Spider-Man: Homecoming is the latest in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since the inception of Marvel studios, fan have wanted an accurate telling of the web-slinger and for him to find his place with the other Avengers. The original Rami trilogy had an excellent take on the origin, but fell flat by the end. With Spidey in Sony’s hands, it was a long journey to obtain this joint-custody. Audiences adored him in Civil War and they will continue to love him in Homecoming.
In Captain America: Civil War, Peter was drafted by Tony Stark to fight on his side in the dispute. Once the events were resolved, his efforts thanked, he gets a ride home is allowed to keep the suit. His vigilante acts are what got Tony’s attentions in the first place, and now with a better suit, he continues to keep the peace in Queens with varying degrees of success. Thinking he’ll be called any day to be recruited as an official Avenger, Peter quits his activities with the decathlon team to free up time.
He stops a team of masked robbers stealing from an ATM and his efforts go unnoticed by Tony. It’s not until he tries to stop a weapons deal and nearly drowns in the lake that Tony does appear and saves him and explains he’s been monitoring him the whole time through his suit. Tony cautions him to not go looking for criminal activity – He’s not ready.
When Peter’s best friend Ned finds out that he’s Spider-Man, he convinces Peter to let him be the Man in the Chair. Together they study a weapon left behind in the deal. Wanting to know what these guys are up to, they hack into the tracking device is headed to Washington D.C.. Coincidentally, that’s where the decathlon competition is being held… so Peter rejoins the team to have transportation to the villains. Once there, Ned and Peter disable the tracking device on his suit so Tony won’t question. In the process, however, they unlock the suits full capabilities. Unable to fight with so much unknown of the suit, Peter fails in stopping Toomes, a man who was once part of a salvage team and had gone through the remnants of the fight in New York that was then fired by the government and, by extension, Tony. Toomes plans to take his revenge on Stark Industries and the government and steal all the alien tech that is kept from the public and sell it to them.
Peter spends the night holed up in warehouse and acquaints himself with the AI of his talking suit. Eventually he escapes with the knowledge that the weapon remnant, a core, Ned has been keeping on him is a Chitauri grenade! The core explodes in the monument and Peter rescues all from the crumbling monument, including Ned and his crush, Liz. When he returns to New York, Toomes strikes again on the Staten Island Ferry. Another bomb is planted and the ferry splits in two. Peter does what he can with his webbing, but it ultimately saved by Tony and a team of Iron Man suits. Peter desperately tries to explain his actions and he only did it because Tony refused to answer his calls, when in the end, Tony knew all along and had sent the FBI before hand, but Peter’s interference endangered all the passengers. Tony takes the suit from him, telling him he had been trying to prevent Peter from being like him.
Spirits dampened, though now having the time to return to being a normal teenager, Peter decides to ask Liz to the homecoming dance. When Peter picks Liz up for the dance, he’s greeted at the door by her father, Toomes. They ride to the dance in tension, all the while Toomes piecing together Peter’s identity. They arrive at the dance and Liz gets out for what she thinks is a father giving a warning to not try anything against his daughter. While that’s part of it, Toomes threatens Peter to not stop him again instead of offing him right there in then for saving Liz at the monument.
During the dance, Peter figures out what Toomes’ plan is and decides he can’t just let him do it, despite things. Unfortunately, Toomes was expecting him and manages to destroy his own hideout to trap Peter in the rubble. After some soul searching, Peter summons the strength to get free and go after Toomes before he can hi-jack the air craft carrier of alien tech from the old Avengers HQ. Peter get on board and is able to steer the crashing plane away from the city and on to Coney Island. Toomes and Peter fight for a time, and Peter gets pinned. Toomes grabs a crate of goods his jets can carry, but Peter notices it’s unstable and is able to save him in the blast. Peter leaves him tied up for the police, along with the cargo from the plane.
Liz and her mother move now that her father is in prison, and it leaves Peter wondering if he did the right thing. Tony invites Peter out to the new Avengers HQ to officially invite him to be an Avenger. Peter declines, deciding for himself once and for all he wasn’t ready and would like to be a teenager just a little longer. Tony gives him the suit back so he can continue to be Spider-Man for New York.
I adored Spider-Man: Homecoming so much. It had a lot of heart to it and it was incredibly honest. Seeing Spider-Man be portrayed like a teenager was refreshing. Maguire and Garfield always made him feel too old and a mixed bag of in-characterness. Holland’s bright-eyed enthusiasm and charm was such a delight to watch on screen. I know he’s 21, but his performance is so believable you forget that. I can’t wait to see him more involved with the Avengers.
Marvel knows its audience and I appreciated that. They decided to forego the origin bit, because everyone knows by now – Bit by a spider, Uncle Ben died. And with that time they didn’t have to waste, they established his struggles as a teen wanting to be a hero while doing homework and delve into a lush plot. It was also a nice breather to have a lesser-known villain. Michael Keaton did a fantastic job (that scene in car was SO intense, definitely my favorite part of the film). Also not having Mary-Jane or Gwen as a love interest was fascinating. I guess I don’t know enough Spidey-lore to know if Liz was original or not, but so far, the Mary-Jane that was established in this film will definitely keep things interesting for the sequel to come.
Spider-Man: Homecoming was elegant in its simplicity. It was very down to earth by comparison of the other films in the timeline, and I found that fitting considering its character focus.