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July 11, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming Weaves a Near-Perfect Web

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Written by: Luis Correa
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I went into the screening of Spider-Man: Homecoming with a lot of hope and some trepidation. I wasn’t an entirely huge fan of the previous movies for a lot of different reasons. The trailers, the casting, the constant reminders of Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man being in the new movie left me wondering if this would just be Iron Man 4: Tony Stark makes sexual remarks at Pete’s aunt and Spider-Man does some stuff. Boy, was I completely wrong about all of that and so much more.

The entire movie felt like Sony/Marvel finally found the right stride for it’s cinematic telling of the timeless Spider-Man tales. One of the things I enjoyed the most was that instead of rehashing his origin (again) or pushing him through high school and right into adulthood, we have a 15-year old Peter Parker who is already Spider-Man and is more eager to be a hero than possibly anything else. I really enjoyed his lack of experience in dealing with even low-level crime, and that he was unable to stick some of his landings. It was honestly a treat to just see such an inexperienced hero portrayed in such a way and Tom Holland (Spider-Man) brought a level of naivete to the role that made you want to believe he was really a teen. His ability to keep his youthful tone throughout the movie while injecting the appropriate levels of anguish and struggle made this iteration of Spider-Man a lot more believable.  

Director Jon Watts made the movie rich in colors and design concepts. The entire movie has a more robust look than previous versions, and the city actually looked lived in and vibrant to the eye. The movie focuses on not just Peter Parker but also the world around him. You don’t just get the young hero but also a diverse cast that both supports the hero and participates in ways that helps to develop the character within the confines of the movie. His student peers are more than one dimensional characters. The supporting cast represents an accurate representation of Queens. Not only that, but Peter Parker did not feel out of place living there. His playful interactions, his brief use of Spanish, all showed a young, educated man living in a diverse area of New York.

Like all Marvel movies, Homecoming is peppered with both obvious and not so obvious nods to the Spider-Man universe. This includes big things like other villains, grandchildren of well-known heroes and a nod to the other well-known Spider-Man and his relatives. A person could spend a lot of time just pointing out the little things Sony/Marvel included in this movie.  

The talented Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds.

The talented Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds.

Going back to Iron Man, the inclusion of Tony Stark mentoring a young Peter Parker is done very well with his limited inclusion in the story. He showed up in what would amount to less than five minutes of the overall movie and might have had less time than his assistant Happy Hogan. For the most part, Peter Parker had ample enough personal and professional obstacles to deal with day-to-day. Nothing seems rushed through with the story, and instead it left us with a way to grow with him. Peter spends more time dreaming about being a big hero while the world and people around him try to keep him focused and moving forward in his normal life.

One really important character is Ned (an amazing Jacob Batalon), Peter’s best friend who eventually becomes his full time confidant. This is the type of best friend that you build LEGO Death Stars with. Batalon’s comedic timing is spot on and he was just enough of a participant in the movie to not wear out his welcome. His jokes, comments and quips were spot on and humorous. He was definitely a delight to see and so was Michelle (played by Zendaya) whom seemed to appear at the best moments to do something awkward that left the audience in stitches.

In wrapping up this non-spoiler, dodgy and toe dancing review — I definitely think this movie was incredible and for once I found it incredibly hard to pick out flaws that I felt were large enough to even mention. I’m sure some of my co-workers here at Nerd Caliber would have something more to add to this discussion (when they see it) but I’d also love to hear opinions on it if anyone reading this article wants to comment below.  

Spider-Man: Homecoming (Sony, Marvel Studios) PG-13 – 4.5 out of 5.

Michael Keaton rocks as Birdman ... err, The Vulture.

Michael Keaton rocks as Birdman … err, The Vulture.



About the Author

Luis Correa





 
 

 
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