To say Marvel has had an impressive run thus far with their MCU would be a great understatement; their careful plotting and planning of their universe will stand as a blueprint to others attempting the same feat (take note DC!). So, when it was announced that they would be adding their most famous face to the MCU lineup, of course I was excited, but cautious. After all, this would be the third incarnation of a character who all but ushered in the current era of superhero films. Yet all of my worries were quickly brushed aside, the moment Spider-Man entered the fight in Captain America: Civil War. It seemed that Marvel had been able to fully capture what Sony had not been able to do on their own. So when Spider-Man: Homecoming was announced, I was pretty sure that they had a hit on their hands. I was not disappointed.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is a rare find, a movie that works well on two fronts: both as a teen coming of age comedy and a superhero story. The film (which is the first Marvel introduction to a character which does not contain an origin story) actually starts off right after the first Avengers movie (for reasons which will become quite obvious) and then shoots eight years forward to the events of Civil War before settling down and giving us the main story.
We are introduced formally to Peter Parker, who is having withdrawal from his experience with The Avengers. He is waiting for his chance to join the group as a full-fledged member. While he is waiting, he is doing his best to help out his neighborhood and be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that we all are accustomed to, all the while adjusting to normal high school life and problems. Eventually, he stumbles upon a bigger conspiracy at play, and attempts to stop it, whether advisable or not. In the interest of no spoilers, I will say that the rest of the film deals with Spider-Man coming to grips with the responsibility of trying to protect his city and those he loves, while not losing who is at his core.
Hands down, this is one of Marvel’s best films to date. It is easily as funny if not funnier than Guardians, while at the same time deftly balancing great action sequences. Tom Holland captures Peter Parker’s curiosity and ambition perfectly. Marissa Tomei is quite strong as a much younger incarnation of Aunt May that everyone seems to be attracted to. While Michael Keaton is incredibly effective as the Vulture (not that they ever call him that in the film) and shines, especially in his scenes towards the end. The supporting cast is quite good as well, Laura Harrier does well as the love interest Liz, while Zendaya plays the sarcastic “Michelle” in convincing fashion. One of the real standouts of the supporting cast is Jacob Batalon as Peter Parker’s best friend Ned, who provides much of the comic relief throughout the film, as well as serving as Peter’s right hand man.
Spider-Man: Homecoming does something that the earlier incarnations do not. It finally captures the difficulty of fitting in. Peter Parker is attempting to find his place in the world. Whether that is with the girl of his dreams or with the Avengers remains to be seen, but having him as a high school sophomore as opposed to an adult seems far more accessible. The movie is aptly named, because it seems like Spider-Man has finally found its home in the MCU.
And yes, there are two credit stingers. The first is setting something up, and the second, well, I’ll let the second speak for itself; just be patient.