Well … it’s time folks. We have received yet another reboot of our friendly neighborhood web slinger. This time around, Marvel Studios is involved so there’s hope for this take on Spider-Man. Tom Holland swings into the role of Peter Parker with some help from long-time Marvel character, Tony Stark. We were briefly introduced to this new Spider-Man in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. As a lifelong Spider-Man fan, I was thrilled to finally see Tom Holland step into the role of this iconic hero and face off against Michael Keaton, aka Adrian Toomes / The Vulture, as the antagonist.
This is hardly the first time that we have come across Spider-Man in recent years. As the sixth movie in the franchise with three different actors to take on the role, Spider-Man: Homecoming had some big shoes to fill. Tobey Maguire, who starred as the original Spider-Man in 2002, is usually seen as the fan favorite while Andrew Garfield debuted his version in 2012. Spider-Man unfortunately took a step backwards with the previous two Amazing Spider-Man films directed by Marc Webb. Andrew Garfield played more of an edgy Peter Parker and never seemed to really step into the role which led to a performance which was ultimately underwhelming. Maguire and Garfield both received their own origin story films and spent significantly more time developing their character through their gear and homemade suits. In this adaptation, Peter is simply given his equipment which leaves the audience wishing to see more of Peter’s process of becoming a hero.
In this most recent reboot, Tom Holland plays a younger version of Peter Parker whose problems included more than just evil foes. Peter regularly deals with the traumas of being a teenaged boy trying to make it through high school while simultaneously working to prove his worth to his hero, Tony Stark. Peter is eager to be part of the Avengers team and fight in the bigger battles we usually see at the end of the Avengers movies. For the time being, however, Tony Stark insists that Peter remain in his hometown and operate as what he refers to as “The Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man”. As a viewer, seeing Peter navigating his way through high school, a “Stark Internship,” and the awkwardness of budding adolescent relationships reminds me why I adore the character so much. Homecoming at its core is a coming-of-age film with Peter Parker finding himself and learning to stay grounded in a world full of heroes and monsters.
Marvel Studios, which has struggled lately to create a memorable villain, struck gold when they cast Keaton to play this film’s main villain. Toomes takes on the role of Vulture, who is a construction salvage worker hired to clean up the mess after the epic final battle in The Avengers. Through an unfair twist of fate, Toomes is kicked off the job by government workers and loses his business in the process. Later it is revealed that Toomes is still in possession of high-tech alien weapons which he uses to construct his own weapons and a perfected winged suit. This gives us our first look at the Vulture, complete with robotic wings and high tech weaponry which he uses to terrorize Peter at every turn. Michael Keaton’s version of the Vulture brings a sense of humanity to the role and points out that you don’t have to have superpowers and an evil agenda to be a well-written villain.
Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, who provided Peter Parker with his Spidey suit, appears in this film as Peter’s mentor and occasional babysitter. His appearances in the film, while usually humorous, are not overstepping and really set Peter Parker’s storyline in motion. Stark’s visits serve as a reminder that there are jobs for the Avengers and then there are jobs for Spidey, meaning Peter isn’t ready to fight with the big boys quite yet. Robert Downey Jr’s presence assures fans though that Spider-Man will play an intriguing part in the Avengers arc and possibly future Marvel films.
While this is a fun action Marvel film, this movie does lack an emotional punch. Tobey Maguire showed us in Spider-Man 2 that he would risk it all for the citizens of New York and how much the role meant to him. While I do think Tom Holland portrayed Peter well, he did not bring much to the table on the emotional front. His scenes with Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), his supposed only living family member, seemed very topical and did not carry the emotion that the previous films had.
While this was a great beginning to the newest Spider-Man reboot, there is plenty of room for Peter to grow as a hero and a member of the Avengers team. Events in this movie promise us that we will see Peter again very soon in the newest Avengers film. I am excited to see how his character matures and how Peter Parker becomes the hero he wants to be.
Want to see Spider-Man: Homecoming and judge for yourself? Click on the images below to buy your tickets now, and be sure to come back and tell us what you thought!
Spider-Man: Homecoming runs 2 hours 13 minutes, and is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.