That moment in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War (CA:CW) trailer, marked Spidey’s return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
As the events unfolded in CA:CW, Spidey stole the show. The one moment stood out for me in the movie was the one where Captain America smiles after taking on Spiderman, looks on at him struggling to hold up a large airline container and says, “You’ve got heart kid!”
And in this movie, that’s what matters most. Spiderman: Homecoming is all heart and it’s all Marvel.
The film takes the best of what makes MCU work, the best from comics and the original Raimi/Maguire movies and capitalizes on it to make you forget the overblown disasters that was Amazing Spiderman (1 and 2).
Summing up the plot quickly, Homecoming goes time hopping – starting from the Chitauri invasion (from The Avengers), to the events of Civil War and then to Peter Parker’s adventures two months later. Peter Parker spends much of the first act coming to terms with his “Stark Internship”, defining his ‘friendly neighborhood Spiderman’ status and being a teenager trying to figure out academic decathlons, high school parties, life, girls, and such.
But as events unfold we realize that there are bigger threats at play here. Michaeal Keaton’s Vulture is selling high-grade weapons salvaged and retrofitted from alien (Chitauri) technology and no one seems to be taking Peter Parker seriously on the seriousness of the threat. Events then unfold with hilarious American sub-urban chases, showdowns and the Staten Island Ferry sequence that we’ve seen in the trailers. The plot is tight, flows well and has the right pay-offs.
Tom Holland’s turn as Spiderman, is the best to hit the screen to date, there is no doubt about that. Holland hits the right notes for both Peter Parker and Spiderman.
Michael Keaton is the other highlight of the movie. His core character represents the aggrieved 99% – a working-class hero with responsibilities, who gets screwed over by the system. Only, this time, Keaton’s Vulture decides to hit back and game the system secretly to get his dues.
Keaton in both dignified and extremely menacing, and without revealing too much, it’s this balance of both traits that creates the most awkward and tense sequence in the film’s third act. It’s also what makes Keaton one the best Spidey villains to hit the screen, at the same level, if not better, than Alfred Molina’s turn as Doctor Octopus in 2004’s Spiderman 2.
Robert Downey Jr. is, as usual, brilliant in his supporting role as Tony Stark. What makes it more than a glorified cameo this time is that we get to see a side of Tony that we haven’t seen before – and it works.
Spiderman: Homecoming is a great movie because at many levels, it delivers the ‘homecoming’ audiences have been looking for. It is a good and proper ‘Homecoming’ for Spiderman to the MCU, for Peter Parker to his character’s comic book roots – and in some ways (you’ll see!) for Tony Stark as well.
If I hadn’t been bound by my age, and therefore nostalgia, I probably would have said this is the best Spiderman movie ever – but I won’t. It has its flaws, as it is ought to, with some unnecessary villain additions, an annoying turn for Happy Hogan and a wasted role for Donald Glover.
But is Homecoming one of MCU’s best, most fun movies? Yes, definitely.
Spidey’s home people. Rejoice!
Aniruddho Chakraborty is a brand and marketing professional by day and an award nominated comic book writer/colorist by night. The former pays the monthly bills and sometimes funds cash flows for his comic book label Chariot Comics. Over five years of Chariot Comics’ existence, he has created titles like VRICA and Damned and worked with Luminosity Pictures and Luke Kenny, for the comic book prequel to the movie “Zombie Rising”. He has worked with multiple independent comic book houses as well.