Reactor Review – Spider-man: Homecoming

By Boukenred

Since the current incarnation of Spider-man’s debut in Captain America: Civil War, fans have been excited to see their favorite Wall Crawler in his own solo movie which ties in with the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. The latest collaboration between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures allows Spider-man to be able to team-up with other Marvel superheroes, while he still does whatever a spider can. Spider-man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland as Spider-man/Peter Parker, along with Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Jon Favreau, and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark aka Iron Man.

[Mild spoiler warning – you may want to skip ahead a little]
After the events of the Chitauri invasion (in the film, The Avengers) the remains of the Chitauri’s technology have been left behind. Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) and his contract crew enjoyed collecting the remains that were scattered through New York City, in hopes of making a profit from it, until they were informed that Stark Industries had now taken over the project, as a damage control unit. Toomes was ordered to cease collecting the Chitauri’s technology, and to turn-in any technology they had already found. However, Toomes held back a few pieces of technology in his possession, deciding to make good use of them. Eight years later, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is recruited by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), to aid him in a battle against Captain America and his team (in the film, Captain America: Civil War). After the battle, Tony Stark drops Peter back home in Queens and appoints Happy Hogan to be his go-to-guy, for any updates, and so that Stark can contact him if he has need of him for future assistance.

Excited about the idea of being a member of the Avengers, Peter becomes motivated to go on a daily patrol as Spider-man and updates Happy regularly, in hopes of a new mission assignment from him. However, Peter’s lack of crime fighting skills causes him to create a lot of collateral damage to the neighborhood, followed by many complaints that he is being a menace. After another day of disappointment in not getting an update from Happy, Peter gets home and unknowingly unmasks in front of his best friend, Ned Leeds, who is excited to learn that Peter is Spider-man.

Back at school, both Peter and Ned are invited to Liz Allen’s party. Ned then comes up with the idea that Peter should go as Spider-man to Liz’s party, in order to gain popularity for the both of them. Just as Peter is about to swing into Liz’s party as Spider-man, a blast of light goes off. Suspicious of it, Spider-man quickly heads to the scene, only to find out that there are some illegal activities involving the selling Chitauri weapons. Once the criminals are alerted to his presence, it quickly becomes a chase for Spider-man as he pursues their truck. He is suddenly struck by the Vulture from an aerial position and is tossed into the river. Luckily, Spider-man is saved from drowning by Ironman; who later has a talk with Peter, telling him to stay on the ground and leave things to the professionals.
[End of mild spoiler]

The movie itself proves to be a fresh, original story that establishes Spider-man’s character effectively, where the predecessor movies rely too much on Spider-man’s comics background. While the movie tries not to be influenced by using known Spider-man stories from the comics, there is an iconic moment that defines the Spider-man that co-creator Steve Ditko illustrated; one that hardcore fans will cheer. Movie audiences will appreciate seeing the story through the younger perspective of Spider-man/Peter Parker, as viewers can easily relate with him. Spider-man: Homecoming is all about  having as much fun as possible, and enjoying living in the moment.

Tom Holland proves to be a good choice for the casting of Spider-man/Peter Parker. His youth helps establish Spider-man as a teenager, more like his comic debut appearances and the Ultimate comics. This also gives Marvel a young rookie hero within the Cinematic Universe, rather than the experienced adults that we have seen in other films. Tom Holland also proved himself to be a good actor before being cast for this role, so having another great talent as part of the Marvel roster doesn’t hurt their star credibility either.

Robert Downey Jr. is as talented as always, and this film is no exception to that. His appearance as Ironman/Tony Stark throughout this movie helps the film connect with the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a richer extent, as he guides and mentors Spider-man when necessary. Each of the scenes featuring Tony Stark is either an important key-point scene or creates a memorable impact on Spider-man/Peter Parker. Tony Stark’s appearances also help bridge Peter Parker with other supporting cast members from Ironman, such as Happy Hogan. The dynamic of mentor-and-apprentice between the two helps Peter’s motivation to become the hero he wants to be, yet he is still not good enough to impress Tony Stark.

The main antagonist of the movie, the Vulture/Adrian Toomes, played by the iconic actor Michael Keaton, is very charismatic, proving that he can turn the Spider-man comics second-tier bad guy into a top-level villain for the movie universe. Keaton’s performance is able to establish him as an interesting antagonist. The role works perfectly for him as the villainous leader amongst his henchman; including The Shocker and the Thinkerer. Vulture’s role of antagonizing Spider-man is very exciting and satisfying, as he demonstrates how he can be a force to reckon with.

The heart of this movie would have to be the rich supporting cast from Spider-man comics; and this movie showcases how important the people in Peter Parker’s life are to him. The cast is diverse, but still represents all of the familiar characters with whom audiences are familiar. Marisa Tomei plays Aunt May; the movie interpretation makes her younger than her comic book counterpart, but she still cares for and loves her nephew, whilst being hip and popular amongst single men. Zendaya, who plays Michelle, delivers great comedic lines throughout Peter’s and Ned’s misfortunes, but still secretly cares about them and comes through for them when they are in danger. Laura Harrier, who plays Liz, is the perfect love interest for Peter Parker, which also makes her perfect as Spider-man’s damsel in distress. Just as in the comics, Flash, played by Tony Revolori, bullies Peter, but also serves also as comic relief during the poetic justice moment. Perhaps the character that will become a surprise fan-favorite amongst viewers is Jacob Batalon as Ned, Peter’s best friend. The dynamic between Ned and Peter showcases a great friendship between the two, through various comedic moments, as well as when Ned aids Peter as Spider-man by covering his mysterious disappearances.

By far, the best thing about this movie is the Spider-suit itself. As Spider-man slowly discovers new tricks and gadgets of which the suit is capable, he also needs to learn how  to use it properly. The Web Shooters feature many types of web combinations, such as Web Grenade and Web Tasers. Not only will the Web Shooters function shoots webs, they also feature the Spider-signal and the Spider-tracer with projected hologram. This combination was possibly done to help sell more toys, but the Spider-suit itself proves to be an interesting character of its own, which is something that no predecessor Spider-man movies have ever done.

In the end, the collaboration between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures  proves to have created a successful result, showing that it was a smart choice for the two companies to work together for this movie. Perhaps this will open the doors to other possibilities for Marvel to work with Sony in the future, although for now it will just be Spider-man, as stated by Kevin Feige.

The movie also has a good moral story about not relying too much on technology and using one’s own abilities; without focusing entirely on either anti or pro war propaganda, as previous movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have done. Overall, you will enjoy adventuring with Spider-man as he tries to prove himself as a worthy member of the Avengers, while juggling his High School year with his friends and family time with his Aunt May.

In addition to attending an advanced screening of the film, I also attended the Spider-man:Homecoming Press Event in New York City. Here are a few pictures from this event.

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