Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a dream come true for all Marvel fans. Nine years ago, many Marvel fans were expecting Marvel to fail as a film studio due to the fact that they sold off the rights to their “A-list” characters. Jump ahead, now everyone believes that this list of Avengers were always their A-list team while other studios are struggling with their Marvel properties. No one was suffering so much more than Sony.
In 2014, Sony launched The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as their foray into a Sony cinematic universe that would evolve around the world of Spider-Man. Due to the poor performance and reception of the movie, Sony had shelved their possible franchise until they could figure out what they could do to restore the luster of the franchise. In stepped in the North Koreans during the infamous Sony e-mail hack that revealed that Sony was speaking with Marvel.
After word of the possible talks were revealed, Sony and Marvel were denying that any agreement had been discussed, much less taken place. Marvel announced the third installment of the Captain America franchise would be titled: Captain America: Civil War, fans began saying that the story would not work unless they had Spider-Man in the series – feeling that the story would be based on the series, in which Spider-Man was a huge character.
Then the world was blindsided by the fact that Sony and Marvel had come to an agreement in which Spider-Man would be able to appear in Marvel movies and Marvel would help Sony restart their franchise. After the overwhelming positive response to Tom Holland playing Peter Parker and that the new film would not be another origin story and follow the events of Civil War, it seemed that the public at large was ready.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was the Spider-Man that everyone was hoping for. While Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 is regarded as the best Spider-Man movie, I would say that this is not only a close second but could possibly be the best in the franchise thus far. Picking up two months after the events of Civil War, Peter Parker is left to work out his own identity as Spider-Man, with Tony Stark’s costume from Civil War, and had to check in.
One of the reasons this movie takes off well is the performance of Holland as Peter Parker. Capturing the essence of a 15 year-old boy that believes he is ready for whatever happens to find out that he still has a lot to learn. Not to mention believing in the adults that tell him one thing but have no intention of following through. He is a smart and nerdy teen, even among nerdy teens at a gifted school, but he manages to evoke the angst, insecurity and trolling capabilities that have been cultivated in Peter Parker since the 1960s.
Anchored by his amazingly diverse supporting cast, the teens around him weigh him with real-life issues, humor and teenage drama while he is trying to take on something that no one around him could even imagine. Ned (Jacob Batalon) steals his scenes due to the fact that he is that best friend that couldn’t be happier to help but always has his friend’s back. The reference to the DC Universe tv shows, Ned wants to be the guy in the chair. Who sits behind the computer telling him where to go. Nice nod to the Team Arrow and Flash series.
You could not discuss this movie any further without bringing up Adrian Toomes, played brilliantly by Michael Keaton. He could have easily chewed up the scenery like he did in Beetlejuice, but he plays him grounded, not incapable of making jokes, but menacing when pushed. Toomes’ motivation is brought on by the original events from the first Avengers movie but to provide for his family. Not to mention, there is a hint of the one per cent mentality as to why they will steal from the powers that be to make money for the little guy, even if they push the weapons into the wrong hands. The cast is rounded out by Marisa Tomei (who is the hottest Aunt May ever), Donald Glover (for a Miles Morales reference) and the extended use of Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. It is nice to see that after his failing out of Marvel after Iron Man 2 wasn’t venomous one, which allowed him to return for Iron Man 3 and Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Overall, the film is beautifully shot and full of action set pieces that you would expect from a Marvel movie. However, the stakes are not world changing which Marvel is using those for their big Avenger movies. After nine years, they seem to have gotten the individual movies to remain more smaller focus but feel expansive. It is a big and smaller movie at the same time and the CG in this movie was a large improvement over that final fight scene in Wonder Woman. It seems we have Spider-Man back where he belongs, in the true Marvel Universe.