Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man Photo
Photo by D. Tempesta

At last, the Spiderman movie we deserve! After watching the Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield movies miss the mark, it was fun to watch this one get it right. As I have often said to friends, Tobey Maguire was a good Peter Parker but an unconvincing Spider-Man. On the other hand, Andrew Garfield was a great Spider-Man but a bad Peter Parker. Maguire just wasn’t fun enough as Spider-Man, and Garfield was too fun to be Peter. Tom Holland was just right.

Holland convincingly portrayed the socially awkward and outcast Peter Parker while also displaying the quick-witted, adept fighter of Spider-Man. Neither of these was sacrificed in the least. He sits alone at lunch with only one other friend every day. He receives looks of condescension from girls when he and Ned get excited about the LEGO Death Star (with which I see no problem). And he is on an academic decathlon team, hardly the stuff of the standard cool kids. Even his interactions with Tony Stark are so uncomfortable that I wanted to help him, and I once said, “Nice to meet you” to someone I had known for over 6 years because I didn’t recognize her. He is very likable without being uncharacteristically charming. But at the same time, we just feel kinda badly for him. All of this equates to a convincing Peter Parker.

While under the mask, Holland presents us with the humor and agility that we expect from Spider-Man. Spider-Man is effectively a different person from Peter Parker, and Holland acts out this dichotomy excellently. While he fumbles his way through conversations, he glides his way through the city in his suit. He uses his web creatively and naturally and he moves so smoothly in his fights. I will concede that there are moments of subpar performance as Spider-Man, but he is new to this, so I’ll allow it. I often say that there are two superheroes that need to deliver clever lines while fighting, the Flash and Spider-Man. We are not counting Deadpool as a “hero” here. Even if everything else was done perfectly, but they didn’t deliver funny quips while fighting, I would not be satisfied with their characters. With Spider-Man leaving notes on stolen bikes, giving an elderly lady directions (and receiving a churro in return), and his comment on the false identity of The Avengers, this film did it right. The Spider-Man that Holland gives us is complete and convincing.

In addition to Peter and Spider-Man being outstanding, the content and context of this film just feel good. He is shown with such normalcy and relatability that he could be any one of us. Peter struggles with issues that any given 15-year-old in America would. At the same time, he is trying to figure out what it means to be Spider-Man. This dichotomy is portrayed well throughout the film, the most effective being when he must wear his original homemade Spidey suit. With the proper materials, anyone can make that or a version of that (as you can see above). Finally, the bad guy Spider-Man is fighting is the appropriate size for this movie. He is not a supervillain with visions of world domination. He is a simple man who chose a life of crime after being displaced as Batman by an entity owned by Stark. His impact on the world is limited to a small area and, while what he does is condemnable, his contribution to evil actions is indirect. He does not commit the crimes or killings, he only sells the weapons to the people who do. This is exactly the type of bad guy that a young Spider-Man would both care about and be capable of combating.

My name is Chuck, and these are my thoughts. Now I would like to know what you think. Have you seen the previous renditions of Spider-Man? Which do you like best? Which actor did you enjoy most? Leave a comment down below, and we’ll talk. Enjoy the day!


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