Wednesday, October 20, 2021

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’- The Wall Crawler Returns in a New Cinematic Universe!




It’s been three years since everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spider- Man swung across the big screen, and now he returns for a new and fresh start; for the second time. Yes, just like the 2012 “The Amazing Spider-Man,” the 2017 “Spider- Man: Homecoming” is a movie that presses the “restart” button on the whole franchise. However, what makes “Spider-Man: Homecoming” different from the previous five entries of the last 15 years is the fact that it’s the first official Spider-Man movie from Marvel Studios, making it the first entry to be produced by a company other than Sony Entertainment.

So, the big question on everyone’s mind is probably: “If Marvel created Spider-Man, why did it take them so long to make a movie about him?” Well, the answer to that is long and tedious, so I’ll spare my readers the dull legal mumbo jumbo and explain it simply. When Marvel sold Sony the rights to Spider Man years ago, they basically gave Sony rights to the Spider-Man trademark for movies only. Meaning, while Marvel owned the rights to comic book Spider-Man, Sony owned the rights to movie Spider-Man and all products related to said movies only. However, when Marvel Studios started making their own movies, Spider-Man had to be left out of the mix because Sony refused to give Marvel the rights to movie Spider Man. Then, after long meetings, boring courtroom battles, plus lots of money, Marvel has officially been given the green light from Sony to create their own Spider-Man series that coexists with their Marvel Cinematic Universe. Which brings us to Marvel Studios latest release, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”



The film takes place after the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” Upon returning to New York City, Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, is eager to get back into action and resume his career with the Avengers. However, his mentor, Iron Man, reprised once again by Robert Downey Jr., is firm that the young superhero in training is unprepared to take on the strenuous hardships that come with being a full-time Avenger. Meanwhile, a series of crimes begin to occur in the wall crawler’s neighborhood, which our hero quickly notices are undertaken by low-level felons armed with lethal technology well above the typical street thug pay grade. He soon learns that the criminals are allied with a masked, flying thief known only as the Vulture, who is played by the great Michael Keaton. Finding the opportunity to prove himself as a true superhero, Spider-Man takes it upon himself to capture the Vulture and stop him and his ravenous crew before their foul deeds put the innocent people of New York in danger, and before it gets in the way of the big homecoming dance.

This was a great start for the famous hero’s return to the big screen. While I could critique the film for using the overdone plot of the young hero in training, who has to balance his regular life with his superhero life, a concept that’s been done to death in films; I really can’t. Besides this being based on a comic book character that was written back in 1962, Spider-Man was the one that invented that cliché. The whole gimmick about Spider-Man is that he’s a young man trying to be a hero, while trying to deal with the difficulties he faces in his normal life, leading to his normal friends and superhero friends becoming intertwined by both worlds. A concept which “Spider-Man: Homecoming” gets right.

As far as effects and action scenes go, there’s plenty to be found. The new design of Spider-Man’s suit is aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but also maintains the traditional look we’re all familiar with. Plus, the web-slinging hero now has a new set of toys to play with. If only he knew how to work half of them. As for the design of the Vulture’s suit,

I was very pleased with the balance the film made with giving the supervillain a design that mimicked the outfit of a jet pilot, combined with mechanics of a vulture, making for some intimidating moments and high-class action between the hero and villain for the movie.

I’ll admit that Tom Holland would not have been my first choice for the role of Spider-Man, but after seeing the film, I’ve warmed up to him. Most people don’t think about it, but when it comes to superhero films, the actors have to assume the role of both the hero and their secret identity. And Tom

Holland does a grand job at both, balancing the role of a young and awkward high schooler trying to earn the respect of his fellow students, while at the same time, balancing the role as Spider- Man, a young superhero trying to protect the people of New York and prove that he has what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers. As for Robert Downey Jr., if you’ve loved him in the previous Marvel films, then his performance here will come as no different. Except this time, he’s taking on the role of a mentor figure for the young hero in training, Peter Parker.

Finally, there’s Michael Keaton. It feels almost meta seeing him take on the role of a supervillain in a comic book movie. Especially after his Oscar nominated performance in the 2014 film, “Birdman,” a film where he played a washed-up actor who left behind the superhero film business to try and make it big on Broadway. However, just because he’s the supervillain of the story, doesn’t mean he’s your typical villain who’s out for power or to create destruction. No, Michael Keaton’s depiction of the Vulture puts the character in a different light, that of a man who was once an average hardworking New Yorker trying to make an honest living, but circumstances have placed him into a position where the only way he can support his family, as well as help his friends, is to take up a new mantle as the Vulture, and play dirty in a city that cheated him and his comrades.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is rated PG-13 for action violence, some language, along with brief suggestive comments. As someone who’s seen every Spider-Man theatrical release that’s graced the big screen, I can say absolutely that this is one movie Marvel fans and Spider-Man fans can rejoice over; it’s a must see for everyone. Plus, it’s a fun, enjoyable, and hilarious ride from beginning to end that moviegoers of all ages will enjoy. The final score for “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is an 8 out 10. Here’s hoping this new series lasts longer than four years before they decide to reboot it all over again.

Marco Island resident and avid moviegoer, Matthew Mendisana is a Lynn University alumnus. While he possesses a bachelor’s degree in science, it’s the arts that attracted his attention. In his four years at Lynn, Matthew managed to achieve Magna Cum Laude status, earn three publications in the Lynn University magazine, make a short documentary featured in the university’s Film Festival, and created a radio PSA that was later broadcasted overseas.

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