Hello, everyone and Welcome to my 200th post!
I’m back again with another review and I’m hoping this will be one that my readers will enjoy. If you have read any of my past reviews, you all know that I have a soft spot for the ever popular superhero genre. Even if the movie is terrible (here’s looking at you, Batman v Superman), I’ll still give it a chance. When it comes to the costumed heroes, I have a soft spot for Marvel’s comic book characters; one of my favorites is the New York wall-crawler, Spider-Man. Unfortunately, the web-slinger’s cinematic history has been a little rocky with five movies and one reboot. Now that Sony decided to play ball with Marvel Studios, the second reboot reunites Spider-Man with a larger universe of heroes that have been around for nearly a decade in cinema. And the result is nothing short of Amazing.
After the events of the Avengers’ internal conflict in Civil War, we find Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returning to Midtown High School to attempt and balance his life as high school sophomore and his street-level hero alter-ego.
The story expands from this small premise as we begin eight years ago in the aftermath of the Battle of New York (It’s really been that long?!). A salvage team led by Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is picking up the remaining alien technology left in the city, but their operation is stopped by Tony Stark’s joint venture with the U.S. Government called the D.O.D.C., or the Department of Damage Control. It’s safe to say this didn’t make Mr. Toomes and his crew happy and they won’t forget this. Catching up to the modern day and watching Peter being a complete teenager by filming his adventures on his phone, including the airport battle from Civil War, was hilarious. Once his “test run” was complete and Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) dropped off Peter back at home, promising to call for the next mission, Peter was back to his normal life. But once you’ve had a taste of the danger and action, it’s hard to go back to what you know.
Peter keeps updating Stark and his “handler”, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), with his stopping small crimes and hoping for his next big mission to be officially considered an Avenger. While stopping bike thieves, helping old women across the street, and worrying about asking his crush, Liz (Laura Harrier), out to the homecoming dance, the threat of Adrian Toomes and his crew rears its head in Queens, NY. Using the technology they were able to salvage before being shut down, Toomes assumes the identity of the Vulture and uses his weapons for his own personal gain. Only one person can stop him…and he’s not even really an Avenger.
Now, I had level expectations on how Marvel would treat one of their all-time great heroes, but had faith that they will revitalize the wall-crawler. Tom Holland once again brought heart and humor to the role of the wise-cracking hero. Holland embodied how a teenager is now: energetic, funny, girl troubles, and recording everything! He wants to be the heroes that he has looked up to for years such as Iron Man (Peter Parker does make a small cameo in Iron Man 2, in case you haven’t heard) and the rest of the Avengers. Throughout the course of the movie and after one possible blunder that Tony had to bail him out of, Parker finally realized that he can be great in his own way: by standing up to the little guy. That’s the essence of Spider-Man: he stands up for the little guy while the other heroes are off on their own adventures. This isn’t to say that he won’t like to team up with them, but he’s his own hero and does just fine on his own. By the end of the movie, Peter finds out that he has proven himself a hero in his own way and Tom Holland is worthy of Spider-Man’s mantle.
Michael Keaton’s career resurgence has continued and is in full display during this movie. Unlike the other MCU villains, Toomes isn’t driven by world domination or power. He’s a “regular guy”. While he’s not completely villainous, there are points where you understand and might see his point. He has a very ground-level perspective that makes him relatable to the audience and Keaton’s performance was a major boost to this film. Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark had the same charisma that we’ve come to love as he takes on the role of mentor to young Mr. Parker. He’s not in the movie a lot and only appears when necessary, which is exactly what I wanted (I call it Rogue One’s Darth Vader Treatment). And Zendaya’s performance as the awkward but intellectual Michelle was great to watch, drawing comparisons from Ally Sheedy’s character from The Breakfast Club. As far as the future role she will play, you’ll just have to see the movie. 🙂
The film is not bogged down in franchise building. Once you know it’s set up in the MCU (like we didn’t know this already) and what section in the timeline, the film just goes from there. This film delivers a colorful, fun adventure that finds its place in the MCU. This second reboot of the Spider-Man movie franchise delivers in spades and is probably the best out of the previous five. So prepare for Let’s see how this web will grow inside Marvel’s sprawling universe as we march towards next summer’s ensemble movie, Avengers: Infinity War.