WARNING: There are Spoilers for Spider-Man Homecoming in this article.
It’s good to be home!
Since Sony announced that they were ceding creative control of their most important intellectual property and tentpole in Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, people were cautiously optimistic. In 2017, people are just tired of reboots and considering that the character of Spider-Man was already rebooted once this decade, it seemed like there was a lot going against this new version of Spidey. Luckily for fans of the character, the MCU killed it with the introduction of Spider-Man in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. In a limited amount of screen time, they showed that their version of Spider-Man was fresh and worth watching when his solo film was released. That film came out this weekend and the word is that the MCU, once again, knocked it out of the park.
As of the writing of this article, Homecoming is sitting at 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. Wonder Woman, a film that has been celebrated like one of the better comic book movies of all time, sits at 92% for point of reference. So, what are critics saying about Homecoming? Matthew Lickona of the San Diego Reader said, in regard to the film and the odds stacked against it…
“What are the odds that a film with six credited screenwriters and a director (Jon Watts) with more Onion content than anything else could recapture the youthful thrill of superhero movies in general and the youthful appeal of Spider-Man in particular?”
Kevin A. Ranson also adds to this narrative by saying:
“Can the MCU breathe new life into an beaten-down and bloated spider? … yes, true believers! Tom Holland is Spider-Man… Keaton does for the Vulture what Molina did for Doc Ock – ’nuff said.”
One thing that distinguishes Homecoming from other MCU properties and elevates the film, in general, is the performance of Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture. As Ranson mentions, Keaton brings a performance that reminds people of what Alfred Molina did for Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 (which is widely considered one of the best comic book films of all time). If there’s one thing that you can knock the MCU for it’s the treatment of villains in their films. Bringing in a comic book movie veteran like Michael Keaton showed that they were really going for it and perhaps changing their focus from mostly hero-based stories to stories that also focus on the villain.
A lot of the reviews for Homecoming state that Keaton’s Vulture is a sympathetic villain. Meaning that while he’s a “bad guy”, he’s also very relatable. That’s going to be really important as the sequels build towards (SPOILER ALERT!!!!!) The Sinister Six narrative that Sony was attempting to go for before they abandoned the Amazing Spider-Man universe. In the post-credit scene, Toomes goes as far as to protect Spider-Man’s secret identity as he feels obligated to protect Peter Parker for having saved the life of his daughter. So, while he’s most likely going to be the ring leader of the Sinister Six in 2019’s sequel to Homecoming, he’s also a very relatable villain, and that’s what has given Homecoming one of the highest Rotten Tomatoes rankings in MCU history.
Considering the fact that some of the characters in the MCU are nearing the end of their film contracts (Robert Downey Junior/Iron Man and Chris Evans/Captain America), it’s looking like Tom Holland/Spider-Man is going to be representing the MCU as the main character moving forward and become the de facto “Iron Man”. Considering how amazing this new version of Spider-Man is, it looks like they’re in good hands as this version of Spider-Man is the best that we’ve ever seen. Why? Because he’s found the balance that neither Tobey McGuire nor Andrew Garfield found between Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Tobey McGuire was an amazing Peter Parker (Ironically) but not a great Spider-Man, on the other hand, Andrew Garfield was a great Spider-Man but not the most believable Peter Parker. He was too good looking to be considered a nerd, even if he rocked glasses and a hipster old school camera. Tom Holland is as believable as Spider-Man as he is Peter Parker and that’s what makes him the best Spider-Man on film, ever! So, stop reading this and get out to your local cinema to catch Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend! Trust us, you won’t be disappointed. Even if you just read the above spoilers.