers: Infinity War without becoming a two-hour advertisement. Good job, Marvel!
Before closing out this post, I’d like to send my condolences out to those effected by the passing of Chester Bennington. He was an influence for me, and neither his courage or his music will be forgotten. Though the investigation into his death continues, it was first reported that Chester’s cause of death was suicide. Please know that should you, dear reader, be facing questions yourself, you are worth enough to press on. You have meaning in this world, even if it’s shrouded from you right now. If you are suffering with depression or suicidal thoughts, please seek councling or call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You can also chat online at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. If you do not suffer with these illnesses, then please help to end the stigma by spreading love and prayers to those that do.
[Header image was found on screencrush.com.]