‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (2017, 12A)

Is this latest Spider-Man reboot web-tacular or a shaky start to the newest ‘Spider-Man’ franchise?

After the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War‘, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is left on a massive high after helping Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) as web-slinging Spider-Man. But after returning home and still under the watchful eye of Stark, Peter must face a new threat to his home — the Vulture (Michael Keaton). But can he sacrifice his life as a teenage high-flying academic, including long-lasting friendship with Ned (Jacob Batalon) and love for schoolmate Liz (Laura Harrier) for the good of the people, and to defeat Vulture?

‘Homecoming’ picks up right where ‘Civil War’ left of, with a quick montage of Peter’s video diary of the events setting the scene and bringing the viewer up-to-date with what’s going on. I liked this as we felt we knew exactly where we were with the character of Spider-Man and I could relate to him in this film just as well as in ‘Civil War’.

That’s something I’d like to talk about first — the character of Spider-Man, and Peter Parker, in this film. In the previous movie-incarnations of Spider-Man, the character has always seemed too serious, at least in my opinion, and didn’t seem to have that same childish humour that the original comic-book character had. That argument has been put to rest with ‘Homecoming’ and the new, Tom Holland Spider-Man as the character of Peter Parker and Spider-Man is much closer to the comic-book predecessor, creating a much more humorous, relatable and empathetic character.

The rest of the characters in ‘Homecoming’ were also very good, and I felt that the character of Tony Stark wasn’t overused at all, as I feared he would be watching the trailers. I would’ve liked to delve a bit further into Michael Keaton’s Vulture character, especially his emotions and psychopathic personality, something only described rather than displayed. I felt that, though he is given some exposition and back-story in the beginning, there were certain things would’ve done to drive the character in certain directions that didn’t occur in the film.

One thing ‘Homecoming’ does need to be given props for is the visual effects. The CGI in this was superb, as you’d expect from a Marvel movie, and though I felt at times it was a bit special-effects-heavy, it didn’t draw too much away from the central plot.

I think the main theme in this film is “looking out for the little guy” and that it’s about Peter Parker learning to realise that being a hero doesn’t mean being an Avenger and that he can make a difference on a smaller-scale both as Spider-Man and as himself. However, I felt the final climactic battle of ‘Homecoming’ drew away from this and turned into a special-effect-fuelled, jump-cutting, plane-crashing action sequence — as you’d expect from a Marvel movie. If this was Avengers or any other film where the motto is ‘bigger, bigger, bigger” than this would’ve been great — but ‘Homecoming’ isn’t about that, it’s about Peter Parker coming to terms with his split-life between being Peter and being Spider-Man. With this in mind, I would’ve preferred a slightly less special-effect fuelled, jump-cutting, plane-crashing climax — still action-packed, but on a smaller scale, away from bright lights and fuelled by emotion. I think the closest analogy I can think of is the lightsaber battle between Kylo Ren and Rey at the end of ‘The Force Awakens‘; in this, there’s no giant explosions, no thunderous setting, just two emotion fuelled people, battling it out.

Overall, I really enjoyed ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’: it was a version of the character we haven’t seen in film before, and he brought a fun and humour to the screen. It was a bit CGI-heavy and I felt the final action sequence was a bit over-the-top, but overall I think ‘Homecoming’ deserves an eight-out-of-ten.



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