By Lee Travis
After a delicate high-wire act involving the film rights to Spider-Man, we are finally gifted a Spider-Man movie that captures the spirit of the comics. Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn't forget the teenage humor in the fight to become one of Marvel's best films, the movie embraces the teenage angst. Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and director Jon Watts obviously pulled several all-nighters to get the grade for their version of Spider-Man. With great power comes great responsibility, which means we are in perfect hands for future Spidey films down the road.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the result of a John Hughes film being bit by a radioactive spider. Even with the meta-commentary of the underlying source material in the film, Homecoming plays to its strengths as a more realistic high school superhero film than past big screen Spider-Man adventures. Tom Hollands as Spider-Man may have been questionable casting when announced for Captain America: Civil War, but the wall-crawler stole every scene he was a part of in his first Marvel outing. The same is true for his first feature. Hollands pulls off the smart yet goofy teenage Peter Parker. In an age of well-established adult heroes, it is refreshing to see a teenage superhero try to make a name for himself.
In a world that understands how information is spread, seeing people on the street shout "Are you the Spider-Man from YouTube?" feels right at home. This Spider-Man is more than willing to oblige any request for a backflip or stunt to prove he is the viral internet hero people know.
Spider-Man: Homecoming continues to escape the webbing of previous superhero films by omitting the traditional superhero origin. Not much of a spoiler, but there is no scene where a spider bites Peter, just a passing reference. We don't even get a mention of Uncle B, but just a vague understanding that Aunt May has gone through some difficult trauma of late. Homecoming shakes up high school film clichés by making characters approachable and realistic. As mentioned in Kinda Funny's Reacts, these teenage characters talk to one another, express and reciprocate feelings, and feel real. Compared to the tropes of past high school movies, Marvel has done a spectacular job crafting a real Queen's high school.
The villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming is a fine crafted, relatable, and synthetic character that slowly devolves into true evil. The street-level nature of the Vulture fits with the film's smaller scale yet has wider implications in the Marvel universe. Michael Keaton brings a nuanced performance to his part, anchoring the film as the experienced foe to the eager yet untested Spider-Man. In a classic battle of the generations, Spider-Man: Homecoming avoids the web grenades of past movies and delivers a fresh take on the superhero we have come to know.
Did you swing into theaters to see the new Spidey film? Was the third time to charm? Let me know what you thought in the comments below or on Twitter @lostthenumbers.