The Marvel universe returns in summer blockbuster Spiderman: Homecoming. Following a preview of the character last year in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s Spiderman really comes into his own this year in the solo feature film. The film centres around Peter Parker learning to be superhero and fighting the big guys against the wishes of Avengers leader Tony Stark, after losing his spectacular suit Parker must go on to find the hero within himself. Fighting against alien trash thief and villain Vulture played by Michael Keaton, audiences are shown a complete moral dilemma of how a bad guy is created.
Holland has his first big outing into the world of superhero and finally shows audiences an accurate depiction of what a teenager would be like if given superpowers. He is naïve in the right areas, optimistic to the point it is unrealistic, and he deals with everything with a good level of humour and teenage angst. This is different from all the other marvel characters out there as he is more realistic and relatable for the average teenager. One thing I found incredibly charming about Holland’s portrayal is the fact he is not immediately good at being a hero, he makes mistakes and has to deal with those accordingly. This goes on to reveal some stellar acting from young Holland, especially later in the film when facing both physical and emotion difficulty the emotional performance really made me feel for the character. Breaking hearts in every sense of the word Holland was definitely a good choice for the character (keep an eye out for his amazing t-shirts).
The film shows a great deal of focus on making Spiderman into a role model for its younger audiences. Throughout there are no deaths caused by the action and Spiderman actively tries to prevent serious injury even to the villains. Another way this film is a good example for younger viewers is the focus placed on school activities and how when attempting to be a hero Peter Parker ignores these responsibilities to his detriment. All in all I would say this incarnation of Spiderman is the superhero that saves the bad guys alongside everyone else.
There are plenty of other brilliant characters provided in the film, some who tie it more closely with the rest of the marvel world, and some that help create a realistic teenage experience. Robert Downey Jr reprises his role as Tony Stark to compliment the new film, unlike the trailers suggest this role is minor and only helps to provide more obstacles for Holland’s Spiderman to overcome. The inclusion of Stark creates more cohesion with the marvel world and with Captain America: Civil War, it also helps suggest a more concrete path for the superhero in the future Avengers films. One character that provides a more light-hearted aspect to the film, Jacob Batalon bursts onto the big screen as Ned best friend of Peter Parker. Batalon creates a large amount of the comedy in this film without seeming to be a caricature, he is helpful as well as a hindrance to the protagonist by providing emotional support in a fashion only a 15-year-old would be able to. Finally one of my favourite cameos is that of Captain America in the education videos being used in the school, these hark back to the promotional videos Cap made during Captain America: The First Avenger.
One important question is how does this film fit in with the overall story arc of the Marvel films? Well considering it is the first outing for a character it does not impact the wider world all that much. I do believe that this is a good thing however as it goes with the idea that Spiderman is your “friendly local” superhero and is not out there quite yet to save the world. There are hints to the other films and the consequences of previous Avengers films and battles are the cause of most of the action in this film. Casual references during the school scenes also show how the wider world has been affected by the Avengers.
And finally some of you may be wondering about the after the credits scenes, while these aren’t necessarily important to the development of the wider franchise they provide clues to future Spiderman films and a good laugh for the audience. Also an advisory for parents, this film does feature a small amount of adult humour and some violence but is aimed at children. The humour does just add that bit of something extra to keep the adult audiences interested and stop it being too childish and unrealistic. I really did enjoy this film and feel it does bring something new to the character however it is not as ground breaking as the Sam Raimi films, or as impactful as the other solo Marvel films.