Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Fig.1 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Movie Poster

Jon Watts' Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is the next instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is the third adaptation of the title character, in a standalone film, that we have seen in the past 15 years. The previous 5 films have all varied in quality, so it is fair to say that the Spider-Man character has had it's share of both the good and the bad. Which camp does this fall into?

Fig.2 Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Played by Tom Holland)

Although this is a Superhero film, the clear influences for the film are from teenage high-school films, particularly the films by John Hughes - the director of The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) and Sixteen Candles (1984) to name a few. This means that even in the "quieter" scenes when it's just Peter at School, it is still fairly entertaining and does not falter with the tone and pacing of the film. They intersect with the big action set pieces, so they act, almost, like a time for composure for both Peter and the audience - there is a suitable balance between the action and the more light-hearted moments between Peter and his friend, Ned (Played by Jacob Batalon), who provides most of the comedic relief. The chemistry between not only the characters, but the actors also, is clear for all to see.

Whereas the previous two actors, who played Spider-Man, were much older than their character (Tobey Maguire, who was 27 years old, and Andrew Garfield, who was 29 years old), the film's main star actor, Tom Holland, is only 21 years old, so although he is still older than what a high schooler would be, he is much closer to the appropriate age. It is because of this that it feels a lot more believable and his youthfulness works well with both characters his portraying  - Peter Parker and Spider-Man. There were times when Maguire and Garfield stood out too much, and didn't work with the setting and the other characters. Holland is very energetic in the role and gives an engaging performance - he carries the film brilliantly, which will benefit the future of both the Spider-Man character and MCU. His portrayal is very in-keeping with the character from the comics. He's always having fun, he's always determined, however, due to his eagerness to help, he is quite a reckless young man. This leads to some great pieces of dialogue between himself and Tony Stark (Played by Robert Downey Jr.) - who continues to excel in his role. Both Peter and Spider-Man go through a clear journey throughout the film, and it is told both brilliantly and, rather more remarkably, realistically.

Fig.3 Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Played by Michael Keaton)

A criticism of several Marvel Cinematic Universe films, is that the Villains aren't well developed, and are rather uninteresting, so are in the long run, forgettable. It is, therefore, pleasing that Michael Keaton's character, Adrian Toomes/the Vulture, is definitely a step in the right direction, in that department. He is menacing and is a clear threat for Spider-Man. With any good Villain, they need to link to the Hero, and their alter-ego, in some way, and the way the film handles this is clever, which in turn leads to some very tense and shocking moments. However, if there is one criticism to be said about this character, is that there is no clear end goal. The Vulture is a scavenger and wants to create these fantastical machines, which he will then use for himself and his crew, but it is never made clear what he will then use them for. While it's appreciated that he's not the typical "I want to rule the World" Villain, the lack of an objective makes some other scenes feel very inconsequential.

Fig.4 Spider-Man

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a fun and enjoyable film, which should be considered as one of the best MCU films in the past few years. Although, at times, it doesn't feel that much is at stake, Tom Holland gives an excellent performance and will prove to be an important character for this franchise in the future.

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Movie Poster - (Accessed 05/07/2017)

Fig.2 Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Played by Tom Holland) - (Accessed 05/07/2017)

Fig.3 Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Played by Michael Keaton) - - (Accessed 05/07/2017)

Fig.4 Spider-Man - (Accessed 05/07/2017) 


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