I’ve seen some of the older Spiderman movies, and liked them despite their cheesiness. But after watching Homecoming, I realized that out of all the superheros, Spiderman/Peter Parker is not only the most relatable, but also a character I will always admire and learn from.
(Batman’s cool, too. *namaste bow*)
Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, young Peter Parker returns home to live with his Aunt May. Under the watchful eye of mentor Tony Stark, Parker starts to embrace his newfound identity as Spider-Man. He also tries to return to his normal daily routine — distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just a friendly neighborhood superhero. Peter must soon put his powers to the test when the evil Vulture emerges to threaten everything that he holds dear.
Spiderman’s Character, Motives, and Arc
There were so many amazing things about the movie, but I think the one thing that stood out the most to me was the character of Spiderman. He’s been a favorite superhero of mine for some time now, but in this movie, his moral attributes really shone through. His arc was beautiful. In the beginning, Tony Stark tells him to be a friendly neighborhood spiderman. Peter Parker, though not an advocate for self fame and glory, wishes he could do bigger things and take care of larger problems (which is the reason he gets involved with Vulture and his crew).
Indeed, Peter is so bent on stopping Vulture and his crimes, that during his school team’s tournament, he and his friend Ned take the tracker out of his suit so that Peter can follow Vulture and try to keep him from stealing weapons. Later, Spiderman confronts Vulture and his crew members on a ferry, and Stark has to intervene, save the passengers, and admonishes Peter for his recklessness and takes away the suit. “Can’t you just be a friendly neighborhood Spiderman?”
The arc is almost to its peak. Peter protests that he is nothing without the suit, with Stark’s stark reply that he shouldn’t have it, if that’s the case. We see Peter is depending on his suit for his Spiderman powers, and later on in the movie, when he confronts Vulture alone without his suit, the hero is brought down to his lowest and weakest point, left to die. This is when he realizes that he is something without the suit, using his own power and belief in himself to bring himself out of his near-death predicament. Summing up his own strength and willpower, he rises from the ashes (sort of literally) and even after that, chases after his opponent.
**SPOILERS AHEAD, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK**
Another trait I appreciate about Spiderman’s character is his outlook on violence; I won’t spoil anything, but he does his best not to kill even his worst enemy. Spiderman follows Vulture onto a plane carrying weapons for Marvel. After an open confrontation and a plane crash landing along a beach stretch, Spiderman, beaten and weakened, saves Vulture’s life when Toomes’s suit is caught in an explosion. The shot where Spiderman is seen emerging from the fire and debris with Toomes on his back pretty much killed my feels. It was all I could do to keep from applauding. Here, Peter takes on Vulture without a suit and yet saves his enemy’s life. Can we all take a moment to reflect on how super this hero is?
“Stop it with the ‘instant kill,’ already!”
At the end of the movie, Stark congratulates Peter on a job well done and asks him to officially join the Avengers, even offering him a suit that is better than the one he had before. And yet Peter politely turns down the offer. “I’d rather stay close to the ground,” he says, “I’d rather be your friendly neighborhood spiderman.” And even as he walks back to the car, he is happy. Before, he might have accepted the offer, fair and square, but after an arc, we see that Spiderman simply wanted to affirm that he had truly risen from the ashes, that he was deemed worthy of possibly becoming Spiderman again.
I also loved his quirky, nerdy, happygolucky personality. Tom Holland rocked Spiderman and I don’t think they could have picked a better actor. (Also, he has the perfect squeaky voice that goes along quite well with his attempts to intimidate his adversaries.) May I also put in a word for both Ned and Michelle? Because they’re both pretty awesome. For the most part (language and content review below).
A Believable and Compelling Villain (thank you, Marvel)
The movie starts out with Adrian Toomes and his salvage crew cleaning up after the Battle of New York, when Tony Stark decides to take over the Department of Damage Control. Enraged that he will no longer have a way to provide for his family, Toomes and some trusty members of the original team decide to keep Chitauri weapons to sell on the black market (and use to shoplift; an activity that eventually gets Spiderman involved). Eight years later, their business is skyrocketing, thanks to being under no radar, and Toomes becomes Vulture. When Spiderman discovers the true identity of Vulture, Toomes becomes aware that they will soon be under Stark’s radar, if he can’t keep Spiderman down. We see Toomes as only a man who, after being screwed by Stark, simply wants to provide for his family and crew by not only selling on the black market, but also trying to reveal the corrupt nature of the Avenger who nearly ruined him, Iron Man. He has no plans to take over the world; his motives are simple ones.
We also meet the villain’s family. We connect with and understand the villain at deeper levels because of this; not in order to downplay Toomes’s actions, but to simply appreciate the realistic character he is as Vulture.
Content: Romance, Violence, and Language
This is just another thing I adore about this movie. The romance was so, so well done. There was absolutely no kissing, and that’s not even a big concern of mine. I actually liked Liz, Peter’s crush. She didn’t come in a whole lot during the movie, but I appreciated her character.
Compared to other Marvel movies, there wasn’t a whole lot of violence or action. Most of it happened towards the end of the movie, and it was entirely necessary for building the suspense, furthering the story, and concluding Spiderman’s arc and motives.
Every Marvel movie has its language. Spiderman: Homecoming had a good amount of swear words, including half of the f word (at the very end). As far as content goes, there really wasn’t much to be concerned about, at least in my perspective. Michelle raises the middle finger at one point.
Overall, I’d say this is a great family movie, though language may still be a problem.
You probably already got a good idea about the plot from the post already, but I must add that it was an incredible story. It was very easy to follow, and the end, complete with after credits, left me on a cliffhanger. No, Uncle Ben didn’t die in the movie; in fact, he wasn’t even there, which is great because I think we got that part down already. Overall, I’m very impressed with the story and am looking forward to its continuation.
The Film Score
Aaaaand it’s Michael Giacchino, once again! His film scores are always amazing. The soundtrack for Spiderman: Homecoming was fantastic, and even if you don’t stay for the end credits, you might want to stay just to hear the music. I’ll admit there were some tears during the end credits because the movie was just so perfect and the music was worthy to accompany it. (Oh, and Captain America appears at the very end of the end credits, so if you haven’t seen it yet [which in that case, why did you read all the spoilers to get here!?!?] you may want to be *cough* patient *cough cough*.)
And that pretty much sums up most of my thoughts on this movie. Characters: Check. Plot: Check. Villain: Check. Pacing: Check. Content: 5/6 of a check. Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Thanks for reading this review. Have a great day, and wear your Spiderman shirts with pride.