In 2016 Marvel Studios presented Captain America: Civil War, where Tom Holland played a young Peter Parker, clandestinely known as Spider-Man. In the latest Marvel movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Holland reprises his role as the “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.” (I never saw Captain America: Civil War so this was my first time watching Tom Holland play Spider-Man, a role I’d previously seen played by Tobey Maguire.)
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker is a high school sophomore at the Midtown School of Science and Technology, a school for the academic elite of New York City. Although Peter possesses spider-like reflexes and can scale tall buildings, no one, including his Aunt May, played by Marisa Tomei, or his best friend Ned, played by Jacob Batalon, has even an inkling that Peter has worked side by side with the Avengers. Peter appears to be your run-of-the-mill high school nerd, book smart without having the social skills necessary to talk to girls, especially his crush Liz, played by Laura Harrier. Despite his physical prowess, Peter is taunted, if not downright bullied by a fellow classmate named Flash, who frequently taunts him by referring to him as male genitalia. Peter may be a superhero, but his alter ego status remains in tact.
Peter is content to fight the bad guys “in the chill of the night at the scene of the crime” without recognition from his loved ones; it’s not their attention or respect that he craves. As he does each good deed in the name of justice, he yearns to garner a legitimate place among the Avengers, hoping that Tony Stark (a.k.a. Iron Man) will recognize his real worth. Robert Downey Jr. plays the Avengers’ leader Iron Man, wanting to serve as a father figure as well as a teacher to his young protégé, who “spins a web, any size.”
Even though he “catches thieves just like flies,” Peter is viewed by Stark as a novice, frustrating Peter to no end. To prove he is worthy of officially joining the ranks of the Avengers once and for all, Peter makes it his mission to bring down the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton. The Vulture supplies dangerous weapons to bad guys, and Peter believes taking him down will prove to Stark once and for all that he is capable of anything, even if he is just a teenager.
The movie, filled with incredible action sequences, kept my interest the whole time. I debated whether I should take my ten year old daughter to see it with me, and was happy that I chose not to because there were a few references that I prefer she not familiarize herself with just yet. (I don’t need my sweet little girl asking me what “screwing the pooch” or “porn” are just yet.)
My husband Mike joined me, and loved the movie. He agreed that we made a good call shielding our daughter from this summer flick for the time being. Mike shared, “I really enjoyed the movie! It’s exactly what you want in a superhero movie . . . lots of explosions and superhero battles. I haven’t seen all the Avengers movies, and I feel like there were some plot points that I probably missed because I haven’t seen them all, but I still was able to follow along with this movie’s plot easily. Overall, I’d have to say that it’s the perfect summer movie.”
I personally liked how Peter’s teenage traits were just as important to the story line as his superhero abilities were. Spider-Man comes off as goofy because he is still new to harnessing his arachnid capabilities, but he is equally vulnerable because he’s too shy to even ask a girl to the upcoming homecoming dance. He wants to be the ultimate superhero but is still a boy at heart.
The cast was well chosen and consisted of a lot of well respected actors. Michael Keaton, forever Mr. Mom to me, did a great job at playing a villain whose motives were understandable, and Robert Downey Jr., who I’ve adored ever since I saw 1993’s Heart and Souls, was equally as awkward in his mentoring attempts as Peter was in learning the ropes. Peter’s friends Ned and Michelle (played by Zendaya), both made me laugh throughout the film. I’m looking forward to the sequel, which has already been announced! “Look out! Here comes the Spider-Man!”
Movie times: click here
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Director: Jon Watts
Actors: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
Running Time: 2 hours 13 minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments