Jean-Paul’s Rating: 4/5 stars
Bottom Line: Marvel does it again. Good mix of humor, action, and story. Tom Holland is a star. Michael Keaton is good, but wasted in his role.
Ok, this is going to seem weird, but my favorite thing about “Spiderman: Homecoming” is how it challenges the preconceived notions of family and race. Spiderman has, of course, always done that to some extent. Peter, after all, is being raised by his aunt and uncle prior to becoming a superhero. In this movie, he is now being raised solely by his Aunt May, played by a very 70s hippy looking Marisa Tomei. The only thing nuclear about this family is Peter from his radioactive spider bite. Peter’s main crush is a black girl who is also taller than him. Bye bye Mary Jane. The debate team that Peter is on is also very diverse, which was nice to see. There is also a reveal that I will not get into because it’s tangentially plot related which had me almost laughing with delight. Marvel knows who its audience is and it knows who his audience will be and it’s doing all it can to include everyone. it’s good to see.
The story starts with a preface just after the first Avengers movie (I think) and then fast forwards to recap the Spiderman events from “Captain America: Civil War”. It then follows Peter/Spiderman (Tom Holland) as he tries to be something more than just your friendly neighborhood Spiderman. He has Avenger envy, you might say. He discovers a group of people led by Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Michael Keaton) who have been stealing the alien technology left over from the first Avengers movie and re-purposing it and selling it on the black market and tries to take them down himself. Oh, and he also suffers through high school. Not sure which is more dangerous. One physically, one mentally.
I was a little disappointed in Marvel’s use of Michael Keaton as the main villain. This, to me, continues to be Marvel’s weak spot. Keaton’s a great actor and the Toomes/Vulture character has much to explore, but they give him some weak-ass “anything for my family” background and run with simply that. I know that Spiderman is the main attraction, but bad guys are cool and I wish Marvel would focus on them a little more, especially when getting top talent to play them. That said, it really is Tom Holland who steals the show. He has that perfect mix of awkward teenager/superhero that Spiderman deserves. And at just 21, it seems obvious that Marvel plans to build their future around him. The Marvel franchise is strong with this one.
Marvel continues to rule the movies. It really is astounding how well they have done. I don’t know if this is Disney’s doing or if Disney has let them have free reign with their creative license, but I don’t really care. Whatever they’re doing, more of “Spiderman: Homecoming” please!