Spider-Man: Homecoming is an apt title for Marvel’s first movie adaptation of the character since working out a rights deal with Sony. But that’s not the only thing that’s perfect about this movie. (Not perfect as in Wonder Woman perfect – because that’s a whole other ballgame – but perfect nonetheless).
Since discovering that Spider-Man is indeed our family’s #1 hero, I’ve also discovered that my impressive collection of superhero T-shirts does not, in fact, include a Spidey shirt. That affront should be remedied immediately, so posting a review of the movie is the least I can do.
I’ll start by saying that I liked the Toby McGuire Spider-Man movies just fine when they were all there was (and even like a re-watch every now and again). Similarly, I was excited and initially pleased with Andrew Garfield’s Amazing Spider-Mans; he had the lanky, spider crouch thing down (though I like these less and less on repeat). But these pale in comparison to the latest big-screen Spidey. Here’s why:
Peter Parker is a kid. And he finally looks like one on the big screen. Tom Holland, whom the Girl told me is actually 21, looks the part of a 15-year-old high school student. Toby McGuire, despite playing a high-schooler in his first take on the character, didn’t quite look the part, which is probably why he graduated early in the series. Likewise, Andrew Garfield does not jive as a young Peter, despite the skateboard and backpack look.
Peter Parker is awkward. And either Tom Holland is too or he acted his tail off to get this one right. Toby McGuire seemed to confuse awkward with shy, except for when the Venom gunk got on him in Spider-Man 3 and he tried to have swagger and be cool but just came off as a jerk. I’m not sure Andrew Garfield even tried to be awkward. He was just way too “cool but troubled” from the start.
Peter Parker is funny. Perhaps he’s funny because he’s an awkward kid, or in spite of it. Regardless of how you look at it, he’s a chatterbox who’s good-heartedness leads to some hilarity when taking on villains. More of Spidey trying to do the right thing while being a little goofy and less of the zingers or one-liners, plus handwritten notes pinned to the webbed-up bad guys, made Homecoming right on the money here.
I’ve said before that, of what we had, Toby McGuire made a better Peter Parker, while Andrew Garfield made a better Spider-Man. But…
Spider-Man is Peter Parker. So Spider-Man is the good-hearted, funny but awkward kid, who’s just trying to do the right thing with this extraordinary hand he’s been dealt. Tom Holland is the whole package. There’s no divide, no telling the character apart. Tom Holland as Peter Parker is Spider-Man and vice versa. And the story of Homecoming allows us to get to know the character’s rebirth under Marvel Studio’s helm in a fresh, action-packed way. There’s no re-hashing of what everyone already knows (I don’t think I could take another Uncle Ben fiasco on the big screen) but there’s enough to let us know that this is THE friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man we all know and love. And the one we’ve been waiting for. Welcome home, Spidey.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is still playing in theaters everywhere. If you haven’t seen it yet, climb out from under your rock and go now.