Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Review of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING: Schoolboy Spidey

July 10, 2017

Spider-Man, a superhero created for Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, was first portrayed on screen in a 12-minute short film by Donald Glut in 1969. Nicholas Hammond played Spider-Man in a TV series in the US, scenes of which were reedited and released for the big screen outside the US in 1977, with sequels in 1978 and 1981.

Toby Maguire became the definitive film Spider-Man when he starred in the Sam Raimi trilogy first released in 2002, with sequels in 2004 and 2007. Andrew Garfield had a go at the character for two films in 2012 and 2014, in a reboot series called "The Amazing Spider-Man" directed by Marc Webb. There was also supposed to have been a third film for him, but never pushed through.

In February of 2015, Sony Pictures granted Marvel Studios the rights to have Spider-Man appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film. Tom Holland debuted as Spider-Man in "Captain America: Civil War" followed by his own series of films. However, Sony Pictures will continue to own and have final creative control over Spider-Man, the character and his films.


Peter Parker is 14 going on 15 years old, a high school sophomore and member of their school's academic decathlon team. He already had his spider powers when we first see him, and Tony Stark has taken him under his wing. Stark provided him a high tech costume with A.I., fitted with multiple modes of web-shooting, but he told Peter that he is not yet ready to become a full-fledged Avenger.

Adrian Toomes was the owner of a salvage business who was able to get some alien technology from the ruins of the Battle of New York (from the first Avengers film). He had been developing and selling these weapons in the black market for eight years. One night, Spider-Man foils a robbery attempt at a bank with crooks who used these advanced weapons. Parker felt he should track down and nab the source of these weapons to prove to Stark that he was worthy to be an Avenger.

21- year old Tom Holland may not exactly look like a 15 year old anymore, but he can sound like one and can act like one. His Spider-Man is the most childish of the actors, and that is how it should be if we stay close to how the comics originally described him (even though this film pretty much changed the details of Spidey's backstory by making Iron Man an integral part of it). I still cannot say that he had bettered Tobey Maguire's iconic portrayal, but Holland comes pretty close. His subsequent sequels will tell. 

In keeping with the times, this new Peter Parker was given a group of multi-racial group of friends. His crush Liz (Laura Harrier) is African-American. His best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) is Filipino-American. His school nemesis Flash (Tony Revolori) is Latino. There is even a new MJ (Zendaya) in his circle, though her full name is Michelle, not Mary Jane. 

Furthermore, Aunt May is now a younger, more attractive woman in the person of Marisa Tomei. It comes a shock to those who were used to seeing Aunt May as a much older woman (like Rosemary Harris for Tobey Maguire, or Sally Field for Andrew Garfield). I think Tomei's casting can be good to inject more fun and energy into the Peter Parker part of the story. It will still need some getting used to though. 

Michael Keaton can really do these intense characters very well. We've seen and loved him as "Batman" (1989). There was his close brush with Oscar with "Birdman" (2014) which I thought he should have won for Best Actor. Here, not only was Keaton's Vulture given bigger and stronger alien-technology enhanced wings than he had in the comics, his Adrian Toomes was also given a surprisingly great dramatic story arc.

Overall, I thought this Jon Watts' film is a very good franchise reboot. Spider-Man is finally brought into the MCU via Tony Stark, who also gave him an all-new, multi-functional costume with a sexy A.I. voice Peter calls Karen (voiced by Jennifer Connelly). Its two major action scenes at the Washington Monument and the Staten Island ferry were both very well-executed. I liked the unexpected cameos of Chris Evans and especially Gwyneth Paltrow. 

It was OK with me that we did not have to see the actual radioactive spider bite or the death of Uncle Ben again. It is assumed we know those details already, and that is cool. I liked that Peter Parker was shown as a smart student, capable of giving quick correct answers to challenging quiz questions. I liked his cooperative interaction with his BFF Ned, who might awkward to watch at first, but he really grows on you as the film progresses. 

I liked that they used an updated version of the classic Spider-Man theme to accompany the opening credits. Since this is a Marvel movie, there are two extra scenes after the movie. There one in the middle of the closing credits, possibly hinting on a Sinister Six in the sequel. And there is that one at the very end of all the credits that teaches the lesson of patience, and gullibility. Had a good laugh with that second one!

I liked it that Tom Holland's Spidey was shown to be still unsure and unadept of all his powers and abilities, just like a fledgling teenage superhero is expected to be. I feel a Harry Potter-like series to come where Spidey develops these abilities to their fullest potential as he goes from one year to the next in high school. Looking forward to more of his web-slinging adventures to come! 8/10.


  1. Omg! I'm gonna watch this on Thursday! Thanks for sharing. ��

  2. Nobody beats tobey maguire as spidey.. No matter how big records are

  3. I've watched the film and it's nice that they showed a spiderman in training version this time. It would be nice to see the growth of his character since Spidey is among the strongest Marvel heroes.

  4. As much as I love tobey, i like tom holland as spiderman as well. I homestly think he played it rly well!

  5. I would love to watch this! Toby was my ultimate bet as spidey but we'll know if this will change once i see the new spideman!

  6. I just can not watch anymore spider man movies. I know the real fans know the difference but to me it is just a money racket, it is crazy they have rebooted this 3 times and it still makes millions.

  7. I just checked how much the movie ticket costs nowadays and it`s around Php 300. Back then, it was only below Php 150-200. I would like to watch this though. It brings back a lot of memories from when I first watched a Spiderman movie in the cinema with my older sister and younger brother years ago.

    ❀ Grace ❀

  8. I know people who loved Tom Holland's version of spiderman. I have not watched it because I will go through mourning for Uncle Ben again.

  9. I haven't watched this new version of Spider man. Personally, I'm not really huge fan of this kind of movie, but I still find it an interesting movie to watch. Thank you for the honest review about this movie.