Spidey has been in our lives for generations and after fifteen years, we are on our third movie reboot. We have had both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in the past who excelled in portraying different aspects of the character. Many loved Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker while others loved Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Spiderman. However, fans disliked that Maguire and Garfield were much too old for the role. With both being in their late twenties while filming, the high school aspect of those movies was pretty unrealistic and in the end, unrelatable. Therefore, I didn’t know what to expect when going to watch Spider-man: Homecoming. With 21-year-old Tom Holland portraying Spider-man in what-I-hope-to-be the final reboot, I knew that the producers finally found a young actor that could pass for a high schooler. Thus, giving me hope that this might be the most accurate portrayal of our friendly Neighborhood Spiderman.
After watching the film, I was very pleased with the outcome. The film’s opening scene was a bit confusing until I was able to figure out that we were being introduced to the film’s main villain. I liked the ambiguity because they were able to present Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, also known as Vulture, as an innocent man who had a valid reason for becoming bad. Michael Keaton portrayed Adrian Toomes as a multi-faceted character. His calm, intimidating composure and reputation as a family man throughout the film really made the audience understand his character which gave Peter a complicated opponent to combat. Another likeable character that was on the other side of the spectrum was Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man/Tony Stark who acted as a mentor to Peter Parker. He was still his funny, arrogant self but also become a father figure by caring for Peter and protecting him. Although Tony Stark introduced Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, Tony and Peter had more interactions during this film which really solidified Sony and Marvel’s plan to incorporate Spiderman into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With Spiderman already introduced, this film decided to move away from yet another origin story and focus on Peter’s transformation from an immature superhero to someone worthy of being an Avenger. Which brings me to Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter Parker, which was nothing short of amazing. Holland gave Peter Parker the nerdy awkwardness that fans love and gave Spiderman the spontaneous comic relief that was really lacking in the previous franchises. Rather than focusing on all the action, this film focused on Peter Parker as a high school student who has problems with homework, girls and fitting in, which is something all millennials can relate to. Don’t get me wrong, the film was still packed with a plethora of action scenes that provided the audience with the iconic Spidey humor. Seeing Peter as a normal high schooler was very believable this time. Not only because he was younger, but also because his responsibilities as Spiderman were mixed with his responsibilities as a student which created a very interesting dynamic as he tried to balance both. Director Jon Watts also nailed the high school aspect of the film by including everything from an academic decathalon to a homecoming dance.
Also, Peter’s best friend called Ned, portrayed by Jacob Batalon, offered a lot of comic relief to the film and truly embodied the importance of a sidekick. His loyalty and friendship grounded Peter and kept Peter from allowing Spiderman’s popularity to get to his head. Besides Ned, Peter also had a crush on Liz, portrayed by Lauren Harrier, who was a minor love interest of his in the comics. Not having to follow Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane in this film was refreshing because it gave me as an audience member a new storyline to explore. Also, Peter’s bully, Flash Thompson, was portrayed by Tony Revolori in a very different way. He competed with Peter in a more intellectual level rather than with kicks and punches, which introduced a new perception of the typical bully. Another minor yet still much appreciated character was Michelle, a loner whose one liners were epic. Initially, I felt that her character was unnecessary but once I saw her first scene, Michelle became one of my favorite characters and the one I could most relate to. Zendaya portrayed Michelle as a strong, intelligent student who was very quiet and observant, but my favorite aspect of her character is a spoiler so you’ll just have to wait and see the twist at the end of the film.
Ultimately, this film had a few irregularities with the storyline but after so many reboots, a new spin on the character was much needed. This new and improved Spiderman made me fall in love with the character all over again. So, make sure to catch Spider-man: Homecoming in theaters. It was definitely worth the hype.