Spider-Man: Homecoming (2016)

spider-man homecoming poster 2016 movie review
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting : 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Entertaining, boost of energy to the character

The Vulture character didn't seem very consistent

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Spider-Man:  Homecoming

Studio:   Marvel Studios

Genre(s):   Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):   June 28, 2017 (Premiere)/July 7, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:   PG-13

spider-man homecoming tom holland churro

Just your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man enjoying a churro

Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is on top of the world.  He’s Spider-Man and an Avenger…sort of…even if Iron Man won’t really say it.  Assigned by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to “Happy” Hogan (Jon Favreau) for monitor, Peter is waiting for his next big mission but also trying to build a name for himself in his home of Queens.  When Peter interrupts a robbery by agents of the Vulture (Michael Keaton), Peter thinks he’s found what he needs to push him into the big leagues in Stark’s eyes.  Peter learns that balancing his life with May (Marisa Tomei), his friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), and his crush Liz (Laura Harrier)…and being a superhero might be a full-time job.

Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man:  Homecoming is a joint venture between Sony Pictures and Disney who has released the other Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The film is a reboot after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 from 2014 and continued from Captain America:  Civil War from 2016.  It was released to positive reviews and a strong box office.

spider-man homecoming vulture michael keaton

Vulture…scavenger of parts…clever play on the character

Toby Maguire was ok, but I felt he lacked the fun that Spider-Man needed.  Andrew Garfield had more fun but the stories and the fact he didn’t seem like a teen didn’t help that reboot.  Here we get a teen that feels real (though Tom Holland isn’t a teen) and a movie that works better with the character.

In the comic, I’ve never been a fan of Spider-Man being an Avenger.  It felt like it was a comic book ploy to put everyone’s favorite on a team to sell more books (Wolverine was added to the team at the same time).  This is true of Captain America:  Civil War too…I’m glad that they backed off the “Spider-Man—Avenger” storyline while not completely jetting it from story.  You get a Spider-Man that feels real and independent but also logically watched over by adults (aka Happy and Tony) since it seems pretty irresponsible to give kids a weapon without some supervision (though still irresponsible).

The story is good but could use some working.  It may be a bit heavy on the melodrama and a little light on action through much of the story (though that is a theme of the Spider-Man comics…making the character more human).  I do think while the Vulture is interesting as a working class hero, he’s also pretty inconsistent.  He kills a guy (allegedly accidentally) without batting an eye and acts like his moral compass is on point…I liked him better as a more human character as he appears earlier in the film.  The film sometimes manages to feel a bit too light and humorous…I felt that there was little danger in the movie.

spider-man homecoming washington monument

My field trips were never this exciting (though we did have a person pass out)

Tom Holland plays Spider-Man as an impatient kid instead of someone burdened with “with great power comes great responsibility” leading to the question of if he had the hard lesson of Uncle Ben in this version. Marissa Tomei is good but underused as the “hot Aunt May” who gets the last laugh of the movie.  Michael Keaton brings his smarminess to the character and manages to raise the tension of a Spider-Man movie to a new level with the drive to the dance scene.  John Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. bring their normal Iron Man characters to the film with an appearance by Gwenyth Paltrow, but Chris Evans’ Captain America cameo is the scene stealer.  Laura Harrier is nice as Liz (though not Liz Allen), and Jacob Batalon is sometimes pitch perfect as Ned but other times a bit over the top as the “funny best friend”.   Other cameos and small roles in the movie include Stan Lee (of course), Bokeem Woodbine and Logan Marshall-Green as the Shocker, the Tinker by Michael Chernus, Jennifer Connelly provides the voice of Karne and the movie sets up future plotlines involving Zendaya (MJ), Michael Mando (the Scorpion) and Donald Glover (Aaron Davis aka the Prowler and through him potentially Miles Morales)…the film is loaded with cameos and easter eggs in the casting sense.

spider-man homecoming vs vulture coney island michael keaton tom holland

This happens every time I leave Queens.

The movie also looks strong.  The film has come a long way from the first Sam Raimi movie which looked a bit too artificial.  The new Spider-Man seems to carry weight and the mechanics of his swinging (and its limitations) are more pronounced.  The movie’s story skirts around some issues by having a more mechanical Spider-Man suit do a lot of the tech stuff for Spider-Man, but it still works.

Spider-Man:  Homecoming seems to have the tone that Spider-Man 3 was attempting.  The movie is light and fun and shows a Peter Parker who is still a kid and having fun with what he does.  I hope that the makers keep the Spider-Man movies relatively light, but I wouldn’t mind a little more sense of danger…that doesn’t mean we need to see MJ kicked from the top of a bridge, but it would be good to at least have a sense that it could be a possibility…plus, keeping the Green Goblin out of the mix would probably be recommended.  Keep swinging, Spider-Man!  Spider-Man:  Homecoming was followed by Thor:  Ragnarok also in 2017.  Spider-Man returned in Avengers:  Infinity War (2018) and Avengers:  Endgame (2019) with his own second solo adventure in Spider-Man:  Far from Home (2019)

Related Links:

Spider-Man:  Far from Home (2019)

Spider-Man:  No Way Home (2021)

Avengers:  Infinity War (2019)

Avengers:  Endgame (2019)

Captain America:  Civil War (2016)

Spider-Man:  Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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