It was late Monday night two years ago when I read the official announcement that Spider-Man would be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe after years of being separated from his costumed comrades. About a year later I literally clicked my heels in joy when I saw him swing in at the end of the Captain America: Civil War trailer. And when I witnessed a whole theater laughing and cheering for Peter Parker during a time when he was starting to grate on the general audience, I felt unadulterated joy. But all of that would be for nought if this newest outing, Spider-Man: Homecoming, did not work. This is more of a risk than Sony or Marvel may admit, but if it is properly executed than a whole new generation will fall in love with the webbed wonder. And if my experience with this movie is any indicator for everyone else, then I think it is safe to say that we have a new classic superhero film on our hands.
Spider-Man: Homecoming follows Peter Parker after he lent a hand to Iron Man during the events of Civil War. Though he is keeping busy stopping crime in Queens, he is waiting in anticipation for another opportunity to prove himself to Tony Stark in a similar style event. Par for the character of Stark, he leaves Happy in charge while the Spider-Man gets impatient with the lack of communication. But an opportunity suddenly arises when he runs into a gang of arms dealers using high tech weapons to terrorize the city led by the Vulture. Will Peter be able to stop them or is he doomed to a life on the sidelines?
I’m just gonna quickly get the major flaw of this film out of the way: Spider-Man Homecoming is a great experience but you need to have seen Captain America: Civil War to have an understanding for the movie’s set up. Don’t get me wrong when I take issue with the interconnected universe as it is what makes these movies so much fun to watch. Heck, what makes Spider-Man so entertaining in general how he is a major player to each corner of the Marvel Universe. Some days he is with Doctor Strange to fight demon drug dealers in the Bronx while others see him with the the Fantastic Four to stop Galactus from eating Earth. As fun as that is, there are better ways of showing your world off that doesn’t get in the way of storytelling. A great example of this is with the new King Kong movie, Kong: Skull Island, where each of the plot points can be understood in the context of the film you are watching rather than in context of a larger whole. Everything is explained in the moment rather than relying on the audience to have a clue what is going on when some of them haven’t caught up with all of the MCU films. Without giving away any spoilers, all I will say is that the best parts of Spider-Man: Homecoming come later when it goes off on its own to entertain the audience without worrying about the initial set up from Captain America: Civil War.
Spider-Man: Homecoming did so much right that I’m not sure I can count up everything in a shorter review (so look out for a spoiler review soon). As a long time Spider-Man fan, particularly Ultimate Spider-Man, I can say that this is the most accurate movie we’ve gotten to the modern comics. There were changes, of course, but each of them felt natural to the type of story they wanted to tell. One in particular was rather clever and I admit that I didn’t see it coming at all. Without giving it away, it felt like a nice nod to the original Raimi films while adding its own flare. In all honesty, that is probably the best way to describe Homecoming: familiar but with a it’s own spin on things to make it more than just another story where Peter feels guilty about being a superhero and tries to get the girl. There is just so much fun to be had.
There is so much more I could talk about but I don’t want to spoil the adventure (so check out my spoiler filled review when that comes out). If you like superhero movies than you need to give Spider-Man: Homecoming a shot. The villain was great, the characters were hilarious and memorable while the action got a great chance to breathe without being overbearing. Yes it sucks that the continuing story of the MCU got in the way of letting it be self contained but don’t let that get you down. Go see this film as soon as you can to support your friendly neighborhood Webhead. What do you think? Start commenting and get a conversation going. I’ve been Superguy and you’ve been spectacular.