‘Spiderman: Homecoming’ Review Roundup: Less Cocky Spiderman Is What Franchise Needed
Spiderman: Homecoming, starring Tom Holland as the superhero, is getting glowing reviews thus far, and even racked up an impressive 94% on rottentomatoes.com. Holland’s Spiderman made his debut in Captain America: Civil War and was widely praised, and now his standalone film has not disappointed.
Despite the film sporting six writing credits, it came together as a comprehensive comic book tale that’s as fresh as it is fun. The film is lighthearted, and focuses on what Peter Parker really is – just an awkward kid. Michael Keaton plays the villain Vulture, a criminal mastermind that Spidey must take down, while Robert Downey, Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark and makes Spiderman a new high-tech suit. Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Lauren Harrier, Zendaya, and Tony Revolori also star.
While no one was asking for a sixth Spiderman movie in 15 years, Sony delivered, and born was a humble, deer-in-the-headlights teenage Spidey that no one knew they wanted.
SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING REVIEW ROUNDUP
“Homecoming is more or less about how Peter Parker needs to stay forever young, ideally 15 or so years old. What’s always been most appealing about Spider-Man is that he’s a kid, if one who can spin big, sticky webs and swing from rooftop to rooftop, comparatively rinky-dink talents in the flying, magic-hammering superhero world. What makes Spider-Man different and, ideally, work as a character, giving him an off-kilter charm, is he retains the uncertainties and vulnerabilities of adolescence. For all his super-gifts and despite the weird and dangerous company he keeps, he is also a teenage boy — that’s his Kryptonite, what cuts him down to recognizable human size.”
–Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
“The movie’s not flawless, but it is fun, a big improvement on the non-wowing The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel of recent years… All of this is to say that Spider-Man: Homecoming isn’t your average superhero movie, even with obligatory (and good) action scenes involving Coney Island and the Washington Monument (road trip!). But it’s a fine start to a new Spider-Man franchise, even if nobody except Sony accountants were really asking for one. Next time, though, could our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man be a little less neighbourly and a little more snarky?”
–Peter Howell, The Toronto Star
“What are the odds that a film with six credited screenwriters and a director (Jon Watts) with more Onion content than anything else in his resume could recapture the youthful thrill of superhero movies in general and the youthful appeal of Spider-Man in particular? Not ‘youthful’ as in ‘for kids’ or ‘about kids’ (though there is that), but as in ‘exciting, earnest, and oh, right, fun.'”
–Matthew Lickona, San Diego Reader
“You’re up there with him, doing just what you’re supposed to be doing at a movie like this one. You forget yourself. You escape. The rest of the movie isn’t bad, but it’s very much down to earth… Holland has a likable presence, but he’s dutiful and imploring rather than captivating… Yet coming after the two Andrew Garfield “Spider-Man” films, which were the definition of super-forgettable competence, the movie is just distinctive enough, in concept and execution, to connect and become a sizable hit… That said, the flying action has a casual flip buoyancy, and the movie does get you rooting for Peter. The appeal of this particular Spider-Boy is all too basic: In his lunge for valor, he keeps falling, and he keeps getting up.”
–Owen Gleiberman, Variety