This past Saturday I was able to see a pre-screening of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Then, last night, I was able to see it again but this time with friends. My verdict remains the same — Spider-Man: Homecoming is a ton of fun to watch! It’s light-hearted with a solid storyline and families will want to see it again and again. This is the witty and quirky “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” from the comics that we’ve been waiting for. My inner fangirl was jumping for joy!
Spider-Man: Homecoming Movie Review
Filmmakers decided not to make this an origin story and that was a great decision. They did make reference to how he got his powers but didn’t draw it out. Most people already know about he got bitten by a spider and about how his uncle died. Instead, you see the struggles of Peter Parker being an awkward but brainy 15-year-old with super strength, agility, and able to climb walls. He wants to do more but is young and often makes faulty decisions. He’s also a good kid who wants to do right by his aunt, his friend, his mentor, and everyone else in his neighborhood. And, even though I knew the plot for most of the movie already, there were some major surprises. Spider-Man: Homecoming will keep your toes! FYI, you’ll want to stay until the VERY end of the credits for a second stinger clip.
There’s minimal swearing, no innuendo, and the fight scenes are not gory or exaggerated. In fact, Peter seems very much in touch with the fact that he’s dealing with real people and that there are consequences to his actions. Children ages 8 and up who like superhero movies will probably be fine. But, the film is rated PG-13 so parents should use their own discretion.
At times, though, I felt like the timing was slightly off. There were moments in which the excitement and suspense would ramp up nicely, but then it never came to a climax. That meant some scenes fell kind flat in what should have been pivotal parts of the plot. Though most characters were well-developed, a few sections felt rushed or forced. When certain characters acted or thought the way they did, a couple times I wondered, “Where did that come from?” I’m guessing that a few things were cut due to time constraints. Maybe we’ll see those connecting bits when watching “deleted scenes” in the future Blu-ray or digital release.
Spider-Man: Homecoming — Cast of Characters
Spider-Man: Homecoming features a significantly younger cast than in previous versions. This works really well. The actors do a fantastic job of portraying awkward teens coping with the trials of high school life. It’s not that melodramatic, everyone is against you, angsty and scary environment. Nor is it a sugar-infused and musically-inclined one either. It’s your normal, going to school for five to seven periods a day kind of life with teachers, quizzes, secret handshakes, embarrassing hall passes, crushes, etc. Their interaction is realistic and many kids are portrayed as weird, clumsy, and nerdy. But, they’re okay with that. The film encourages young people to embrace their uniqueness and be comfortable in their own skin.
I enjoyed the makeshift family dynamic between Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and Happy (Jon Favreau). You can really feel the close bond he shares with each of these and these relationships keep him grounded. He also has that one best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon), who makes high school bearable. The way Peter and Ned play off each is hilarious!
Then, there’s the character of Michelle (Zendaya). Her role and comments seemed so random to me. But, according to my daughter and her teen friend, they totally got her humor and snarkiness. The film does leave room for her to grow in future films so we’ll see what happens then. What do I mean? Well, let’s just say that you need to listen very carefully to the nickname she refers to later on…
The main villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming is Vulture (Michael Keaton) and he’s pretty complex. Instead of being a purely evil person intent on doing bad things, he’s a multi-layered, blue-collar, working-class kind of guy. He values loyalty and family and, when someone does something good to him, he makes sure to return the favor. Sadly, he had some not so nice things happen and reacted out of desperation. That makes the fight against him even harder to come to grips with.
Spider-Man Homecoming — Other Reactions
During last night’s screening, I was able to bring a few people with me. I was so glad we invited the people we did because their reactions during the movie were awesome. I had almost as much fun watching them as I did while watching the movie! Here’s what they thought of the film. By the way, I was surprised by how well one of our friends expressed his views. Frans and I agree that he needs to quit his job and become a movie reviewer. 😛
Friend 1: I really liked it. It was definitely the best Spider-Man movie. Even though you had a little bit of a normal teenage movie, it did take it to the next level in terms of some of the decisions that he made.
Teen 1: I thought it was cool that the Spider-Man was actually my age. It was pretty realistic. People actually do act like that in high school.
Frans: I wouldn’t say it’s the best movie ever but it feels like, “Yes! Finally! A good Marvel movie again!”
Munchkin: I think the Spider-Man movie is a movie you have to see again.
Friend 2: I think this is one of the best Marvel movies. I think it was spontaneous and didn’t have to retell the origin story from the beginning. It was smart alecky, it was corny when it needed to be, it was fast-paced, and it just kept moving. The attitude of the movie was kind of like the personality that I would see in the comic books of Spider-Man. It was that wittiness, being clever, awkward, him trying to fix his mistakes, and stressful situations where he has to think and try to solve what he made in the first place. Him trying to think of ways to defeat the situation, I thought it was pretty cool. It’s a good setup for the next one. You can’t have everything in the first one. There’s got to be a nice setup and I really like the thought of a teenage Spider-Man. I think it was more realistic than the other ones.
If you like comic references and Easter Eggs, there are plenty in Spider-Man: Homecoming. You’ll hear a lot of name dropping and hints of signature actions, gadgets, codenames, and family ties. There are several nods to other Marvel movies and it all blends in seamlessly with Peter Parker’s world. I don’t want to spoil things for you but, when you pick these things out, you will be “geeking out” like my daughter did after seeing the film. 😀
Spider-Man Homecoming — What Families Should Know
Overall, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a refreshing addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It offers a completely different tone than other MCU movies that’s young, fresh, and easy to relate to. Given, it’s not a perfect movie. But, both long-time comic fans and casual viewers alike will leave the theater satisfied, with a smile, and anxiously asking when the next Spider-Man film will come out.
Check out my other Spidey coverage here:
- Set visit announcement
- Interview with Co-Producer Eric Hauserman Carroll
- Interview with actors Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon — So funny!
- New York Press Junket coverage
- Trip experience & sailing around New York on the Hudson River
- Spider-Man DIY outfit tutorial with printable spider template
- Interview with Producer Amy Pascal and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige (coming)
Spider-Man Homecoming will be in theaters on July 7, 2017!
- Visit the official website: http://www.spidermanhomecoming.com/
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I was invited on an all-expense paid media trip in honor of Spider-Man Homecoming from Marvel and Sony. All opinions are my own.