I spy a Spider.
*Contains some small spoilers*
I gave myself a few days to write this review as I wanted the time to process it and to be sure I wasn’t simply being swept away in the hype machine that surrounds this release. I’m pleased to say that after careful consideration I’ve decided that my initial reaction still stands. This is my favourite Spiderman movie so far and it also rates as one of the top Marvel films to date too.
Tom Holland plays the role fantastically. His charisma and comic timing, mixed with his cockiness and naivety works well. All the supporting characters perform adequately, Jacob Batalon who plays Peters best friend, provides some laughs. Robert Downey Jr. doesn’t over stay his welcome and highjack the movie as his own, as the trailers were suggesting. Michael Keaton is a solid villain as Vulture who has a genuine motive for his actions which is something that seems to lack in Marvel movies, however he is a little under developed. Also, the relationship between Tony Stark and Peters Aunt May (played by Marisa Tomei) which is teased in CIVIL WAR could have developed into an interesting side story but sadly doesn’t come to any fruition.
The films style fits perfectly with the high school scene and is brimming with charm and playfulness. This is also the most Marvel film ever released with many references to the rest of the MCU. It cleverly uses the aftermath from the first Avengers fight as the main driving force for the story and it works well. Marvel also wisely chooses to skip the origin story, deciding to focus on Peters struggles between school life, ‘superheroing’ and learning to control the abilities given to him through the controversial new suit.
I say controversial as the suit is incredibly tech heavy and is a brand new addition to the Spiderman ethos (at least within the film universe) It’s dangerously close to Iron-Mans armour and even features its own A.I. Some people like this new addition, some people don’t. I personally felt it took away from what Spiderman was about and we are robbed of the natural abilities Peter should be demonstrating.
The special effects are what you’ve come to expect from a marvel production, generally great with a few issues with the human movement animation. This has become somewhat of a annoyance for me over the past few superhero films. (Doctor Strange, Wonder Woman) However there are some large scale events that look fantastic and the smaller skirmishes Peter encounters early on are great. One scene however, towards the end of the film is a bit of an eyesore. Setting the scene at night with components of a half invisible plane exploding with sparks flying everywhere renders the fight between Spiderman and Vulture a bit too incoherent for the eyes to follow.
One of my other issues is there‘s no real tension in this movie. There‘s no life–or– death threat. It’s an issue that was inevitable for his first outing. We all KNOW he‘ll be in the next Avengers film, We all KNOW he‘s filming at least a couple more solo Spidey adventures so we all KNOW he ain’t dying in this film. Also, all his supporting characters are still being developed and so killing any of them off would have been pointless. He seems to be indestructable and without knowing exactly where his limits are, you never really worry for his well-being. (even in the fakeout death scene.)
Overall Tom Hollands first full solo outing is a success, it has a playful, innocent and colorful feel to it and it certainly stands out from the other Marvel movies while feeling very much connected. I was entertained from start to finish and I left pretty damn satisfied. Future spidey films have to heighten the tension, and character development must be a priority but as a launch pad for a new addition to the MCU it works well. HOMECOMING finally brings Peter Parker home to the MCU where he belongs and I‘m excited to see where he swings to from here.
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