By Allison McCausland
A&E and Online Editor
Fifteen years after his debut on the silver screen and five years after his reboot, Spiderman makes his comeback and much anticipated integration into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with Jon Watt’s “Spiderman: Homecoming.” Watt’s film, unlike its predecessors, brings a fresh story with the character without having to rehash his origins and making poor Uncle Ben bite the dust for a third time in less than two decades.
Taking place two months after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” where Spiderman and his alter ego Peter Parker (Tom Holland) made their MCU entrance, Parker attempts to gain credibility as a superhero in order to officially become an Avenger. Taken under the wing of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Parker is advised to keep training by handling low-level street crime until he is ready to join the Avengers’ team.
After trying to thwart a bank robbery employing the use of high tech armor, Parker stubbles upon a massive underground arms trafficking operation lead by former salvage worker Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton). When he feels he is not being taken seriously when telling Stark or Stark’s bodyguard, Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Parker decides to take matters into his own hands to stop Toomes from stealing alien technology in possession of the Avengers and the United States government. While Parker works to stop Toomes, he must also balance his crime fighting lifestyle with his responsibilities to his friends, family and classmates.
Holland steps up his game and expands upon his performance in “Captain America: Civil War” to portray a much more grounded and fresh-faced Spiderman than previous film franchises, making Parker more ambitious and lighthearted without losing some of the darkness and humble nature that guides the character’s actions and ideology. Keaton also gives a strong performance as the villainous Toomes, showing the audience that there is sympathy to be found in the motivations of his character whilst resisting the flash and lack of development that some other Marvel villains seem to suffer.
Downey Jr., Favreau, Jacob Batalon as Parker’s friend, Ned Leeds and Marisa Tomei as Parker’s guardian, Aunt May, also give strong supporting performances without unbalancing the rest of the cast. It also helps that the direction Watt’s gives the film is a much more grounded story when compared to the other MCU films. Along with its story, the film’s score by composer Michael Giacchino, who also scored Marvel’s previous release, “Doctor Strange,” proves to be reinvigorating by mixing Giacchino’s style with previous scores used for the character, notably the 1960s cartoon series, for a new theme and anthem for the character.
The action sequences keep viewers on the edge of their seats without going into the overly gaudy, big budget territory. However, there are small instances in which the special effects and CGI can be recognized, taking away a bit of the suspension of disbelief required from viewers when watching events unfold on screen. The film’s humor stays in line with previous MCU films, but does have a few jokes and sequences that fall flat. Nevertheless, Spiderman’s famous quality of humor stays intact throughout the majority of the film.
Overall, the film is a fun addition to the MCU franchise that may just go on to compete as being one of the character’s personal bests alongside Sam Raimi’s “Spiderman 2.” The film is a must-see for Marvel fans, and just an all-around good time for all audience members to check out for themselves before the summer ends.
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