Director - Jon Watts
Cast - Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei
There were several presumptions about Spiderman having a big and late Homecoming into the Marvel Universe. When the trailer of Tom Holland wearing a techy suit came out, the doubts grew darker as Iron Man was there to mentor the new kid on the block. Many thought that the influence of a big Avenger can ruin the basic essence of Spiderman- who, for so many decades has created his own identity as a next door superhero (in the Marvel comics). However, Spiderman: Homecoming proves them all wrong and emerges as the summer treat for the fans.
A complete joy-ride from its first frame to the last (yes! Including the post-credit scenes), the film delivers on almost every level and the biggest asset turns out to be Spiderman himself. The 21-year-old Tom Holland perfectly fits the bill of the new age Spidey, growing up in the age of Avengers and alien attacks. Holland feels like a natural in the skin of Peter Parker, nerd, awkward, clumsy and a nobody- kind of boy next door. He isn’t rich or dynamic and that is the strength of the character.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland), a 15-year-old high school sophomore from Queens, is a next door superhero who had his major break during Avengers’ Civil War, and after getting an uber cool suit from Tony Stark, is stopping tiny thefts and sometimes creating problems. However, amid his petty outings comes a time when he finds himself facing the Vulture (Michael Keaton) and his Alien tech.
It’s up to Peter to bust them, though as Spider-Man he’s still figuring out what the heck he’s doing. In his red-and-blue spandex costume, now layered with computer intelligence, he shimmies up and around dizzying angles with features like Web grenade and even Spider-web wings! Always in a sticky situation thanks to his immature skills as a superhero, there are real moments up in the sky, you’re up there with him, doing just what you’re supposed to be doing at a movie like this one. You forget yourself. You escape.
Tom wins hearts as a gawky, anxious deer-in-headlights teen innocence that’s so fumblingly aw shucks and ordinary that it seems almost incongruous when he’s referred to as “the Spider-Man.” What he looks (and acts) like is Spider-Boy. Tobey Maguire, who certainly seemed boyish at the time, was 26 years old when he first played Peter, but Holland was just 20 when he shot this film, and it makes a difference. Spider-Man: Homecoming is the story of a savior who’s still mucking around in the business of being a kid.
The film comes across as more engaging, funny and relaxed than its predecessors. Director Jon Watts took extra care to mingle Peter in the Avengers Universe without dominating the aloofness of Spiderman. He was and is the standalone neighbourhood hero who doesn’t belong in any team. There is, of course, Iron-Man to mentor him, but Robert Downey Jr’s presence never overpowers Holland’s ingenuity and that’s a plus.
The supporting cast of the film also fits in well. While Keaton is Sinister as a villain and turns up where you least expect him. Jacob Batalon as Ned is Peter’s best bud and the first one to discover his alter-ego. He is the perfect side-kick and of course a friend in need. Now, no Spiderman film is complete without a romance and here Peter’s crush is his high school senior Liz (Laura Harrier). However, it is Zendaya whose character stays with you despite limited screen timing. Not fully explored, looks like Watts is saving her for the sequel.
The new Young-Adult spinoff of Marvel tries its best to feed away from the classic comic hero. There is a moment where the iconic mid-air kiss is expected, but instead, the gawky Spidey falls down leaving the audience with a chuckle. There is no Uncle Ben but instead a Tony Stark, whose persona is well, not as advisable around kids anyway.
The films feel like a typical Marvel ride at moments, with basic scripts mixed with relatable moments and emotions. Overall, the Universe has successfully sent its message that this kid isn’t quite super — he’s just like you.
It’s refreshing to see a character as mythical as Spider-Man portrayed in such a user-friendly, sanded-down, grounded way. This one deserves a watch for its fresh take on the web-spinning hero and for a re-visit to your high school days.
PS: There are two post-credits scenes in the film, one promising a sequel and other, well, teaching you patience. Also, there are enough surprises in the film, connecting it with the rest of Marvel Universe. Really hilarious bits.