I am of the belief that film reboots should be limited to movies that actually need it. If they aren’t done properly, reboots can actually tarnish the memory of the originals. Hollywood doesn’t seem to mind, however, as there are dozens of them planned for the next few years. Most of them will probably be meant with indifference, and a few may wind up being pretty good, but that’s not the point. For every successful reboot, there are at least six others that miss the mark. In any case, a line should be drawn when it comes to actually rebooting a reboot.
The original Spider-man trilogy was a massive success, and may very well be responsible for bringing superhero movies into the box office stratosphere. The first two movies in the series were great, but the third was a complete mess. With Iron Man, Batman and Wolverine on the horizon, fans had many other options, so poor old Spiderman was basically pushed aside. Sony, who was in charge of the Spidey franchise, decided enough time had passed and went with a full reboot in the Amazing Spiderman movies. Despite a good cast, these movie were underwhelming and quickly fizzled out. It was soon announced that the series would be rebooted again, but as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the prospect of seeing Spiderman interact with The Avengers was exciting, after being let down three times in a row I would say my opinion on it would be more “cautiously optimistic”. Luckily, when the new Spiderman appeared for the first time in Civil War, that caution immediately turned back into excitement. His role was small, but he was hands down the best part of the movie. Now, with his first full movie in the MCU, I can honestly say that we don’t just have the best Spidey movie yet, we may actually have a contender for best Marvel movie as well.
The main reason that Spiderman: Homecoming works so well is star Tom Holland. While he’s almost a complete unknown to North American audiences, he proves more than capable of filling the shoes of the webslinger. He is easily the best actor to fill the role to date. Holland has so much enthusiasm for the role, and it comes across clearly on screen. As someone who isn’t a comic book reader, and has never seen the old cartoons, I have never been sure exactly how Spiderman is supposed to act. Luckily, my friends who are familiar with his non-movie portrayals have all stated that he was perfectly cast and no one has ever been better.
Also fairing incredibly well is Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/ The Vulture. One thing that most Marvel movies have is a huge villain problem. With the exception of Loki, all the big bad guys in the MCU have been underwritten and underutilized. Now we finally have another villain worthy of standing beside the greatest characters in the MCU. Keaton is one of the greatest actors working today, and is capable of pulling off any type of role. His portrayal of the evil, yet sympathetic, Vulture is amazing. It’s nice to see a bad guy who isn’t doing evil things just for the sake of being evil, or because he’s crazy. It’s not often that a viewer will sympathize with the villain, but it’s a testament to Keaton’s talent that you root for both the hero and the bad guy.
Spiderman: Homecoming is actually extremely funny as well. From the one liners to the awkward high school moments to the (very) funny Tony Stark moments, there weren’t many times that I wasn’t laughing out loud. Speaking of Tony Stark, I recommend that you do not go see this movie as if it were a new Iron Man flick. Robert Downey Jr‘s role this time out amounts to more or less an extended cameo. He obviously makes the most of his brief appearance, but he most definitely does not have a huge part as all the trailers may lead you to believe. Marisa Tomei is awesome as
cougar Aunt May, and Jon Favreau is great as Happy Hogan.
Another big plus in my eyes is that we aren’t being subjected to yet another origin story. When the new Spiderman first appeared in Civil War, he already had his powers and was helping the citizens of New York. Other than a 30 second explanation of what happened to him while talking to his friend, his beginnings are not brought up. His parents death, his Uncle Ben, Harry and Norman Osborne… all MIA. Even Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson are nowhere to be found. Trimming the fat has given us what could be considered a new story, and it works.
I have to say, it really is nice to see my concern over a film be rendered pointless. Spiderman: Homecoming works better than it has any right to be, and I hope it removes the bad taste left by the last three movies. It won’t be long before we get to see Peter Parker in action as Spidey will return in Avengers 3. Hopefully, with Marvel Studios in control, the upcoming sequels can avoid being disappointing, but with with new villains being introduced, and different Avengers popping up in future installments, I doubt there should be any more reason to worry. Well done Sony – you finally did right by Spiderman.