Last night I took my son to the AMC Theatres at the Grapevine Mills Mall to see the IMAX 3D release of Spiderman: Homecoming. The long awaited release after getting a sneak peek of Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War delivered more than I expected in terms of story line. Now that Marvel and Sony have joined forces in this production the excitement over the beloved comic book hero, Spiderman shows that there will be a lot of expectations with this franchise.
“This movie is a product of Sony and Marvel working closely together,” says Producer Amy Pascal. “It’s a Sony movie and a Marvel production. Everyone came together and decided if we can put Spider-Man back in the MCU, which he always was a part of in the comics, everybody wins – and the biggest winner is the fans, as they finally get to see what they’ve been waiting a long time to see.”
I love the light hearted and modern day reboot of the comic book story which will create tomorrow’s blockbuster celebrity stars in Tom Holland, Zendaya and Laura Harrier. Before you read anymore about what we saw last night I need to let you know that yes there are SPOILERS in this feature review so feel free to skip the post and buy tickets to watch the movie – it is worth it. It was so worth it that I paid to watch it in 3D IMAX.
Storyline of Spiderman: Homecoming
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He is a superhero on “training wheels” – literally and figuratively as he navigates the complexities of high school and being your friendly, neighborhood superhero. He is told to stay out of trouble and await the call of Tony Stark under the watchful eye of Tony’s driver, Happy but hiding his superhero status from Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). He tells Aunt May that he is doing an internship with Stark Enterprises and has quit band, academic decathlon and other high school activities of a sophomore.
Peter is much more interested in proving himself worthy to be an Avenger to now father figure, Tony Stark. All the markings of a high flying dysfunctional family this is where the light tone of of a coming of age story is ripe for our young Peter Parker. Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spiderman is brilliant.
For producer and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, bringing the character into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in an original way that film audiences have never seen before was a top priority. “Over the past 15 years, we have built the Marvel Cinematic Universe with so many characters and movies, and now we have the opportunity to introduce Peter Parker and the Spider-Man franchise into that universe for the first time,” says Feige. “It’s exciting because that’s how he truly was in the comics, from the very beginning – he didn’t enter the comics as the only hero; he entered a world in which Tony Stark, Captain America and the Avengers all were there. It was the contrast of this young kid that had to do homework and be responsible for his Aunt May while being a superhero that was so fun. And now, for the first time, we get to do that in an entire film, which makes it fresh and new.”
Holland provides this emotionally vulnerable and naive perspective to Spiderman that I have never seen before. It’s the Spiderman before the weight of the world’s woes were cast upon his shoulders. Younger audiences will love it. Gen X’ers like me will love it and love taking our kids to the movies. I took my 6 yr old to watch it and he said he loved it. He also mentioned Zendaya, as a character he remembers from KC Undercover over on the Disney Channel.
Meshing all of these characters
Meshing all of these characters seems like a challenge. You see a cameo of Captain America doing PSA’s for high schoolers about detention and physical fitness. Captain America even makes an appearance at the end of the final credits scene. Michael Keaton plays Vulture and the storyline on how he “became” vulture is a story that could stand on it’s own in the movie. Michael Keaton goes from being a local scrap demo company to a criminal organization that takes high tech alien technology and weaponizes them for sale on the black market. One of those guns ends up being used in a robbery that Spiderman tries to break up. This is the climactic point by which Peter Parker makes the decision to see what Spiderman can do. The rest of the movie contains twists and turns in the amazing writing styles of Jon Watt.
For Watts, being tapped to direct Spider-Man: Homecoming was something he never thought was a possibility when he first met with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige. “When Marvel called for a meeting, I assumed it was just to see what I was like,” he recalls. “Then, they started to talk about what they wanted to do with Spider-Man and this amazing new opportunity where Sony and Marvel were teaming up. It was serendipitous, because I wanted to take on a coming-of-age high-school movie, and Jeremy Latcham and Eric Hauserman Carroll at Marvel were pitching what a take on the Spider-Man story in which the backdrop was high school, but in the context of a superhero movie. I was incredibly excited when I left and proceded to beat them into submission until they said yes.”
The drama and action never lets up
“I hope what we’re doing is telling a relatable Spider-Man story,” says Pascal. “What has always been great about the character of Peter Parker is that he has the same sort hopes, dreams, and problems that we all had when we were in high school. So audiences who are going to be able to instantly identify with Peter Parker, but at the same time see a Spider-Man interacting in a world he was not able to be a part of before.” The villains have relatable stories just like the heroes do. Towards the end, Adrian Toomes/Vulture played by Michael Keaton ends up going from a dad trying to provide for his family to an arms dealer. He also happens to be the dad of Peter Parker’s love interest Liz, played by Laura Harrier. That was a twist that really set up the final action sequence when Spiderman helps divert a hijacked plane onto the beach instead of veering into the city.
What about MJ?
You actually never get a glimpse of Mary Jane throughout this entire movie. More like you don’t know it’s MJ until you get to the end – the very end scene. So Peter Parker goes back into the classroom where he meets with his beloved Academic Decathlon team. Liz was the captain but has moved to Oregon after her dad, Adrian Toomes was sent to prison. During this meeting, their teacher calls on Michelle (played by Zendaya) and lets the team know she is the new team captain. She then tells everyone to call her MJ! Wow! I didn’t even see that one coming and I wondered why she was so prominent. I love Zendaya and I know that featuring her as a no nonsense loner in this first film sets up MJ to be a real badass in future flicks (that’s my hope anyway).
BTW like all Marvel movies, catch the scenes at mid credits and post credits because they reveal a lot. During the mid credits you see a jailhouse with Toomes as we meet the next new villains that Spiderman will face.
Spiderman: Homecoming stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. This film is directed by Jon Watts and produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal.
Get your tickets at Fandango. I got a free VIP gift of half off a funko figurine after purchasing one at full price.
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