REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Brings The Growing Pains Of Being a Superhero to Marvel!

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Internships are stressful enough but add having superpowers, battling alien weapons, going through puberty, and having a crush on an older classmate to the mix and you get the tale of 15-year-old Peter Parker.

To sum it up, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a neon colored bubble gum flavored John Hughes inspired coming-of-age story with the perfect amount of Marvel! Homecoming is a triumphant return of Spidey to the MCU, a world that he was created to belong in, Marvel fans are now able to see the light at the end of tunnel that is Avengers: Infinity War followed by the Untitled Avengers Film. A new team is being introduced to us beginning with Spider-Man and followed by Black Panther and Captain Marvel.

At this point we all know about the behind the scenes deals between Marvel and Sony, “Two households, both alike in dignity…,” over Spider-Man and if you do a simple IMDb search you will learn 10+ people listed under Writing Credits and of course in the shadows of all reboots are the ghosts of films past but with all that the story and characters did not suffer. Marvel, Sony, all the writers, the actors, the crew, craft services delivered a reboot worth seeing.

Okay enough with all the business chat, let’s talk about the film…

Warning: Spoilers Below!

A Coming-of-Age Comedy Where The Lead Has Superpowers

I can confidently say that Spider-Man: Homecoming is one the funniest films I have seen in 2017! Here is the thing, yes Peter Parker is Spider-Man and that is a HUGE part of the film but the movie is way more than just a Marvel movie. This may have to do with the age of Peter Parker and the amount of time that we spend with him at school, with his best friend, and crushing on a girl but the film is a coming-of-age comedy smashed into a Marvel film that simply works and is not a hot mess!

I, like many, cringed when I heard about the John Hughes comparisons but the film does have those vibes. Just take away all the underage drinking, cursing, smoking, and ’80s stereotypical jokes and add Tony Stark, superpowers, and more than three nerds and you get Homecoming. Sure Peter Parker is a neighborhood superhero but the film is really about him trying to navigate through living with his superpowers and understanding that it is okay not to be a grown up, he still has more to learn before he puts his big boy pants on (or in this case a big boy suit followed by press conference – also how much do you think GP got paid for that cameo, I love Pepper so happy to have her back but this movie). Which leads directly into my second point…

This is Peter Parker

Listen, I grew up with Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, and I have respect for their version of Peter Parker and those films (even Spider-Man 3) so I am not thrilled with the idea that Tom Holland now has the title of Best Spider-Man because I just don’t think that is fair. With that being said I think that this is the Best Spider-Man for Marvel (and for Sony in terms of their mission to reboot). It seems that the writers, Watts, and Holland may have finally got the teenage boy in high-school right – something that both Maguire and Garfield struggled with.

Holland’s depiction of Peter Parker is how the comic book world and now MCU should be introduced to the character. Someone that tumbled into superpowers while still figure out who the hell he is. Peter Parker is unlike any of the Avengers really, I was going to try to compare him to Cap or Ant-Man or the Hulk but they all knew the risks they were taking – Peter did not.

Another interesting layer to this Peter Parker, is now because the character is in the MCU there is not a level of isolation that previous Spider-Men have had. Peter lives in the world of the Avengers and personally has Tony Stark acting as mentor. Sure the kid still f*!ks up, I mean whatever happened to Mr. Delmar’s bodega, was he able to rebuild? My point is that Peter is not alone even though as a teenager you always feel alone and that no one is taking you seriously – and Peter Parker is consistently dealing with these complex emotions through out the film.

There just seems to be a layer of awareness to it all – the powers, the responsibility, the wanting to be a grown up and still a kid, and even ignorance – that was lacking before. Instead of having to rush to get the next film out because our actors are no longer believable enough to be teenagers, audiences now have the chance to actually grow up with Peter.

The Evolution of the Marvel Villain

Welcome the new prototype of the Marvel villain. Much like the villain in Civil War, yes there was a villain in that film, Zemo, Vulture in Homecoming has understandable reasons for turning into a bad guy. Clearly the film wants to fully understand the motives of Vulture since the film does not open with our hero, Spider-Man, but with a short origin story of how Vulture went from being a working-class honest man to an alien weapons dealer.

Since there are LIKE SO MANY Marvel films, it makes sense that we focused a bit on what the aftermath of a huge battle or how just non-superheroes live in the world. Unlike the villain in Thor: The Dark World – I cannot really remember what that alien dude wanted, something with dark matter, right? – we are now getting villains with sympathetic backstories that directly link to an Avenger (pretty clever there).

Not only is the audience feeling compassion for Vulture, Peter ends up having compassion for him. Thanks to Peter’s kind act, Vulture proves himself to be a honorable guy protecting Peter/Spidey in that post-credit scene. Since Peter technically did not “get rid of” Vulture, he could make a come back….

…will he be a good guy?

How About Cap!

Yep, sorry Tony but you were again overshadowed by the perfection that is Steve “Captain America” Rogers – god I f*!king love that man!

Whoa, this is getting long! Anywho this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Spider-Man: Homecoming – so many more conversations to come now that the film has won the box office this will NOT be the last time we see this Peter Parker in action and more importantly get a hell of a lot more Michelle or shall I say MJ cause we would totally be friends!

If you are in Philly come see me chat about Spider-Man: Homecoming Wednesday, July 12 after the 8:15 screening at the PFS Roxy Theater!

Spider-Man: Homecoming is now playing EVERYWHERE! 

Kait Calabrò

Kait Calabrò

Lady Kaitlin Marie Bernadette Calabrò of House Ravenclaw, First of Her Name; Mother of Recaps, Breaker of News, Khaleesi of Wonder Wharf, Queen of Geekdom, and Empress of Anglophiles, is the Managing Editor of AGtM.  By day she is the Marketing Manager of the Philadelphia Film Society, by night she is a serious relationship with her Netflix account. Kait is a proud Temple Owl! And is currently in a celebrity feud with both Samuel L. Jackson and Zachary Levi, unbeknownst to them. She spends her evenings watching the skies waiting for Thor to fly down and take her back to Asgard!
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