Remember that scene from Captain America: Civil War? That conversation where Tony Stark calls Peter Parker the “Spider-ling”? Yes! Spider-Man: Homecoming is the story of that “spider-ling” or spider-BOY or crime fighting spider, whatever you want to call him, trying to become the Spider-MAN! And that is how Marvel has taken Spider-man down an unfamiliar path, the only path for a character so wildly overused.
Now, I am not going to spoil this for those who haven’t seen the film yet but let me tell you what not to expect from this new movie– Radioactive spiders, uncle Ben’s death and his age old “power and responsibility speech”. Yes thankfully you don’t have to see these things because let’s face it, watching them for the THIRD time would have been tiresome. But the most delightful thing to see in this reboot of Spider-man is that he does nothing that would be considered extraordinary for a fifteen year old. Rather he does exactly what a fifteen year old would do if he was granted the kind of extraordinary power that Spider-man has. He misuses it! He thinks he is saving the world but in reality he actually is goofing around.
Homecoming does not waste time showing how Spider-man became Spider-man, so it isn’t really an origin story. But it is an origin story in a different way because this movie is more about a teenager who journeys towards maturity. The challenges he faces are far different from the challenges that Tobey Maguire’s or Andrew Garfield’s Spider-man confronted. Being a superhero in the world that this Spider-man lives in is not a big deal at all because firstly, this new world has too many superheroes to protect the human race and secondly these other superheroes are keeping him down because he is a 15 year old kid. So in this movie we get to see a new chapter in the life of Spider-man, one that is much more appropriate in this new world. In this chapter he tries to become the tough, brave and awesome guy that he thinks he is. But he is a kid and he makes mistakes, he puts lives in danger while trying to prove himself. But he actually goes through the process of learning that “with great power comes great responsibility” which makes Spider-man so much more relatable and the film more fun and exciting!
Tom Holland’s performance in the five minutes long screen time of Captain America: Civil War was more convincing than Andrew Garfield’s in two entire movies and in this new film Holland proved that he was born to play the role. The boyish wonder brought in to the character by Tobey Maguire back in 2002 is perfected in Homecoming by the 21 year old British actor, who played the titular role with exactly the right amount of innocence and vulnerability that is associated with Spider-man. Marisa Tomei as Aunt May again is such a refreshing re-creation of the character and Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned is hilarious and kind of speaks for the audience. Zendaya as the mysterious but funny Michelle and Laura Harrier as Liz (Peter’s high school crush) were also intriguing.
Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron-Man has a vital role but he is used with admirable restraint. The awkward father-son dynamic between the two superheroes is an incredibly exciting thing to watch. But the Spider-man suit designed by Stark was too Iron-man-y. Also we almost never get to see the “spider-man senses” at work.
Michael Keaton the legend as ‘Vulture’ was marvelous. He is certainly the deadliest Marvel Super villain after Loki. But this character too is significantly different from the regular Marvel Super villains. Adrian Toomes a.k.a Vulture is a villain straight out of an industrial thriller. He works at a disassembling unit, scavenging alien technology for evil purposes. His intentions aren’t grand like killing the Avengers or dominating the world. He just wants to do good business. In Keaton’s depiction of the character, Toomes isn’t too bright and like in the first scene they ask him to “not overextend himself”, he actually ends up doing so.
Given how overly formulaic Marvel is, critics around the world were skeptical when it was announced that Sony and Marvel Studios were teaming up for yet another Spider-man reboot. But with Homecoming, Marvel proved that they knew exactly what they were doing with one of their premier characters and that Spider-man is safe in their hands. This is the sixth Spider-man movie and had so much chances to look redundant at this point. But be it Holland’s performance as our beloved web-slinger or the storytelling or the superb script, the film turned out to be this year’s best superhero movie. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet you should definitely go and watch it.