I went to see Spider-Man: homecoming over this weekend and I was absolutely blown away by this movie. So blown away that I had to write 1100 words about it apparently as soon as I got home!
Before we get into this review any further I want to say that this post will have spoilers in it. So, yeah, before you read any further, you’ve been warned.
So why is this movie the best marvel movie?
The film mainly takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War, but there are flashbacks that take place just after the events of the first Avengers movie, and a short film “directed” by Peter Parker that shows the events leading up to his appearance in Civil War and when Tony Stark gives him his suit.
We’ll come back to that suit in a minute. Let’s stick with the setting some more. Marvel kicked off it’s new Cinematic Universe with Iron Man 2008. We’ve had 8 years of amazing world-building that has spanned across 16 movies so far – Thor: Ragnarok hype!
One of my favorite things about this movie was how they used all the events in the MCU to provide context for Spider-Man: Homecoming. We see Michael Keatons character, Adrian Toomes, working as a contractor in charge of the cleanup after the events of the first Avengers movie. We see Peter getting his suit after the events of Civil War. We’re shown numerous scenes in Peter’s school that make references to the rest of the MCU – sometimes humorously with the many Captain America propaganda films, or even as background noise – a teacher referencing the Sarkovia Accords.
Seeing the writers of Spider-Man: Homecoming pull the past decade into the film to ground it firmly in that universe was really powerful. It made the world feel real and inhabited.
Speaking of Marvel characters, let’s talk about some of the cameos in this movie. A lot of people are angry that Tony Stark had so much screen time in this movie. This didn’t bother me one bit. I thought that Robert Downey, Jr. stole every scene he was in – as he usually does, he lives in that Tony Stark character.
But that’s not the only reason I didn’t get bothered. I saw Tony as necessary to show how inexperienced Peter’s character really is. Peter needs that parental figure that can coach him on his superhero…-ing. And that is where I felt Tony Stark played a very needed role in the film.
This is supported near the end of the film where Peter makes his decision to not join the Avengers, much to the surprise of Happy and Tony. It shows that he’s grown a lot during the events of the film, and to him being Spider-Man in New York is more important than being an Avenger, even if that means upsetting those that he looks up to most.
The suit was huge for me. At first I didn’t like it. Aesthetically it’s beautiful, but I didn’t like how “easy” it made Spider-Mans job. Really it seemed like the suit could have just done everything for him and that he kept screwing up everything by using it wrong.
Then I realized something. That was the point. We’re supposed to hate the suit in the beginning. We’re supposed to feel like shit is just going wrong and there’s nothing that we can do to fix it, because that is how Peter feels.
The suit does an amazing job of pushing us into this safety zone. It talks to Peter, like Iron Man’s suits do. It has a metric ass-ton of gadgets like Iron Man’s suits do. And it knows exactly what to do, almost all the time, just like Iron Man’s suits do.
But this is meant to give us a false sense of security. We see the suit and everything it can do and we assume that Spider-Man is just going to be a mechanized, crime-fighting bad-ass when he puts it on.
But he’s not. He’s just a super-powered kid in a powerful costume. And this is made super evident when he screws up the ferry rescue and Tony takes the suit away from him.
In case the video doesn’t load, the exchange goes down like this:
Tony: What if somebody had died?
Peter: I was just trying to be like you!
Tony: I wanted you to be better! I’m going to need the suit back.
Peter: But I’m nothing without this suit.
Tony: If you’re nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it.
This was a really powerful exchange between Tony and Peter. Seriously, I got chills. I immediately thought back to Iron Man 3, when Tony had to spend most of the movie without his suit – or using a really limited version of it. Again, that world-building coming back into play.
By the end of the movie you can see Peter’s growth, because he no longer worries about the suit, rushing off to face The Vulture with his old, tattered hoodie-based costume.
And finally, I want to talk about the twist in this movie. The reveal that Michael Keaton is the father of the girl that Peter has had a crush on the entire movie. This caught me completely by surprise – I actually gasped “wuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut” in the theater.
This twist is played so well, because now the audience and Peter are back in sync, both reeling saying “Holy SHIT, HE’S HER FATHER?!”. And in the car ride that Peter, Liz and Adrian take to the homecoming dance there is a great back and forth where Adrian finally realizes who Peter is.
Adrian and Peter have a private moment once they get to the school, after Liz exits the car and this is where we get the unmasked confrontation scene. Both characters see each other, as they are and size each other up.
And this is where you can see Peter start to grow as well, he doesn’t back down a lot to Adrian, which is something I really really liked. Also, the realization of who Adrian Toomes is gives Peter a reason to be the “hero we deserve” and save Adrian at the end instead of having another villain-goes-down-in-fireball-ending.
This changes the relationship between Adrian and Peter a bit, which we can see in the first after-credits sequence. Adrian has the chance to expose Peter as Spider-Man to some in-mates in prison, but chooses not to. It’s a very cool and interesting dynamic that I hope the next film will explore.
So those are the bigger reasons why I thought this movie was absolutely amazing, there are more that I’m forgetting right now, I basically came home and went straight to the laptop to type this up. I highly recommend checking Spider-Man: Homecoming out and I’m already looking forward to seeing it again and owning it when it comes out.
Till next time!