Spider-Man: Homecoming is finally in theaters worldwide, and fans everywhere are going crazy because of how good the film actually is! Having seen it on opening night, I can vouch for the film myself, and I’ve decided to list the 15 best things that Spider-Man: Homecoming got absolutely right this time around. While we all approved of Tom Holland when he made his grand Marvel Cinematic Universe entrance back in Captain America: Civil War, we only got to see a quick glimpse of him as Peter Parker before he suited-up for that giant airport action sequence in the middle of the film. Spider-Man: Homecoming is where we truly get to see our new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man swing into action on the big screen again, and boy was it a heck of a fun time at the movies with this one!
So what did Spider-Man: Homecoming get right? What is it about this movie that has people buzzing about how good it is? Why does it truly live up to the hype? Check out these fifteen reasons and share this post if you agree. Oh, and no worries… this review is completely spoiler free!
15 Spider-Man Is Still In High School
Yes, we’ve seen Spider-Man movies that take place with Peter Parker still in high school, but none of those movies placed a priority on Parker’s high school environment like Spider-Man: Homecoming does. In this film, Peter’s life as a student isn’t just something that happens in the background, and the high school isn’t just used as a transitional setting between scenes. Much like the comics, Homecoming explores what it’s like for a high school student to be bestowed with these superpowers, and how he balances being a student and also being a legitimate superhero. Heck, the title “Homecoming” itself refers to something that’s inherently a staple of life in high school.
In previous Spider-Man movies, we’ve seen Peter Parker go from high school to college (Tobey Maguire) and then we saw the same transition in the Amazing Spider-Man series (Andrew Garfield). The great thing about Tom Holland playing a 15-year-old in this new series of movies under the banner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that we’ll get to see more movies with Spider-Man dealing with life in school, before moving on to bigger things. The juxtaposition of someone who’s barely an adult dealing with world-altering events is what has always made Spider-Man a compelling superhero story.
14 It’s Not An Origin Story
Let’s face it, we’ve seen Spider-Man’s origin story one too many times by now. As if one time wasn’t enough with the Tobey Maguire version, Sony had to waste a whole other movie by telling us Spider-Man’s beginnings with Amazing Spider-Man. We get it… Spider-Man lets a burglar go, Uncle Ben gets shot, Spider-Man feels guilty, with great power comes great responsibility, cue your friendly neighborhood web-slinger! It’s a powerful story and is essentially the source of Spider-Man’s principles, but it doesn’t have to be retold every single time a series is rebooted.
Luckily, Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn’t touch on Uncle Ben or even Spider-Man’s origins, except for very vague, brief hints here and there. Marvel Studios have basically plonked us in the middle of Spider-Man’s journey post-Captain America: Civil War and gets us into the heat of the action without wasting any time on exposition. This gives the movie more space to deal with other issues that are bugging the wall-crawler… issues that have nothing to do with Uncle Ben or any of that emotional turmoil that have already been explored across five different movies, with two different Spider-Man iterations.
13 “Emo Spider-Man” Is Not In This Movie
One of the biggest problems with Spider-Man 3, Sam Raimi’s third outing in the highly-rated original Spider-Man film series, was the appearance of “emo Spider-Man.” Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of the decadent effects of the symbiote suit has become somewhat of a parody of itself because of how goofy it was. Dancing around in the street with punk-pop emo hair isn’t exactly the threat everyone was hoping for at the edge of a Venom storyline. But, that wasn’t the only problem with “emo Spider-Man” that plagued all the movies. While the first two movies in Sam Raimi’s series and the first movie with Andrew Garfield range anywhere from decent to fantastic (Spider-Man 2 being my personal favorite), there were always complaints of Spider-Man being a complete downer in those movies to the point of being unenjoyable.
Unlike Batman or a darker superhero, Spider-Man was always supposed to be more lighthearted and witty; an element that wasn’t strong enough in all five previous films. Both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire were awesome at showing emotion, which worked against them at times. With a lot of crying and emotional turmoil and moping, fans were clamoring for a lighter, funnier, wittier Spider-Man like the one from the comics and videogames… and we finally have that with Spider-Man: Homecoming!
12 It Blends Into The Avengers Universe Perfectly
Fans of superhero films went wild with anticipation a couple of years ago when it was officially announced that Spider-Man would be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe! It was an unprecedented crossover agreement between Sony and Marvel Studios that frankly, most people considered an impossible feat. Yet here we are, with Spider-Man: Homecoming playing in cinemas worldwide, as an official component of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a damn good time to be a fan of superhero flicks!
One of the biggest concerns going into this movie was trying to figure out how Spider-Man would fit into the same universe as the Avengers. One way was to scrap all previous films and start fresh, which worked spectacularly in Marvel’s favor, but what about the dynamic of a “neighborhood superhero” playing in a much larger world? Fortunately, Spider-Man: Homecoming figures a way to blend the character into Marvel’s cinematic landscape perfectly, and just like Black Panther and Doctor Strange, the inclusion of Spider-Man is seamless. What’s weird is that Spider-Man is a much bigger, and more popular, superhero than any of the other Avengers. It’s his world now. Spider-Man has finally come home.
11 … But It Still Works As A Self-Contained Film
That being said, Spider-Man: Homecoming is still a good standalone film. While watching all the other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe before seeing Spider-Man might enhance your viewing experience and give you a better understanding of where Peter Parker and Tony Stark are in their lives, the movie does a pretty good job of explaining itself without needing to rely on previous films in the mega-franchise. In fact, the movie works like a good episode of a Saturday morning cartoon, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. If Spider-Man: Homecoming was the first film you saw in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you’d still be alright understanding all of the plot points. Will you understand tie-ins to other movie and get the full depth of what’s going on? Probably not. But most of the film doesn’t need you to be an avid MCU fan to go along for the ride.
Spider-Man: Homecoming does a fantastic job of anchoring the story from the perspective of Peter Parker, and that way, they’re able to exist as a standalone film. There’s a good flow from start to finish, and the expositions aren’t draggy or overly long. In short, nothing is dumbed down for the audience.
10 It’s A Character-Driven Story
Speaking of anchoring the story from the perspective of Peter Parker, Spider-Man: Homecoming is essentially a character-driven film. While there is plenty of fun and action and spectacle to go around, the movie does a damn good job at exploring the life of being Spider-Man from the perspective of Peter Parker, who as we mentioned before, is just a kid in high school with regular high school challenges. But Peter Parker’s story isn’t the only one on display here.
Spider-Man: Homecoming also explores the lives of the people around Peter Parker, such as Peter’s best friend Ned, played by Jacob Batalon. How do you deal with the fact that you’re best friends with the Spider-Man, who is essentially an honorary Avenger, and not be able to tell anyone else about his secret identity? It’s another fun side-story that the movie gets into. The people behind Homecoming, especially director and co-writer Jon Watts, were open about the fact that the movie is greatly influenced by the films of director John Hughes such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and The Breakfast Club. And it shows. Homecoming is a quirky, almost-coming-of-age story that just so happens to take place under extraordinary circumstances.
9 The Humor Is Spot-On
A lot of times superhero movies miss the mark when it comes to humor. The genre is either too humorous to the point of being almost a parody of itself, and sometimes it’s completely devoid of humor altogether. For instance, take the Thor movies. The films have spectacle and breathtaking visual effects, but oftentimes the dramatic effect is watered down by silly jokes and witty one liners from supporting characters. The movie is essentially relying on a joke at the expense of any real emotional effect. And as good as Doctor Strange is as a film, there are a few moments when it fell victim to this same habit, nullifying a powerful scene with a gag just to get a response from the audience.
However, Spider-Man: Homecoming nails the humor on every front… and that’s probably thanks to director Jon Watt’s experience as a writer on the Onion News Network. The movie blends some of the signature quipiness from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films with some very clever writing of their own, and the results are not only humorous but also surprisingly smart and are complementary to a scene instead of being contradictory. The humor doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb, but instead, helps the movie with its tone and pacing, and not once takes away from the dramatic effect of the film.
8 It Has An Emotional Core
Since we’re on the subject of dramatic effect, let’s talk about the emotional core of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Good news is, amidst all the fun and action-adventure mayhem, the film still manages to keep a pretty strong emotional core as the driving force of the whole movie. And that’s something to be admired, especially since a lot of times superhero films downplay the emotional value of a story just to boast more special effects and big action sequences.
At the heart of Spider-Man: Homecoming is a story of a kid who needs to prove himself as a legitimate part of this new superhero-driven world. Spider-Man here isn’t the premiere hero we see in the older comics, and he damn well isn’t the pioneer of the superhero genre that we got with the Tobey Maguire movies. Here, Spider-Man is a new kid on the block. The Avengers are the big dogs that run the yard, and our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man needs to prove his worth to be taken seriously by people like Tony Stark, the man who has funded Spider-Man’s tech from day one. The dynamic between Stark and Parker, as well as Stark’s connection with The Vulture, creates a strong emotional core that acts as the pulse of the film.
7 The Kids Aren’t Annoying
One of the biggest problems with casting a group of kids in any movie is the fear that they’ll be awfully annoying. Some kids are great in movies, such as Dafne Keen who played X-23 in Logan, or the kids from Netflix’s smash hit series, Stranger Things. But then you have kids who are either too whiny or too hyper in their roles, and they start to become a nuisance in the film. It all boils down to proper casting. Fortunately, none of the kids in Spider-Man: Homecoming are overly loud with their characters, to the point of being irritating to the audience.
And for once, the kids here actually look like high schoolers. Unlike shows like Glee in which ripped 30-year-olds try to pretend like they’re 15, the kids in Homecoming are actually believable as teenagers. And the movie does away with those classic high school tropes as well. Sure, Flash is a bully and there’s the hot senior girl, but without giving away too much, even those roles are tweaked to suit more modern times. It’s actually surprisingly refreshing how well the kids are portrayed in this movie, and how much depth some of their roles have.
6 The Vulture Is A Villain With Depth
Let’s all go ahead and admit that while Marvel Studios have dished out success after success with each and every one of their movies in this superhero frenzy that we’re living in now, their most jarring weakness has always been the villains. None of their villains, except for Loki, has ever had any real depth to them. From Dormamu to Whiplash, from The Dark Elves to Ronan the Accuser, none of these villains were ever given the time to be properly explored. They were basically just one-dimensional baddies that reigned terror down from the skies. Now, I’m not saying The Vulture has as much depth as Loki, but he comes in at a close second. Michael Keaton is pretty much a national treasure at this point, and he brings some much-needed gravitas to the role of Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture, the nemesis of Spider-Man in this film. Michael Keaton is menacing in the role and brings a sort of sinister determination to the character. Also, his metal gear is badass, just sayin’!
The best part about The Vulture is that he has motivation. He has a reason to be him. And that gives both Vulture and Spider-Man some serious chemistry to play with.
5 Iron Man Is Used Sparingly
With the amount of marketing surrounding Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, heading into this film, you’d expect it to be a semi-Iron Man flick just like Captain America: Civil War. While fans were overjoyed at the thought of Spider-Man being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they couldn’t help but wonder if Iron Man would eventually overshadow Spider-Man in his own film. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. While Iron Man does have a serious presence in Spider-Man: Homecoming and does play into the plot in a very heavy way, the character itself is used cleverly and sparingly throughout the movie. To be fair, the studios would be stupid not to use Iron Man in this movie given that the Avengers exist in this world. In fact, fans would be pissed if they decided to never show Iron Man in this film! There’s just no pleasing everyone, I guess.
Iron Man’s presence in Homecoming is reminiscent of Darth Vader in Rogue One; he’s an overbearing presence that essentially drives the entire theme of the film, but he’s hardly ever in the movie, in person. You have to admire the restraint Sony and Marvel Studios had when making this film.
4 Michael Giacchino’s Score
I’ve been a fan of Michael Giacchino ever since I started watching LOST way back in 2004. I’ve followed his work through movies like Cloverfield and Star Trek, and I love what he recently did with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. While I felt like Marvel Studios underutilized his work in Doctor Strange, I can’t say the same about Spider-Man: Homecoming because his talents are on full, glorious display here! Michael Giacchino’s score roars through this film, pulsating with power to drive the visuals forward. While I didn’t think it was as perfect as the first Avengers flick or even the first Guardians Of The Galaxy, which was scored by Tyler Bates, the music for Spider-Man: Homecoming ranks at a very, very close number three on that list. And that’s not a bad spot at all considering there are more than a dozen films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now.
The score in Homecoming is quirky and mostly upbeat, but when it’s time for things to get serious the score twists and turns accordingly. It even makes The Vulture look and sound more menacing! All in all, Giacchino’s score perfectly complements the bright and fast-paced visuals of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
3 It’s Action-Packed All The Way
I absolutely love how action-packed Spider-Man: Homecoming is. As I mentioned before, the film does a good job at anchoring itself to a strong emotional core, but it also stacks-up on the action scenes…at times even a lot more than regular Marvel movies. While there are slower moments in the film that give it some time to breathe, the movie never, ever gets boring and keeps a steady pace from start to finish. What’s awesome is that the more action scenes we have, the more we get to see a suited-up Spider-Man doing his thing on screen. Apart from the cool gizmos and high-tech Stark Industries stuff, it’s just fun to see Spider-Man jump around and swing from building to building either in pursuit of a criminal or being pursued by one.And the action scenes aren’t short either. Once the fun starts, an action sequence could go on and on for a generous amount of time, but not to the point of being overly draggy.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is just one of those movies that has great action against ordinary backgrounds like the suburbs, very much like Ant-Man, but also has amazing shots and sequences against larger, wider landscapes and locations. You’ll just have to watch the movie to find out what I’m talking about.
2 … But They Also Nail The Pacing and Editing
That being said, the people behind Spider-Man: Homecoming such as director Jon Watts and head honcho Kevin Feige, along with editors Debbie Berman and Dan Lebental, knew exactly how to pace this film. The balance between the slow moments and the faster scenes, as well as the ups and downs, highs and lows, are balanced perfectly against one another. The movie is given ample time to breathe and to explore its characters, allowing them to tell their individual stories outside of all the big action sequences…and once that’s done, the film picks up speed and we get to feast our eyes on some damn good action scenes with Spider-Man swinging all over the place!
Just like Guardians Of The Galaxy and the first Avengers as well as Captain America: Winter Soldier, the re-watchability aspect of Spider-Man: Homecoming is extremely high because of how well paced it is. There are no boring scenes to be found here, and the movie is tightly edited to be concise; with neither fat nor fluff in between scenes. Even scenes that are normally known to be slightly slower in most films of this type are handled pretty well, making this one of the easiest movies to rewatch anytime, and from any point in the movie.
1 Tom Holland Is The Perfect Spider-Man
I’ve pretty much been a fan of all three Spider-Man iterations so far. Tobey Maguire will always be the sentimental favorite because he was the only live-action Spider-Man I knew growing up and I felt like he did an awesome job at bringing the web-crawler to life back in 2002. And then when Andrew Garfield took over in the Amazing Spider-Man, I really liked his version of Peter Parker as well. There was a quirkiness there that was absent in Sam Raimi’s previous films.
That being said, Tom Holland is without a doubt, the definitive Spider-Man. His spin on Peter Parker might have very little of both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, but it’s a take that’s fresh and new and probably the most accurate to the newer comic books. Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is funny, quirky, and also serious when he has to be. He’s exactly what fans have been clamoring for for years now, and I dare say that he’s as good or even better than the perfect iterations we’ve seen in the cartoons and video games. The truth is, we’ve finally found our amazing Spider-Man. His name is Tom Holland, and he’s now officially home in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.