A New More Amazing Spiderman?
The past decade has seen: Spiderman, Spiderman 2, and Spiderman 3. This was followed by Amazing Spiderman and Amazing Spiderman 2. But now, we have Spiderman Homecoming.
With five other films before it, Spiderman: Homecoming always had plenty to live up to. However, this is the first solo Marvel Cinematic Universe outing with the web-crawler. So Marvel delivers a story which lovingly returns the web-head back to his High School roots. In the process providing a smaller-scale story which focuses on the key elements of Spidey. Elements that made Spidey one of the world’s most loved comic book heroes.
Coming of Age
This is a coming-of-age story. It focuses on Tom Holland’s interpretation of the character. Which is an interpretation that is the most comic accurate interpretation. Comic book lovers are in an era of visual and casting delights. With DC and Marvel providing fantastic visual interpretations of characters, with actors who were born to play the role. Take Charlie Cox and Mike Colter from Netflix with their interpretations of Daredevil and Luke Cage. Or take Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot. Like these names, Tom Holland is a perfect casting choice for a younger Peter Parker. He nails the look, and he draws the emotion of the viewer. Plus, he does a wonderful job of playing a wisecracking, acrobatic Spiderman – something missing from previous incarnations.
Referring to casting, the choice of Jacob Batalon is fantastic. He serves as Peter Parker’s friend and comic-relief sidekick, Ned. Rather than just serving as a comedic element, he adds character development to the main protagonist. Therefore he acts as the foil to the superhuman side of Peter Parker. Michael Keaton, as the villainous Vulture, also performs admirably despite limited screen time.
Unlike other villains in the Marvel Cinema pantheon, Vulture was a villain with an understandable goal and backstory. His motivations are clearly explained across the whole film. With this element of his character tied into an interesting plot twist. Vulture may be a villain, but he is a villain out of necessity rather than evil desire.
Plot-wise, Homecoming is one of the smaller films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is precisely what a solo Spiderman film should aim for. Where films such as Doctor Strange explore an entire multiverse, Homecoming narrows in on the Boroughs of New York. This narrowed focus bridges the gap between the larger-scale Avengers films and the Netflix shows. At least in terms of the storytelling. Therefore, they fill a gap that was unwittingly missing in the overall scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This is also a plot which focuses on exploring Peter Parker and his desire to please the father-figure of Tony Stark. It is a plot which ties together all elements that make Spiderman unique. Through grounding him in a world which makes no sense to him. All while holding firm to the idea that, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’ This is the world of the teenager – and this is the appeal of the figure of Spiderman. With how he begins as a teenager in a world of gods and monsters, gradually making sense of the bizarre reality.
Visually, Homecoming is a colourful treat with its costumes, explosions and acrobatics plucked from the palette of a comic book. The costumes all feature modern screen updates. Yet, there are little hints of previous history from film, television and comics themselves. Beginning from the Marvel Studios opening visual appearing to the Spiderman theme music. All the way through to the feathery collar on Keaton’s jacket. There is even one key scene almost directly taken from the comics.
Homecoming is certainly no masterpiece. And it is not the greatest film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Homecoming is a smaller scale entry that was needed. Both as a form of entertainment and to fill in a gap in Marvel’s narrative threads. It is by far, however, the best Spiderman film to date. It truly captures the essence of the character, as well as providing an entertaining and captivating story. If you enjoy superhero films, and have a particular affinity with Spiderman or Marvel – this is the spectacular Spiderman film you have been waiting for.
- A small scale, more authentic version of Spiderman
- Stays truest to the comics of all versions of Spiderman
- A fun, light-hearted coming of age high-school hero film
- The stakes in the film are small scale
- The film has little impact on the overall future of the MCU and is more stand-alone than the other films
I am the creator and current writer on jonathanterrington.com. My love of books, films and games led me to create a site where I can express my positive thoughts of anything I have been playing, reading or watching recently. Please subscribe and follow The Write Stuff (and feel free to contact us!).