You’d think Marvel would tire its own superheroes out after nearly twenty films of their cinematic universe. However, we have to give the studio and Disney credit, for managing to evolve with the trend and the times. Many thought it would be impossible to make a serious superhero film after Deadpool poked fun at them all, but Logan, Wonder Woman, and now Spider-Man: Homecoming have proved us wrong. And yes, there is yet another Spider-Man reboot; this is the third one in a decade, but perhaps the one we’d all been waiting for.
Spider-Man: Homecoming settles into Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) life in high school as he juggles his superhero urges. After appearing in Captain America: Civil War we see Peter Parker sidelined by his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and he’s forced to fight small-time crime in his neighborhood of Queens. However, when a new villain named “The Vulture” (Michael Keaton) turns up, using technology stolen from the defeated alien invaders from the first Avengersmovie, Peter Parker is forced to don his web-slinger identity.
The biggest difference with Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, compared to the other adaptations with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, is that the creators aren’t rushing Peter out of high school so that they can make an “adult” superhero movie. Director Jon Watts, embraces the high school setting and makes the experience all the better for the audience. We’re given a heavily influenced John Hughes narrative with a spice of Marvel superhero every now and then. The move to give Peter a time to enjoy his adolescence is a smart one since the high school movie genre has been left fairly untouched since the 90s; we’re only now seeing a resurgence with this film and the great 2016 film The Edge of Seventeen.
The film’s light-heartedness is it’s greatest strength, but it is also able to dabble in the darker aspects of its story with the casting of Michael Keaton as the villain, perhaps the most enjoyable Marvel villain since Tom Hiddleston’s Loki in The Avengers. And I enjoyed how the film wasn’t so focused on continuing to build the Marvel cinematic universe as to borrow elements from its previous films and make an enjoyable stand-alone film.
The film doesn’t play as something out of the ordinary. It is a typical superhero film, with the redundant fights and big boss showdown at the end. That’s not to say that the film was very predictable, as far as blockbusters go these days I was pleasantly surprised more than once.
However, I don’t want to mislead my readers into thinking that this is on par with The Dark Knight, it is an entertaining superhero flick. Audiences today have seen too many superhero films to be surprised with any action sequences or visual effects here. Nevertheless, the high school perspective and a charismatic performance from the young cast are enough to lend this new Spider-Man reboot a very refreshing lens.