The Marvel logo flashes onto the screen after 20 minutes of trailers and ads in the cinema – pretty standard. It takes 30 seconds of intro to say ‘Look; you know what you’re in for by now’ and accompanying it is an epic, orchestral rendition of the Spiderman theme. Suddenly I’m 12 years old again and so ready for this movie!
Finally, Peter Parker has come home to where he belongs – in the hands of reliable filmmakers.
Previously a Sony exclusive property, someone there realised that Marvel is nailing every hero they portray, even Dr Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy and thought to themselves; ‘Ok let’s make a deal’. Now, after a brief cameo in Civil War, we are given yet another new reboot of the Spiderman series, and somehow this instalment could be the best so far, or at least on par with the almost flawless Sam Raimi 2004 iteration; Spiderman 2.
Tom Holland plays the web-slinging, awkwardly lovable nerd we’ve all come to know by now as the ‘friendly neighbourhood Spiderman’. He is still in the honeymoon phase of previously fighting with the Avengers and is obsessed with doing it again. However living in Queens NY with his Aunt May and under the strict tutelage of Tony Stark, he is feeling suffocated and unable to balance the life of a hero with the life of a high school student, dealing with all the tribulations of being a teenager – like passing classes and finding a date to homecoming prom, all while waiting for his call-up to the big league and patience is not his strong suit.
This is the most successful genre film that I have seen in 2017 so far. Relative newcomer director, Jon Watts, may as well be John Hughes, as Homecoming has all the hallmarks of a classic ’80s coming of age story, like Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day off but feels modern, fresh and relevant.
There’s time to flesh out characters, so everyone is valued and crucial to the plot like best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) who’s almost a scene-stealer, or Liz (Laura Harrier) the love interest, but perhaps the best is Michael Keaton’s Vulture, who would have to be in the top 3 best Marvel movie villains. Iron Man plays more of a mentor role so he doesn’t need to carry the plot, which is good because Tom Holland nails Spidey and should be applauded for holding his own acting alongside superstars and for a solid performance that makes us want more.
Once again Marvel Studios has crafted a unique and idiosyncratic tone for their standalone stories, like Ant-man as a heist film or Captain America; The Winter Soldier as a spy thriller, Spiderman: Homecoming is a high school drama that happens to star a superhero and the story remains grounded, realistic and what they lack in the bombast of blowing up cities, is made up for hearty character development and a narrative with gravitas – and not bloating themselves trying to sell more sequels. By this film being good we want more, and that’s the way it should work.