Despite serious reservations about the potential delivery of The Vulture in the film, Spider-Man: Homecoming has turned out to be one of the big successes of the summer blockbuster season. With a well-balanced story, great pace and a brilliant performance from the latest Webbed Slinger, Tom Holland, it’s a great reintroduction for the character.
Having had a fair few iterations over the years with Toby McGuire in the first three films back in the 2000’s and Andrew Garfield in the more recent The Amazing Spider-Man double, there were a lot of questions about whether or not it was too soon to reboot it again. However, with Tom Holland’s debut in Captain America: Civil War and his exuberance in Homecoming, it’s a lot of fun having the character back on the big screen.
The story is well crafted, taking us back to a high-school Peter Parker, who is still coming to terms with his newfound powers in a bid to make it into The Avengers on a permanent basis. The guardian duo of Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downy Jr.) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) overseeing his return to the mean streets of New York City makes for a lot of good comedy and grounding for the film within the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe.
There’s even a decent back story for the antagonist, Adrian Toomes/The Vulture, who’s played to perfection by Michael Keaton. The trailers seemed to portray him working on his own without much in the way of credible resources, but the reality in the film is sophisticated enough to make it believable.
It’s not just the lead cast members that put in strong performances though, with effortless comic dialogue from Jacob Batalon as Peter’s high school best friend and Zendaya as MJ. Marissa Tomei (The Big Short) makes for a brilliant Aunt May, updating the role very well, and its good to see Gwyneth Paltrow back as Pepper Potts, even if it is just for a moment – hopefully, it’s a good sign for the prospect of Iron Man 4. Laura Harrier is well balanced as Peter’s love interest Liz and Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo Season 2) is solid as The Vulture’s right-hand-man The Shocker.
As you’d expect from a big budget Marvel superhero film, the special effects are sublime, but they’re added to by some impressive stunt work and cinematography. Director of photography Salvatore Totino captures the aerial fluidity of Spider-Man as he swings through New York with a lot of skill and understanding.
There’s also some good physical comedy throughout the film as the young Spider-Man is pretty inexperienced at crime fighting and web firing still. It contributes to the sheer fun of watching the film, but none of the humour takes anything away from a fast-paced action adventure that underpins it all.
Spider-Man: Homecoming has had strong review scores across the board, and we can only add to them with our own 4.5 star review, which it undoubtedly deserves. It sets things up for what will hopefully be a great new series of films, but when it comes to Spider-Man the sequels tend to ruin things in the end, so fans will have their fingers crossed for Tom Holland to become the contradiction to the rule.
Spider-Man: Homecoming review: 4.5/5