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DEFCON 1 Reviews: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’

The ups, the downs, and the web that narrowly saved the Spider-Man franchise

Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios

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(Spoiler Free)

Who’s the New Kid?

A new, young, and fresh scarlet spider is fighting crime in New York, and he’s not the most qualified for the job. Still, as the quick witted, immature, kind hearted, pre-pubescent web slinger hit the big screen for the second time, he transformed the Spider-Man franchise into something more than a superhero romp.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a youthful new take on an age old character. Unlike Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man series, this Peter Parker struggles with the issues of not being an adult. After his brief but meaningful appearance in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is anxious to join Tony Stark and the Avengers again. Unfortunately, they aren’t exactly recruiting. Still, his pure heart has led him to do what’s right in his city as a… friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. So, when Peter discovers a ring of weapons dealers selling alien technology on the streets of New York, he goes after them without a second thought. Peter has no idea what he’s gotten himself into, however, and as the plot unfolds, he must face one of his most formidable adversaries: the Vulture.

A Hero’s Hero

When Spider-Man: Homecoming first hit theaters, its close relationship with the Iron Man franchise was one of the film’s most anticipated qualities. I was surprised, however, by the fact that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) didn’t overpower Peter Parker’s role in the movie.

Tony Stark, who engineered Peter’s new suit, is trying to do good through his protégé, but the protégé is a freshman in high school. Following instructions isn’t his superpower. The strange chemistry between the overwhelmed teenager and the egotistical billionaire was surprisingly fantastic to watch. Stark’s hard learned life lessons giving Peter a rude awakening about how the world works blended humor and heroics in a nearly perfect way.

The Tie In

To Marvel Comics fans, Iron Man’s engineering of the new Spider-Man suit made it obvious that the new franchise was using the “Iron Spider” storyline. To those who aren’t, the suit was still pretty sick. Spider-Man: Homecoming wins points with me for tying a fan-favorite Spider-Man storyline into the cinematic universe in a way that didn’t confuse casual viewers.

Underoos!

The greatest part of Spider-Man: Homecoming was Tom Holland’s performance. He played Peter Parker flawlessly as a dorky, baby-voiced freshman whose superhero gig was more of an internship. He was funny, smart and truly just a kid, which made the lessons he learned all the more powerful.

His misplaced optimism after battling half of the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War reminded me of what most high school students have to face when they first start off; before they realize what they have to accept to move forward. Tom Holland created a Spider-Man that was more than a hero: he was a human being.

Zendaya!

Pft, I’m just kidding there shouldn’t be an exclamation point behind that. It’s not that Zendaya didn’t perform well. It’s just a shame that Jon Watts, the director, didn’t let her perform. Hype regarding her role in this blockbuster was intense, but she didn’t get enough overall screen time to make a true impression on us. The stakes were also very high as to whether or not she would be playing Peter Parker’s love interest. This article is spoiler free, so I won’t tell you if it’s true or not, but she definitely acted her part well. I know I’m not the only Spider-Man fan who’s looking forward to her playing a bigger role in the coming films. It was also very interesting to see that the directors created a Peter Parker who is attracted to black girls. That small but important part of Spider-Man: Homecoming was certainly a whisper of social commentary.

Shortcomings

Spider-Man: Homecoming, despite being a fun movie to watch, did have its slow moments. At certain points it felt like Tom Holland was exaggerating Peter Parker’s immaturity. He seemed to overact at certain points, and the same can be said for Jacob Batalon, who played Peter’s best friend, Ned Leeds.

The beginning of Spider-Man Homecoming was also difficult to understand for those who hadn’t previously seen Captain America: Civil War. This issue is common among the Marvel Cinematic Universe, primarily because virtually all of its movies are franchised.

The Wrap-Up

Spider-Man: Homecoming was a great movie. I hold Spider-Man movies to a very high standard, especially after Andrew Garfield’s ‘amazing’ performance (hehehe). Still, this Spider-Man blockbuster was in a league of its own. It was new, fun, and relevant in almost every way necessary. The acting was solid, the action was spectacular, and the humor was amazing. Despite a few hiccups here and there, Spider-Man: Homecoming was a great movie, on both the superhero and cinematic scale.

I see a bright future in Tom Holland’s Spidey career, and as he enters the Avengers franchise I hope this Homecoming king can continue to graduate to better things.

VERY GOOD

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