Intrigued as I was by the 'cameo appearance' in Captain America: Civil War my appetite for a further Spider-Man story was a little less than enthusiastic. I had enjoyed Tom Holland's debut and enjoyed Peter Parker's interactions with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) but a fully fledged reboot was not something I longed for. This combined with the countless promo posters and hype machine on social media platforms and I was struggling to find a need for this films' existence.
Within minutes however I was quite happy to find myself back in the comic book world, enjoying the characters and revelling in Marvel Studios ability to weave a web (sorry) of interconnectivity bringing together the past, present and future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In the prologue to the film we meet Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes a city contractor working on the clean up job from the battle of New York in Avengers Assemble. When deemed to be surplus to requirements he and his crew set up a weapons trading business using some stolen Chitauri tech and taking advantage of his new found spoils, also carries out heists himself using his enhanced mechanic wings giving him the Vulture moniker.
Peter Parker (Tom Hoilland) meanwhile has been revelling in his debut as part of Stark's Avengers and longs for more action. A wonderfully teenage vlog style introduction brings us right up to speed and thankfully spares the viewer from another iteration of the Spider-Man origin story. . The focus of this film is how does Spider-Man fit into the existing super hero world and how does Peter Parker fit being a superhero into being a teenager who also has homework to do.
The balance proves tricky for Peter to negotiate. His will to do good is overpowering and in the early going has a few wonderful moments of teenage awkwardness. Struggling to change in an alleyway, intercepting the wrong guy who he assumes is breaking into a car. There is humor and heart in these moments and a clear indication that Parker is not yet the fully formed hero he desires to be.
His relationship with mentor Tony Stark is also entertaining and (thankfully) not as extensive as the trailer would suggest. To Peter Tony Stark is a hero and idol. This is the equivalent of a 'normal' teen befriending their sporting or pop idol. Indeed these heroes presence in the world brings a lot of attention including a teenage conversation around f-, marry, date highlighting (a tad inappropraiately) their new found status.
Once Peter encounters the Vulture's gang he has no choice but to act. He knows, despite his lack of fully formed skills, that he must intervene as that's the natural desire of any hero. All this serves to do however is resurrect the old Marvel staples of CGI battles and these drag on a little and at points are difficult to interpret in their more frantic movements.
Overall Spider-Man: Homecoming entertained and freshened up this most beloved of heroes. Tobey Maguire always felt like a great Peter Parker. Andrew Garfield always felt like a better Spidey. Wth his many quips and new place within the MCU, Tom Holland appears to have found the perfect balance of the two in his portrayal of the beloved webslinging teenager.
While initially hesitant, and still holding some mild reservations around the standard 'Marvel moments', I am more than happy that Spider-Man is home.