Let me start off by saying I really didn’t want this movie to be made. I wanted the Andrew Garfield run to get one more movie and a proper finish, and then they could do whatever they wanted to fit the character into the MCU. So in viewing and reviewing this, I’m admittedly not starting off from a place of true objectivity. So bear with me as I try to distinguish between what I wanted to get and what we were ultimately given by the Marvel/Sony production tag team. I absolutely cannot stand when people crap on a movie because it just isn’t what they wanted as opposed to commenting on it’s actual quality or lack thereof. So what did I think?
I thought they nailed the overall vibe they were going for. Tom Holland is the best high school Peter we’ve gotten in my book, and his friends/classmates all looked and acted like real high school students. No receding hairlines on would be freshmen and sophomores. And the teachers looked and acted like real teachers. The public service announcements from a certain Avenger were downright hilarious. Everything looked and felt like an actual high school.
The Tony Stark factor was mostly done right in my opinion. Contrary to all the snark about this being Iron Man 4, Tony’s total time on screen wasn’t too much and he was inserted at the right points to bring the story along. Robert Downey Jr excelled as always and added some poignant and funny moments to the story. I didn’t like how advanced the Spidey suit was that he gave Peter. I expected some Stark gadgetry but the amount here was so much that I thought it undercut Peter’s own genius level intellect.
Michael Keaton was really good as the Vulture. Keaton is one of the best actors of his generation and they let him work here. He was at different times charming (but not so much that you started liking him) and creepy (the much talked about car scene is vintage Scary Keaton), and posed enough of a physical threat to be believable as a nemesis.
I’ve previously had issue with how actors like Jeff Bridges and Hugo Weaving haven’t been used to their potential in MCU films but Keaton following up Kurt Russell in Guardians 2 has been a great one two punch in bad guys this year for Marvel.
The overall story was done really well. We didn’t get yet another killing of Uncle Ben onscreen (we never need to see him or Tom and Martha Wayne killed onscreen ever again), and unlike the previous incarnations we didn’t get a hotshot to adulthood. There’s room to breathe here for sequels to flesh out Peter’s life.
The easter eggs, from a mention of a certain other Spider-Man to a hint of a future villain, were all good. And the goof on the speaking style of my favorite superhero had this Bat fan laughing pretty hard.
I give it an 8, although I get why others would rank it higher. I’m not a huge Spider-Man mark so a lot of things that had some people jumping for joy just didn’t have the same effect on me. But it was all really well done and didn’t have any real turnoffs for me. No ridiculous suits for the bad guys, the villain narrative was coherent and easy to accept, and they struck the right balance between giving us a full blown intro to Holland as Peter without going full origin story.
Best Spidey movie ever? Don’t know yet. I’ve been partial towards the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie and Amazing Spider-Man 2, but Holland’s performance trumps Tobey Maguire in my book and the story in Homecoming doesn’t have clunky moments in the middle like the villain orogins in ASM 2. I’ll know for sure after rewatches. But either way I definitely recommend it.