“Spider-Man: Homecoming”: Super Fun, but Slightly Lacking

spider man homecoming

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is directed by Jon Watts and stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Jacob Batalon, and Marisa Tomei.  The film is about Peter Parker returning back to his old life after the events of “Captain America: Civil War” and attempting to prove to Tony Stark, as well as himself, just how powerful he can be, all while trying to survive the troubles of high school.

I was very excited to see this movie, as I absolutely loved Tom Holland’s performance back in “Civil War”, and with this property back in Marvel’s hands, as well as the dynamic between him and Tony Stark that was promised in the trailers, I came in hoping to see quite possibly the best Spider-Man movie to date.

The Good

Tom Holland once again proves himself as not only a capable Peter Parker, but the best Peter Parker that this hero has ever seen.  Holland perfectly encapsulates the innocence and youth that makes this character such a unique one, and I think he does it in a way that is an absolute treat to watch.  Jon Watts does a terrific job with making Peter Parker more of a kid without him becoming annoying, and it is Holland who steals the show in almost every single scene he is in.

Holland isn’t alone, though, as Robert Downey Jr. gives a fantastic supporting performance here.  Iron Man’s dynamic with Spider-Man is one that I truly loved, as they show both the charm and wit of the actors, but they also show the hopes and aspirations that not only Parker has for himself, but also what Tony Stark is hoping to see out of him, and I found the scenes where Holland and Downey Jr. shared the screen to be my favorite moments in the film.

He took a bit to grow on me, but I also quite enjoyed Michael Keaton’s performance as the Vulture.  His character is one that is a bit clichéd, sure, but there’s an added element to his character that I ended up really liking, and Keaton, of course, makes this character come to life with a certain charm and talent that few others in Hollywood could really do.

This movie has a much more laid back, fun approach than even the most entertaining of Marvel movies, and I found this change of pace to be a very welcome one considering the innocence and youth that Spider-Man brings to the superhero tropes.  The comedy fits this style as well, with most of the attempts at humor being very sharp, and they had me laughing quite often at even the smallest of jokes.  This is a lot in thanks to Holland, who really exceeds all expectations that I had for him, as he is just a joy to watch in both the suit and out of it.

The second half of this movie is really where the film gets its footing, as some big story elements come into play, along with some terrific action moments that amp up the tension.  The action is great, but I found the tensest moment in the whole film to be one completely lacking action, and, without spoiling, this scene that takes place around a dance is one of the best moments of tension I have seen in a superhero movie in a very long time, and it had me on the edge of my seat for its duration.

The Bad

As fun as “Homecoming” can be a lot of the time, there are a few lapses in time, majorly in the opening half, that I found myself not really invested with what was going on.  This happens a lot with the scenes out of the suit, and even though I think that Holland is great in these moments, a lot of the kids in the high school are average at best, and pretty awful and totally boring at the worst.

Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned grew on me as the movie went on, but early in the film I really thought his comedy fell flat, and it took a while for me to care about him as a character.  Laura Harrier is pretty bland as Liz, but it is Tony Revolori who I could not stand in this film.  Revolori, who I have fallen in love with in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” as well as “Dope” is just not funny at all here, and he comes off as a character that is very unnecessary and too over the top for his own good, and it really made me sad to see such a great young actor struggle so hard in this film.

Jon Watts also overstuffs characters in this movie from time to time, specifically with those like Donald Glover’s minuscule role.  Glover, who I love to death, is great here, but he only has about two minutes to do anything, and it makes his character seem as if it could have been totally written out.  Marisa Tomei is also very underutilized here, as is Hannibal Burress, and though these are all fine performances, taking out a few of these total throwaway roles to give the more important characters some time to shine would have been a welcome adjustment to the story.

Conclusion

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is a fun, easygoing, and vastly entertaining film that is a mostly welcome changeup for the Marvel universe.  Tom Holland is tremendous, as is his chemistry with Robert Downey Jr., and this is a film with plenty of highlight moments, loads of great comedy, and a lot of solid action.  This is a very fun film, but also one that never quite hit the heights that I wanted it too, as it often feels overstuffed and goes through a few lulls before it really gets going.  Still, “Homecoming” is a tremendously fun time and one that will make Spider-Man fans excited for the future of this beloved character.

Badge-7.5

Get tickets and showtimes for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” here

What did you think of “Spider-Man: Homecoming”?  Comment below with your thoughts.


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