Summary: Several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.
Cast and Characters.
Tom Holland as Peter Parker. So I’m going to say it. I’m sure other reviewers have and many people agree but I think he is the best Peter Parker AND Spider-Man. Look, Maguire was a pretty good Peter (too whiny for me at times) and Garfield was a good Spider-Man (though I thought he did well for Peter just a bit more modern). But Tom Holland I think is perfect. He was perfect in Civil War and seeing him in this film solidified that for me. He really manages to find that perfect balance between his predecessors. There was definitely freshness in there but it also felt familiar. Peter is 15 in this film, it follows the events of Civil War and he hopes that Tony will call for his help again. He craves to be part of the action and to figure out who he is in this super hero world. He is also dealing with every day teenage problems: liking girls, his aunt talking about puberty, the homecoming dance and he also wants to save the day. I love Peter, I always have and I don’t think I’ve loved him in film as much as I did here. Tom Holland really brought the character to life and I really appreciate that he looks and sounds young and the character IS young. He’s a sophomore! Room to grow! Definitely a Spider-Man/Peter Parker to remember. I can’t wait to see more.
Michael Keaton as Adrian Tooms. He will always be my Batman, but I thought he was great here. He is definitely a fantastic villain. The beginning shows us him working on cleaning up the mess from the first Avengers film. When his business is shut down, he becomes an arms trafficker where they steal what they can from armored trucks and Avengers’ sites and make new weapons. He is determined to protect his family. Michael Keaton is threatening, intimidating and terrifying as this guy which is a feat as the comic character is so lame looking. Keaton manages to make him cool! Plus, you understand him. He is definitely one of MCU’s best villains as you understand him, you may even feel for him and of course he’s brilliantly acted.
Jacob Batalon as Ned. He is Peter’s best friend, he’s his “guy in the chair”, his “right hand man” among other best friend titles. Ned is great comic relief at times, but he also obviously cares for his friend and wants to help him while also helping himself. It’s not malicious or anything but ya know, their in high school and unpopular. He got a lot of laughs. I thought Tom and Jacob had great chemistry as friends, and that Jacob managed to be not only similar to Tom as Peter but the level head when it was needed.
Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. I mean, what else can be said about RDJ as Tony Stark. He’s not in the movie as much as the trailers let on, those scenes they showed and maybe one more is all. But I thought he was a great addition as Peter is similar to him in ways. He of course comes off as a rude dude due to the fact that he pulled Peter into the fight in Civil War but then just drops him off back at home and expects that kid to not want to be involved more. I was like meh Tony, and I get it but seriously. He has great chemistry with Tom Holland and while he’s still funny Tony Stark, he definitely falls into the role of “mentor” a lot of times. It’s nice to see a bit more of a mature nature from Tony, the events of Civil War definitely took their toll.
Supporting Characters. There are many who show up, Aunt May (who is great), Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), Bokeem Woodbine, Jon Favreau (Happy).
Zendaya as Michelle. She is a bit weird, she’s intellectual, a bit unkempt and very into her books. She’s a mysterious character in who she is exactly but I’m sure people have their theories. But I love Zendaya, whenever she was on screen, my eyes did move towards her. She has a relationship with Peter but it’s like the beginning stages of one. She’s funny and odd but I loved it. Zendaya is great and I hope they allow her character to grow in future movies and that we get to see a character expansion, but I’m also definitely okay with a slow burn for her too considering the comics.
Laura Harrier as Liz Allen. There’s a definite twist with her that I did not see coming, it was great BUT I thought she was very cute. She’s very smart, the Captain of their academic team and very sweet. We see her reach out to Peter in different ways, especially being that he’s a Sophomore and she’s a Senior. It works and it’s cute. I thought for the first high school crush she was a good character to introduce and that Laura was a great addition to the cast.
It’s Diverse! I mean sure, the two leads are white males, but I was quite pleased to see that most of the surrounding supporting cast were people of color. Tony Revolori was Flash Thompson, Michelle, Liz Allen, Ned, even one of Adrian’s main henchmen was Bokeem Woodbine. I’m interested to see how they handle everyone else who plays a major role in Peter’s life.
The Humor. Spider-Man is known for being witty, for talking a lot during a fight and I love it. I thought the humor for the most part was great and it landed. Tom Holland has a natural knack for humor and I think he handled Peter’s awkwardness and Spider-Man’s wit very well.
The Action. Spider-Man is interesting in his fighting style. He of course has his powers, not to mention his web shooters but he can actually fight pretty well. I wonder who taught him. Did he teach himself? Those are questions in these movies that no one ever answered that I think would be nice to just throw in there. I know that he has taught himself but it would be a good line in there or something. But anyway, Spider-Man has always had a unique fighting style where he uses everything he has in tandem and overwhelmed his opponents (which is why I love him so much) and I thought they were able to capture that well. He’s still a bit new at this so he’s clumsy and makes a mess of things, but it’s so interesting watching him work. The fights between him and Vulture were great, especially in the air. I love the scene at the end, it was handled so well.
The emotional parts. There’s not a lot of them or anything but the ones that they have are some really good ones. There’s a scene between Peter and Aunt May that was subtle but emotional and then one later on with Peter having to save himself. That was a really good moment as well.
Nods to the comics/Easter Eggs. I mean every comic book movie does this, but I thought this was handled so well, especially since this version is put out by both Disney/Marvel and Sony (I wish Sony would just give it up though). I just loved the nuggets, like even though they didn’t talk about Uncle Ben or show anything about him, you knew that it was recent and that May was still affected by it. We even saw Betty Brant, she was a school reporter which is a nod to her future at the Daily Bugle. I will discuss this more in the Spoiler Review.
The Opening Scene. We definitely get to see Peter’s point of view of his involvement in Civil War and it was so cute and something a 15 year old would do. It puts right into Peter’s personality and I loved it. I grinned like an idiot.
Slow in the beginning. I think it has a nice buildup, we really get to sit and be with Peter while he tries to be a neighborhood Spider-Man but it does take a moment to get it’s momentum. It didn’t bother me much as I like slow burns, but I can definitely imagine that some people would squirm because they’re ready for the action.
Too heavy handed with the humor. I really liked the humor but sometimes I don’t think the jokes hit every time. I know that Spider-Man is iconic for his quips, especially when fighting etc. but it doesn’t always translate well each time. Sometimes it was joke, joke, joke and I was like blah blah. Of course humor is subjective
The Tech in the suit. So, obviously since Tony Stark made Spider-Man’s suit, there’s a lot of tech in there and it was helpful but there were a lot of times when I rolled my eyes at it because it was too much like Iron Spider and we’re not there yet.
Overall, I really loved this film. I definitely think that Tom Holland managed to make Peter Parker and Spider-Man his own while being the best at balancing the two. He led the film very well, especially as we spent so much time with him. Michael Keaton is a great and intimidating villain and I think he was a worthy opponent for Peter. The action is great and fun to watch, especially watching the cool things Peter can do in that suit (even though I thought it was too much at times). The other characters are great and feel important to the story and aren’t just there to just be easter eggs for the comics. I loved the introduction to Peter in the film with his little mini movie detailing his Civil War perspective. The emotional bits make you miss things that they miss even if the viewers weren’t forced to watch things we’ve seen many times before. I appreciate that it’s not an origin story but puts us right in the thick of it. It’s diverse, it’s funny, the easter eggs are great and it feels fresh. On the other hand, the humor can be a bit childish and the jokes don’t always land, sometimes the action can get a little hard to see especially when it’s close fighting, I don’t care for the tech in Peter’s suit much but it served it’s purpose.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Have you seen Spider-Man: Homecoming? Where do you think it ranks in the MCU? Which Peter Parker/Spider-Man is the best?