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I’m going to come right out and say it, I’ve never been a Spiderman fan. I saw his original films, and hadn’t enjoyed them, and to be honest, had never cared for the character at all.
Until Tom Holland took on the mantel and become Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War. Suddenly, Spiderman became interesting, more than interesting, in fact. He became fun, and finally had that spark that caught my attention. Since I saw Civil War, I’ve been excited to see just what Spiderman could do under Marvel’s care.
To say the least, Homecoming did not disappoint.
Homecoming isn’t another origin story, it’s not a film about an experienced superhero, saving the world from a terrible threat. It’s a film about a teenage boy, one who’s desperate to help, but sometimes doesn’t have the best of luck with it.
Peter is struggling, he’s a fifteen year old boy, trying to deal with keeping up with his classes, his crush on Liz, and his unpopularity. But on top of that, he’s also trying to keep his identity a secret, work out who’s creating advanced weaponry, and get Tony Stark to see that he isn’t just a kid, and it’s not going well.
Tony is insistent on Peter being careful, learning his limits and figuring out what it means to be a hero, but Peter thinks he knows it all already, and is ready to be an Avenger for real, which had disastrous consequences.
For a first time solo movie in a franchise as big as Marvel, it could have been seen as a gamble, but it works out brilliantly. Luckily, everyone already knows the story of Peter Parker becoming the webslinging Spiderman, so that was already dealt with. Yet this film still felt a bit like an introduction to Peter, like Marvel were saying ‘this is what Peter Parker is supposed to be, this is who he is,’ and I have to say, it works. I went in with the thinnest knowledge of Spiderman, and went out knowing a lot more, and loving him a lot more than before.
Homecoming is a smart and funny Marvel film, one filled with references from previous MCU movies, and see’s the return of Happy Hogan (as well as someone else, who’s been rumoured to appear for a while), without being bogged down with the legend of Spiderman. It would have been so easy to go down the same route as previous outings for the character, where Peter is a ready made superhero from the beginning, with very few problems.
But with this film, it’s clear that Peter is learning, he makes mistakes (sometimes hilariously), and while determined, still is very naive about his calling. He’s sweet, and caring, and surprisingly clutzy for someone with Spidey-senses. He makes a lot of mistakes, he argues with Tony, and he feels real. No other Spidermen have felt real to me, they’ve never been teenagers to me, but this one did. He was a naive teenager who has a lot to learn, who has superhero struggles and normal problems, he didn’t just go through the motions, he really, really had to try at times.
It’s not something that’s seen often in superhero movies, they all seem to have a five minute training montage and are ready to go. But Peter was different, he has the powers, but he’s still learning how to work his suit, how he fights his bad guys, and how to handle the situation at hand. Watching him figure it all out was incredibly endearing, and grounded the film in reality more than I could have hoped it could. And to finally see a superhero who is almost as accident prone to me? Perfect, and so, so refreshing.
I laughed, I gasped, I freaked out several times, and I absolutely loved every single second. I went in slightly unsure, thanks to previous Spidey experiences, but this surpassed my expectations. Marvel have, once again, nailed it.
Welcome home Spiderman.