Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laura Harrier, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Donald Glover, Jon Faverau, Logan Marshall Green, Tyne Daly, Abraham Attah, Hannibal Buress, Selenis Leyva, Kenneth Choi, Martin Starr, Angourie Rice, Garcelle Beauvais, Michael Barberi, Michael Chernus, Chris Evans
Directed By: Jon Watts
Plot: After helping Iron Man (Downey Jr) fight Captain America, Peter Parker (Holland) believes he is destined for great things. He’s just waiting for that moment when Tony names him an official Avenger. But, that moment seemingly isn’t coming, and Spider-Man spends his days stopping people from stealing bikes, and helping lost old ladies. Then, he stumbles across some bank robbers using advance technology, which leads him to Adrian Toomes (Keaton), aka The Vulture. Iron Man tells him there are people who handle this sort of thing and for him to let it go, but Peter can’t just let it go. Is he in over his head?
What Works: This is hands down my new favorite Spider-Man film. There’s honestly nothing I didn’t like about this film. Honestly, the “What Doesn’t Work” section is going to be blank. I thought Tom Holland was great, giving us a completely different take than either Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield, and a much more boyish/childish version of the hero. Michael Keaton is excellent as The Vulture, in a brilliant reinvention of the comic character. He feels like an everyday kind of villain, with everyday problems that you can really relate to. In fact, I’d say he’s a “good guy villain”, in that what he believes he’s doing is good, and he’s inherently a good person deep down. He’s providing for his family the only way the system will now let him provide. He’s a man pushed to the edge, who makes a choice you may not make, but can still somewhat understand. I liked that they didn’t overuse Iron Man, and let Spidey mostly stand on his own. I love that Aunt May is a normal person, and not an old lady who spends all her time cooking and cleaning. I love that there’s a love interest (Harrier) that distracts us from a more long-term prospect (Zendaya). I love that the best friend, Ned (Batalon) seems destined to be just a best friend, instead of a sidekick like War Machine or Falcon. He doesn’t seem like the costume donning crimefighter type. I love that they went a different way with Flash (Revolori), making him more of an intellectual rival than a physical rival. I love the brief pop up of Paltrow, reminding people she’s still in the MCU. I love Donald Glover’s character, Aaron Davis, and how it tips the hat to Miles Morales and his presence in the MCU, and I wonder if Aaron will be a recurring character throughout the Spidey-verse. I love that Happy (Faverau) is back, and has a bit more to do here than usual. I loved seeing Abraham Atta (Beasts Of No Nation) and Michael Barberi (Little Men) pop up in tiny roles. I like how they totally threw Shocker in here, very under the radar with not a lot of hype or press. I love that the film balances itself perfectly from action sequence to action sequence with downtime and Peter’s personal exploration and journey in High School. The film isn’t a drama bookended by two big action set pieces, rather the action is throughout the film, so the film never really slows or loses its pacing. I’ve honestly been trying to think of something I didn’t like, and I can’t find anything. I think some people won’t like it, because of the high school moments in the film, or because they’re racist assholes, but there will be haters. I’m just not one of them.
What Doesn’t Work: Blank. Leaving this blank.
Final Word: After three excellent comic adaptations this year, I didn’t think Spider-Man Homecoming could get any better. I was wrong. This has been a great year for comic fans with Logan, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, and Wonder Woman all being exceptionally good. Spider-Man Homecoming is pretty damn perfect for me. I might find something wrong on a second viewing, but right now, I’ve got nothing. Loved it.
Final Grade: A