by Monica Hayes
Spider-Man – the one character the Marvel Comic Universe has been missing and fans have been longing for has finally come home and Tom Holland’s portrayal of Spider-Man is fun and exciting to watch. Welcome home Spider-Man! Your fans and the MCU missed you!!
The story begins after the Chitauri invasion in New York, where Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) and his crew are salvaging wreckage from Avenger Tower and other places in New York. They are abruptly told to stop working thanks to a joint effort by Tony Stark and the government run Damage Control Department who have claimed the salvage as government property. Toomes, who has put everything into this salvage is unhappy, to say the least, but regretfully walks off. Later he discovers he still has a truckload of Chitauri weapons and he has his own plans for their use.
Fast forward eight years. We find a 15-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland) on his way to meet up with Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and the Avengers in Berlin. Yup, the famous one liner “Underoos!” is about to happen. After Berlin, Peter is thrown back into his everyday life at Midtown High School. It’s back to being just plain old Peter Parker: the awkward, nerdy kid who drools over the most popular girl in school, Liz (Laura Harrier), hangs with his equally unpopular, nerdy buddy Ned (Jacob Batalon) and whom both get sarcastic one-liners from the loner Michelle (Zendaya).
Anxious to rejoin the Tony and the Avengers, Peter frequently goes on patrol and experimenting with his new suit to keep his skills sharp. One night while on patrol, Spider-Man comes across a couple of guys robbing an ATM. When he tries to stop them, they attack him with new space-age weapons that have just hit the streets. As he struggles to uncover who is behind these dangerous weapons, Spider-Man encounters the Vulture, a dark shadowy flying nemesis unlike any he has seen before. Unbeknownst to Peter, this meeting with the Vulture leads him down a road he is not ready to go down and it forces him to make decisions he is not ready to make, but he has no choice.
John Watts’ version of Spider-Man is refreshing and Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter is spot on! Holland brings a realistic look to the comic book Peter Parker who is still in high school, dealing with the everyday challenges of just being a normal 15-year old, all while trying to conceal his new powers. Which we know, sometimes gets him in trouble. Compared to the last five Spider-Man movies, Holland’s performance can be seen as the better of them all. Toby Maguire did an excellent job as Parker, but he didn’t really come off as a believable high school student and Andrew Garfield, well, he seemed too cool to be Parker.
Another difference between Homecoming and the last movies: Tony Stark/Iron Man. Never has there been a mentor role in a Spider-Man movie that was not an Uncle Ben flashback. This new role only solidifies that Spider-Man has finally home to the Marvel Comic Universe where he is supposed to be. Lastly, never have two different MCU movies ever been referenced in the same movie.
The script writers did an excellent job of showing the maturation of Peter. At one point in the movie, he is typical impatient know-it-all teenager eager to prove he is not a little kid in need of the “Training Wheels and Baby Monitor” programs. However, when things go way left, Peter realizes that he is more than just a man in an enhanced suit. He learns that his actions have consequences and some of those actions may put people’s lives in danger and shouldn’t be taken lightly. With great power, comes great responsibility.
Nothing about Spider-Man: Homecoming this movie seems to be forced. Everybody gets their chance to shine and everyone does a great job. Michael Keaton’s facial expressions and line delivery when portraying Toomes/Vulture is superb and is almost scary to watch. He is one of the better villains in the MCU thus far. Stay for the after credits.