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Spider-Man: Homecoming swings onto the silver screen

September 2, 2017

Spider-Man has had a pretty crazy run on the big screen.

Spidey got his first film in 1977, which was released as a tie-in to the television series. It was fairly unremarkable and no one remembers it.

There was that 1978 Japanese movie where Peter Parker got his powers from an alien. He also got a giant robot, not unlike the Power Rangers.

Then there was the decent Sam Raimi trilogy, which brought the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and Venom into the public eye. It also had stellar acting, courtesy of the magnificent Tobey Maguire!

After that, there was the Andrew Garfield series, which showcased the Lizard and Electro in some rather breathtaking action scenes. It was mired by an overachieving narrative, though.

Now, 40 years after his original debut, Sony has released Spider-Man: Homecoming, a reboot of a reboot of a reboot of a… well, you get the point.

After the lackluster performances of the previous entries, does Homecoming really stand a chance?

Homecoming is Spider-Man’s first entrance into the cavernous Marvel Cinematic Universe. That means Spidey is officially in the same continuity as Captain America and Thor!

Previously, Sony held all the rights to Spider-Man. They decided to give Spider-Man his own standalone series instead of placing him with the rest of Marvel’s superheroes.

In an incredible cooperation, Sony and Marvel have teamed up to make this movie. That means that it’s completely canon to all of Marvel’s main films!

 

PLOT

Audiences got their first taste of Spidey in Captain America: Civil War. He had quite a pivotal role in the film, but it didn’t focus too much on him.

It was a film about Captain America, after all.

Homecoming gives us our first peek into the life and times of Peter Parker. There are some pretty gratuitous cameos, though.

Homecoming is set in a timeline where Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, is still in high school. It gives a decent amount of focus on his social life and what he does in school.

The film begins with a cleanup crew trying to scrub the streets of New York following the events of The Avengers. Some average Joes are just doing their best to get rid of all the debris and junk that’s littering the city.

However, sinister, corporate forces enter the fray, taking over the operation.

The cleanup crew is forced to resign, but they have a few tricks up their sleeve yet. The film fast forwards eight years (wow!) to the present.

Peter Parker has got it all. He has an internship with Tony Stark, a best friend, a girl he’s crushing on hardcore, a position on the academic decathlon, and people in his neighborhood respect him.

However, when school lets out, Peter dons the guise of Spider-Man and patrols the streets of Queens, stopping petty crimes and waiting for Tony Stark to give him some real action.

One fateful night, he runs into some unsavory characters with some weird weapons. Naturally, Spidey mops the floor with them, but the thugs let out one shot in the chaos.

With only one shot, a building across the street is reduced to a smoking husk.

Shaken by this encounter, Spidey becomes set on figuring out who these goons were and why they’ve got it out for him.

This movie was incredibly accessible for people who are both die-hard Spidey fans, such as yours truly, or people who don’t even know Spider-Man’s real name, such as my mother. By the film’s end, we knew what had happened and had a great time.

For those who appreciate Spider-Man lore, there are a ton of name-drops and callbacks to specific points in Spidey’s history.

There is a scene which mimics a famous cover from the Stan Lee/John Romita, Sr. days of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Some gadgets and gizmos call back to other weapons and objects in the Spider-Man series, such as the Spider-Signal and impact webbing.

Some folks are mentioned that might ring a bell to experienced readers, such as Mac Gargan, Adrian Toomes, Herman Schultz, and Ned Leeds.

It was an absolute joy to watch this and soak in everything that was going on, but if your little brother or sister doesn’t understand all the intricacies of Spidey’s backstory, don’t worry. The movie will stand well enough on its own two feet.

 

SOUND AND ACTING

Everything seemed as it should be.

Triumphant music swelled as Spidey stood tall over the Queens skyline. When situations got tense, so did the music.

I found myself sitting at the edge of my seat at a few points, heightened by the incredible score.

Sound effects were also pretty fluid.

Everything from Spidey’s webs getting launched to the devastating blows he faced were spot on. I would even consider them the best in all of Spidey’s film history.

The voices given to the characters were also incredible.

Tom Holland nailed the role of Peter Parker perfectly. He is unassuming and meek, which is everything Peter Parker should embody.

When he becomes Spider-Man, Peter morphs into a more fantastic, showy version of himself. His cockiness sometimes gets the best of him.

Tom Holland’s grunts and cries of desperation and agony at some points were so great that I found it hard to watch. It felt like real pain and sadness was oozing out of the screen.

I thought Tobey Maguire was the best Spider-Man, but Tom Holland took that position and ran with it.

Michael Keaton’s role as the big bad was also stupendous. It reminded me of Anthony Hopkins at some points, and the gravelly inflection he used in tense scenes made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

There are a few famous artists as characters, as well.

Donald Glover appears as a hilariously inept thug trying to score some weapons. Zendaya has a role as a snarky, deadpan classmate to Peter.

Stan Lee also has a cameo, of course. He is Stan Lee.

 

OVERALL

Spider-Man: Homecoming delivered on every single promise.

It was stylish and dripped with class. The story was textbook Spider-Man, and wouldn’t look out of place in an old Stan Lee annual.

The acting was stellar. Everyone from Tom Holland to Donald Glover nailed their parts.

The score added to everything, and the weapons sounded satisfyingly alien. Every impact and thud has real weight to it.

Whether you’re a Spider-Man buff or are just looking for a summer blockbuster, this movie has got it all for you. You can’t go wrong with it.

Long-gone are the days of the shy Tobey Maguire. No more is the bombastic Andrew Garfield.

This is the age of Tom Holland as Spider-Man.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

 

Spider-Man: Homecoming is rated PG-13.

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