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Movie Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

by Matt Sernaker, Managing Editor

After five attempts to bring the Wall-Crawler to life on the big screen, you might be wondering if we truly need ANOTHER reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. The answer emphatically is YES! Peter Parker goes back to basics for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and fans will be excited to see the most comic-accurate representation of our web-slinging hero to date.
There is something about Spider-Man: Homecoming that is truly special. Director Jon Watts and the creative team at Marvel Studios have crafted a superhero story that not only breaks the mold, but discards it entirely for something new and original. As soon the Marvel logo comes on screen, fans will understand that this is going to be a very different take on Peter Parker. While we have seen the previous films attempt to capture the magic and charm of the comics, none of them have come this close to the defining essence of the character. Humor plays a key role in Spider-Man’s world, and it is pretty crazy to realize how little it was used in the previous installments. Between the situational humor and Peter’s non-stop quips, audiences will find themselves smiling for the duration of the film. 
So is this Peter’s film, or Tony Stark’s? Fear not True Believers, this is Spider-Man’s story without question. The trailers are extremely misleading about the amount of time Iron Man is in the film. Tony institutes a support structure (I.E. Happy Hogan) to help Peter navigate this dangerous new world, and thankfully, he does not fight Peter’s battles for him. With a bit of guidance, Peter must step up to the plate and prove that he is worthy of being a hero. 
Aside from the comedic elements of the movie, the overall character development for Peter and his supporting cast was quite impressive. Tom Holland (Captain America: Civil War) provides the perfect balance between Peter and Spider-Man’s dueling personas. Peter adds a great new foil to the existing characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I can’t wait to see his future interactions. Robert Downey Jr. (Marvel’s The Avengers) returns as the fan-favorite Iron Man, helping to guide our young hero and providing him with new tools to save lives. It was interesting to see how Tony’s character was affected by the events of Civil War, and you can tell that Iron Man’s tone has changed from his last encounter with Steve Rogers. While certain characters played a larger role in the film than others, all of the people in Peter’s immediate circle got time to shine on screen (yes, even Flash Thompson). Jacob Batalon (North Woods) steals the spotlight as Ned Leeds, Peter’s best friend. While he is one of Spider-Man’s biggest supporters, he also has a big mouth that gets Peter into trouble. Zendaya (Shake It Up!) plays Michelle, a socially awkward member of Peter’s class that comes across as a bit of a lovable weirdo. Laura Harrier (One Life To Live) plays Liz, a Senior who Peter has fallen for. Liz was a great addition to the film, as she provided a new and interesting love interest for our hero. Jon Favreau (Iron Man) returns to the MCU at Happy Hogan, and his character is forced to act as Peter’s unofficial baby sister/liaison. Of all of the pairings that they could have done for this film, this one might be my favorite. Hogan has had very little screen time over the years, and I loved how he acted as a support component for Peter’s development. Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny) is Aunt May as you have never seen her before (well, aside from the cameo in Civil War). While a younger, cooler version of Aunt May might not have been high on our wish list, Tomei takes the character in new directions and ends up getting one of the best lines in the film. Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture was a phenomenal casting choice. We all know that Keaton has what it takes to play the hero (I.E. Batman), but his take on The Vulture is sure to go down as being one of the best super villain portrayals in any superhero genre film. Toomes is motivated, determined, and is going to make sure that he accomplishes his goal…regardless of the costs. I wouldn’t want to be locked in a room with this guy.
The original Spider-Man (2002) set the bar pretty high for the superhero genre (aside from the Green Goblin’s costume), and Spider-Man: Homecoming is sure to raise the bar to a whole new level. Every single aspect of this film (pacing, writing, special effects, and acting) has been meticulously crafted to ensure that Marvel was moving forward instead of dealing with the same pitfalls that previous incarnations have endured. Spider-Man has been a flagship franchise for Marvel Comics for years, and Homecoming is a perfect tribute to Peter Parker and his Spectacular/Sensational/Amazing world. 
Rating: ★★★★★
ComicsOnline gives Spider-Man: Homecoming – 5 out of 5 web-shooters.
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About Matt Sernaker

(Managing Editor/Director of Media Relations) Matt interviewed MacGyver once (true story), and was invited on a submarine to the Arctic. It hasn't happened yet, but Matt hopes that some day he will get the call and he and Richard Dean Anderson will go off and have a wacky adventure.

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