Spider-Man Homecoming is a special movie for three main reasons. First of all, it’s the second reboot of the character in fifteen years. Second, it signs the character’s arrival in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Civil War being just an appetizer. Finally, it is the result of an unprecedented partnership between two huge Hollywood studios. But is this a good movie? Yes ! Three times yes!
A miraculous film
Before starting this review, it is necessary to remember that Spider-Man Homecoming is a small miracle as only Hollywood can do. Five years ago, Marvel Studios released The Avengers in theaters and made the world understand the premise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Spider-Man, one of the most important characters in the Marvel universe, is not yet at the party. Its cinematographic rights belong to Sony since the 90s and the studio intends to exploit them by releasing a reboot called The Amazing Spider-Man.
The following years saw the MCU explode with a rate of two to three films per year, while Spidey remained in his corner. The fans are then made a reason, they will never see the spider alongside Iron Man or Captain America. But everything changes at the start of 2015. While Sony is disappointed with the results of its reboot, a contract is signed with Marvel to bring the character into the MCU with a third iteration.
A win / win deal. Sony will fund the Spidey films and rake in the proceeds, while Marvel Studio will have complete creative freedom, can use the character in other films, and earn money through merchandise. Spidey made his debut in the MCU with Civil War (2016) as Tom Holland. All of this brings us to Homecoming , which is finally hitting theaters and frankly speaking, Marvel Studios is bringing us one of the best movies dedicated to the character.
A film that will make you want to weave
It is Jon Watts who had the heavy task of achieving this third reboot and the guy does everything to move away from the previous episodes. For this, Watts offers a fun, fresh, young film by staging a teenager who has to manage his life as a superhero in parallel with his classes.
An assumed Breakfast Club aspect that perfectly applies the Marvel Studios formula by linking the valves and moments of heroism. Even more, Watts presses on the comic fiber while completely forgetting the iconic aspect of Spidey. Goodbye “great powers, great responsibilities”, Peter Parker version Tom Holland being only a teenager too sure of himself who chains the balls (but who learns thanks to them).
The other interesting choice of the film is to relocate Spider-Man, placing his base of operations in Queens. Watts thus avoids the easy trap of remaking us a hero speeding through the urban forest of Manhattan, which forces him to find new situations in a Spidey movie. The director plays with this lack of verticality by remaining very down to earth, while focusing on a precise idea: Peter Parker / Spider-Man is only a teenager, with teenage problems, this which makes him much more human than his predecessors.
Spider-Man V Batman
Besides a Tom Holland who seems born to play the spider man, the cast of this Homecoming is a flawless one. Robert Downey Jr is still having so much fun (even if his presence is limited contrary to what the promo suggested), Jacob Batalon (Ned) is made to become the new darling of the MCU and Marisa Tomei portrays an Aunt May as human as she is modern. . But the great success of this Homecoming is indeed the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton.
An excellent Vulture, especially in an MCU that has gotten us used to villains that are each worse than the next. In addition to being embodied by an always fair Michael Keaton, he is served by a scenario that does not put him aside. He is human, sometimes touching, often cruel. A complex character at the height of a film which puts human relations at the center of its plot. Best of all, its story is intimately linked to the events of the MCU and shows a hitherto forgotten aspect of the universe: the consequence of superhero battles in the lives of normal people.
Homecoming is far from perfect, however. We can blame him for a rather long first part, the lack of action, of stakes as well as an illegible final fight, but all these details are drowned in a film which, even if it does not take really risks, go out of their way to be as cool and entertaining as possible.
Fresh, fun, interesting, human, Spider-Man Homecoming succeeds perfectly in its mission by offering us a useful reboot which manages to emancipate itself from its heritage without denying it. A 100% MCU film, Homecoming does not shine for its originality, but for the mastery of its subject. Here we have the best Spider-Man movie since Sam Raimi’s second installment. Yes.