Film Review: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ May Be the Best Marvel Movie Yet


Spider-Man: HomecomingIn a world where superhero films are a carbon copy of one another, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” breathes new life into a character that has been welcomed by movie fans before being over saturated with needless reboots.  Director Jon Watts gives the iconic web-slinging character a heartfelt story, in what is easily the best written film of the Marvel MCU (::gasp:: villain included) yet.  It also features the best performance by any Spidey actor yet in Tom Holland, who absolutely slays as our famed superhero.

Spider-Man: Homecoming” tells the story of a young Peter Parker, who begins to navigate his newfound identity as the “Spider-Man.”  The film takes place following the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” with no introduction to Peter’s powers or the death of Uncle Ben.  Excited by his new powers, Peter returns home looking for his next big adventure before the Vulture (played by Michael Keaton) emerges to wreak havoc on the city and everyone he loves.

Effortlessly told by screenwriters Jonathan M. Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, and Jon Watts, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” has sincerity, heart, and a clearly defined agenda in setting up this character for the MCU.  Peter Parker is 15-years-old, and actually FEELS and LOOKS 15.  As does all his friends around him including Ned Leeds, played hilariously by the young Jacob Batalon.  The writers also deliver a tangible and audacious villain in the Vulture.  With motivations that aren’t just spelled out in “I want to destroy the world,” Adrian Toomes is prompted by much more than doing evil.  They explore a deeper, richer meaning for a villain and it works.  Keaton’s portrayal of the villain is as can be expected, just downright awesome from the veteran actor.

Tom Holland‘s portrayal of Parker taps into many things that we see today in the Gen Y’s.  A presumed invincibility and a hunger to do more is apparent in actions but the realization that fear can quickly take over when under pressure is portrayed brilliantly.  In one particular scene of anguish and pain, Holland’s agony in not just the physical but emotional sense is spot on.  He’s helped immensely but an impressive cast that includes the always cheeky Robert Downey, Jr. and the help of the stunning Marisa Tomei.

Technically speaking, the film sings.  Visuals are quite beautiful, however a fighting sequence on a plane seems to hawk back to the first “Transformers” film when it was hard to make out all the actions taking place.  Salvatore Totino‘s camera work is luscious, capturing some riveting shots of of not just the action, but the actors in which they are portraying.

The reinvention of the “Spider-Man” theme by composer Michael Giacchino is a dynamite hit and one that we should be humming for an undisclosed amount of time.

Spider-Man: Homecoming” has elevated the game for Marvel Studios.  One of the best action films of the year and not one that you should be ashamed to experience with the family.  The magic of the movies is evident in just about every frame.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is distributed by Marvel Studios and hits theaters on July 7.

GRADE: (★★★½)