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Published July 8th 2017
Spider-Man Swings into the MCU in Brilliant Fashion
Spider-Man: Homecoming is an important film for Spider-Man, as it is the debut solo outing of the beloved wall-crawler since first making his appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe during Captain America: Civil Wall. Despite Spider-Man's hot and cold appearances on the silver screen over the past decade, Homecoming delivers an outstanding Spider-Man film.
Homecoming is happy to avoid rehashing the iconic Spider-Man origin and instead focus on delivering the next chapter of Peter Parker's life after these events. Despite these moments being alluded too, moviegoers will not have to re-watch Peter Parker gain superpowers, or the eventual death of Uncle Ben. Though these are integral scenes to Spider-Man's character, they have been frequently on the silver screen and even the most general Spidey fan is aware they exist. Ignoring the origins and allowing Peter's evolution as a teenage superhero flourish did wonders for the film and our main hero.
Peter Parker is still coming to terms with the fact he tangled with the Avengers in Civil War, and the opening home movie Peter shot during those events delightfully showcases the tone of Peter Parker and the film. Despite his excitement of being mentored by Tony Stark Aka Iron-Man, Peter still must manage his lack of experience in the superhero department, as well as typical teenage issues such as school bullying, love life and the homecoming dance. The film juggles these two parallel issues well and it offers a genuinely fresh take on your typical superhero. Spider-Man isn't a hero out of time, or a rich man behind a suit, he is a teenage boy who wants to do the right thing and fight for those who need protecting. This character's mentality and the delightful performance of Tom Holland as Peter Parker helps create a genuinely endearing and honourable character that you want to see succeed, in both his teenage issues and those he faces behind his mask.
They say a superhero can only be as good as their villain, and fortunately Spider-Man: Homecoming easily has one of the best bad guys the MCU has ever delivered. The Vulture is played by Michael Keaton, and the character is one of the more sympathetic villains within the MCU. Vulture initially has his working contract terminated and to provide for his family, creates a criminal weapons racket to make a living. Despite being a criminal Vulture's actions feel oddly justified due to the nature of his initial opening scene and during the film his reasoning for his actions are sound when compared to other characters within the MCU who have benefited in similar fashion. But Vulture is made more believable due to the brilliant acting performance of Michael Keaton. Keaton is genuinely intimidating and threatening in his performance, as Keaton steals the spotlight in almost every scene we see his character. The engaging reasoning behind his actions and the lengths he will go to protect his family help produce a villain that can easily stand as one of the MCU's best, and provides a refreshing change from the typical cookie-cutter 'evil villain is evil' cliché.
While the two leading roles of superhero and villain are delivered incredibly well, the rest of the cast doesn't feel as spectacular. While Aunt May and Tony Stark both deliver sound performances in their mentoring roles, most of the minor characters within Homecoming never feel memorable when the end credits finally roll. None of the characters are particularly bad or annoying, instead, they feel so minor in the overall plot that I could barely tell you each character's name after only seeing the film several hours ago. Peter's sidekick during the film is a young teenager named Ned, and while their friendship feels real most of his initial character's aspects fall flat. Ned undoubtedly becomes more important and serves a greater purpose towards the film's conclusion, which will hopefully allow him to blossom in future films.
One of Spider-Man: Homecoming's weaker moments are during the one on one fight scenes between Spider-Man and Vulture. The main issue during these fights is due to the erratic camera and dark lighting. During the battles that take place in the dark night sky it becomes incredibly hard to figure out what exactly is happening. Vulture's colour scheme blends too well into the darkness and due to the shaky camera effects, these two issues make these fights a blurry mess. Though these fights are short and they do not ruin the overall film, it was an odd decision that hindered the impact and stakes of each battle.
Spider-Man's debut solo film in the MCU feels like a perfect homecoming for both Spider-Man and Peter Parker, which helps extend the MCU in brilliant new ways and creates a new hero that can be the forbearer for the franchise over the next decade. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a brilliant film in the MCU and one of the strongest recent superhero movies.