After making his impressive debut in last Summer's Civil War, Tom Holland's Peter Parker, a.k.a Spider-Man, swings into the spotlight for his own solo outing: Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Picking up shortly after the events of last Summer's aforementioned MCU smack-down, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) wants nothing more than to join The Avengers full-time. However, he is also just a kid and still at school and has to find a way to balance his ordinary life with his superhero shenanigans. But, when a terrifying threat arrives in Queens - The Vulture (Michael Keaton) - Peter, with the help of his best-friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), must suit up and prove that he is more than just the kid that his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) takes him for.
Homecoming marks our 6th Spider-Man film since 2002, and our third Spider-Man - this is the second time the character has been reboot since Raimi's trilogy ended. Following in the footsteps of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland steps into the suit but also steps into the MCU, with Homecoming a part of Marvel's behemoth Universe. Given the cinematic importance of this deal between Sony and Marvel, given the character's global acclaim as one of the most beloved superheroes ever and the many brows that furled at the thought of ANOTHER reboot, Homecoming arrived with a great deal of weight on its shoulders and a lot of ridiculously high expectations to meet (and perhaps just as many naysayers to prove wrong) and it was an absolute blast. Spider-Man: Homecoming is one of the best MCU films we've seen thus far and it is one of the best Spider-Man films we have seen thus far too. It is, undoubtedly, the best - and most comic-book accurate - portrayal of both Spidey and Peter put to film. Tom Holland is a revelation.

For so long, director Jon Watts described Homecoming as a John Hughes film in the superhero film - and that is exactly what it is. This is a coming-of-age film, at its heart. What makes this film so different from Raimi and Marc Webb's iterations is just how light and fun it is. Watts really takes the time to show us Peter as a normal kid: he has a crush on the cool girl Liz (Laura Harrier); he is the nerd everyone relies on; he has the Homecoming dance coming up; he has homework; he is even bullied by Flash (Tony Revolori). It's all of this high-school stuff in which the film shines; it's exploration of Peter Parker is pensive and sweet. There's a naivety to Holland that is whimsical and innocuous - it's also hugely relatable too, he is exactly how you would expect a kid to be if they had superpowers like he does. It makes for such brilliant viewing. It grounds this character and this world more than prior films have done, and really adds a lot of nuance to Parker too; we genuinely invest in his character and root for him to stop the bad guys, get the girl, become an Avenger and so on and so forth. Holland brings a glowing effervescence to the role, so charming and innocent as Peter Parker, but just as witty and wonderful as Spider-Man too - he's constantly excitable and quippy, exactly like the Spider-Man we all know and love from the comics. The actor brings a real sense of fun and free-spirit to the role and is a genuine revelation; so perfectly cast here. He definitely gives Maguire and Garfield a run for their money - a bold statement given those were strong performances too.
Where the film falters is, ironically, actually in the execution of the superhero stuff. Given Marvel have mastered the craft, Homecoming fails to be memorable with action sequences that feel familiar and repetitive - channeling basically every action sequence in any MCU film ever. For such a unique character, there is a lack of any creativity to the action. It's great to see a Spider-Man so accurate to his comic-book roots, so funny and euphoric, but you can't help but want to see more of the human stuff instead because it's just frankly more interesting. However, the film does do a good job of subverting the MCU problem of lackluster villains because Keaton's Adrian Toole is superb. We understand his motivations and understand him as a person, as a genuine human, and it adds so much to his character and his relation with Parker.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a good superhero film, within an even better coming-of-age story and character study. The cast are ace, and their veritable chemistry makes their antics and relationship all the more real and entertaining. Jon Watts has managed to tell a personal, smaller scaled story within the vast embankments of the gargantuan MCU. And it's such a charming, original and refreshing entry. The film will warm your heart and leave you cheering and smiling and just glad to have Spidey back - and you can be damn well sure it's better than ever before.


VERDICT:
Spider-Man: Homecoming is not only a funny, charming and highly original portrayal of the eponymous web-slinger but, most importantly, an accurate and crowd-pleasing delight too.




About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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