Spider-Man finds his way in latest reboot

By Ryan Simmons (Twitter: RyanSimmonsVO)
July 7, 2017 - 6:16am

Spider-Man is my favourite comic book character, and it's really always come down to one thing; Spider-Man gets you.

Ever struggle to understand where you fit in the world? Thor doesn't get that. He's a God who was born to rule Asgard. But Spider-Man gets it.

Ever run out of money so you have to decide between a date with the girl you like or paying your bills? Bruce Wayne doesn't get that, he's a billionaire with a butler. But Peter Parker understands.

Ever feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, and no matter what you do you're going to let someone down? The Hulk doesn't get that, he's a mindless green monster. But your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man? You get the point...

Spider-Man gets you, which is why it's been so hard to watch the wrong movie studio fail to get Spidey for a decade and a half. Luckily he's back in Marvel's hands, and you instantly get the sense they're the right hands as Spider-Man: Homecoming opens with an orchestral version of the familiar 60s Spider-Man cartoon theme, and Peter Parker endearingly geeking out over his fellow super heroes. It just hits the right notes immediately.

The story is also easy to relate to; after calling him up to help with The Avengers, Tony Stark takes it upon himself to train Peter Parker to one day join the team. He takes on a father-like role for Peter and gifts him with a cool, new suit to help him along the way. Problems start to arise, though, when teenage Peter Parker feels Tony Stark isn't seeing his true potential. He has so much more to give. He understands more about the world than Stark gives him credit for. He's ready to just be a grown up, already, and fight with the A-team... it's me when I was a teenager, basically. Only with super powers. It's such a likable, relatable story. It's everything a Spider-Man story should be.

Obviously, bringing Spider-Man to the screen as accurately as they did couldn't be accomplished without a great performance by Tom Holland. He seems to really get both sides of this character, and I really see him embodying it going forward in the same way RDJ has basically become Iron Man.

It's also delightful to see Michael Keaton, the man who reinvigorated comic book movies in the late 80s as Batman, find a place in the new world of comic book movies. He's great as The Vulture, who just like Spider-Man is very relatable in a different, blue collar way. It's an interesting story that shows the nuances of superheroes, and how right and wrong aren't black and white even in this world. Best of all, it features honestly the best twist ever in a Marvel movie. When it went down the entire theatre went "oooohhhh". It was a really great bit of movie magic.

Now it's time to take off my fan boy hat and put on my movie critic hat for a moment... one could definitely fault Marvel movies for having fallen into a formula. This movie plays a lot like Ant Man. It's an almost identical story structure. If Marvel doesn't find a way to start getting a little more out of the characters than just what we expect, I could see audiences start to burn out on comic book movies in the near future. That being said, there's enough to love about Spider-Man: Homecoming to ward off the feelings of a stale formula for now.

All in all, if you like Marvel movies, you're going to like Spider-Man: Homecoming a lot. If you're a big fan of the Spider-Man from the comics, or the 90s TV show, and you've wanted to see that version captured on film, you're going to like Spider-Man: Homecoming a lot.

If you want to see an Oscar contender like The Dark Knight, or a movie that's going to reinvent the comic book movie genre, or you're already getting tired of Marvel movies, you won't like Spider-Man: Homecoming... but you probably already knew that.

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