Spider-Man: Homecoming is the 6th live action iteration of the wall-crawler, following Sam Raimi’s trilogy and the Marc Webb helmed Amazing Spider-Man series, and simply put, is without a shadow of a doubt the best outing of the character on the silver screen – ever. With an endearing cast, a compelling villain and a very character driven story, Spider-Man: Homecoming is everything I expected and so much more.
First off, I would like to address the Iron Man: Homecoming and Iron Man 4 comments that flooded the internet during the movies marketing; they could not be further from the truth. Spider-Man: Homecoming puts Peter and his struggles and aspirations front and center. This is very much a Spider-Man movie, more so than any of the ones that preceded it. Tom Holland is the quintessential Peter Parker and a perfect Spider-Man, capturing both sides of the character to a tee. His mannerisms, actions, reactions, everything about Peter/Spidey in this movie seemed like they were bleeding out from the end of a pencil guided by Stan Lee himself. Tom Holland is, without a doubt, the Peter Parker Spidey fans have been waiting for.
Spider-Man: Homecoming not only treats us to the best lead character we could have possibly gotten, but also a stellar group of supporting characters. Not a single dull moment was expereinced with them on screen, and I was just as invested in them as I was with Peter. Whether it be Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds, Zendaya’s Michelle, Laura Harrier’s Liz Allen or Tony Revoliri as Flash Thompson, all of them captured the different aspects of the world Peter lives in perfectly, as well as holding their own without bogging down the rest of the movie. I can’t wait to see where the sequel takes them.
Speaking of aspects to Peter’s world, the villain in this story, Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes AKA The Vulture is, in my opinion, the best MCU villain since Loki in 2012’s The Avengers. Yes, he is terrifying and menacing as a villain ought to be, but what makes him all the more compelling is that he shares Peter’s realm of existence. He has motives that the audience, and even Peter himself, can sympathize with. Michael Keaton turns in a stellar, nuanced performance, and the movie really fleshes out his character, clearly showing that he isn’t just evil for the sake of being evil. He is a complex character in his own right, and not just a plot device serving Peter’s story alone.
Spider-Man: Homecoming breathes new life into the MCU. Despite being part of a larger cinematic universe, and as such, risking falling prone to “franchise building,” Spider-Man: Homecoming is very much a self-contained story, driven by character, humor, growth, and a whole lot of heart, and in my opinion, it’s the best Spidey and MCU movie to date.