“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is an instant superhero classic

Marvel really can’t seem to do any wrong these days. They just have a feel for how to make some of the best blockbusters in the business. That trend will continue in a big way next month with the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, a team up between Marvel and Sony. Getting the webslinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a nice little cue, though the best part is just how amazing the movie is, no pun intended. Basically every part of this new Spider-Man franchise is the best that this character has ever been treated. It’s truly a spectacular comic book flick. The MCU is lucky to have this friendly neighborhood wall crawler.

Thankfully skipping over another origin story, this reboot puts Peter Parker (Tom Holland) already on the ground, having established him briefly in Captain America: Civil War. Following those events, we follow teenager Peter as he navigates both being a high school student in New York City and also a burgeoning superhero named Spider-Man, one who is desperate to join the Avengers. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sees potential in Peter, but isn’t quite ready to have Spidey stand on equal footing with Iron Man and company. So, he has Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) look out for him, keeping him on the ground in Queens. As Peter balances all of this, a danger/opportunity arises in Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a bitter blue collar worker who will become a super villain in The Vulture. Action ensues, but so does comedy and a little coming of age. Jon Watts directs and co-writes with the team of John Francis Daley, Christopher Ford, Johnathan Goldstein, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers. The cast also includes a scene stealing Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned, along with Abraham Attah, Hannibal Buress, Michael Chernus, Jennifer Connelly, Donald Glover, Laura Harrier, Michael Mando, Logan Marshall-Green, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Bokeem Woodbine, and Zendaya, among others. Michael Giacchino provides the score, while the cinematography is by Salvatore Totino.

As much a high school comedy as an action epic, this is a nearly perfect superhero film. In fact, it might just be Marvel’s best ever. By combining their sensibilities with Spidey’s, it makes for something really different. Traditionalists might be split on how Peter Parker and Spider-Man are portrayed here, but I loved this take. Holland is phenomenal too, blowing both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire (and they were each terrific in their own right) out of the water. Integrating Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark and even a bit of Iron Man into things fits the character into the MCU, but this is a much lower fi character, even with a Stark enhanced suit (which provides a ton of comic relief as he learns how to use it). It all just works.

Here is how I would rank all of the Spider-Man movies so far:

6. Spider-Man 3
5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
4. Spider-Man
3. The Amazing Spider-Man
2. Spider-Man 2
1. Spider-Man: Homecoming

It’s folly to assume that Spider-Man: Homecoming will score a Best Picture nomination. That being said, select Oscar categories might embrace it. A Best Actor nomination for Tom Holland won’t happen, but could Best Adapted Screenplay (for Daley, Ford, Goldstein, McKenna, Sommers, and Watts) be a long shot play? Maybe. Still, Sony should focus on technical categories like Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. Those tech fields could pay off. There will be Marvel competition before the year is out, especially in Visual Effects, but something could just happen for Spider-Man.

Next month, audiences are in for a real treat when Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters. On a purely entertainment based level, few things in 2017 can rival it. The film comes out on July 7th, and I’ll rave more about it then, but just know that it’s an incredibly good time. Next time out, I’ll discuss if it actually is the best Marvel movie in their MCU yet, though I think it just might be. Sit tight for that article early next month, which is literally just days away. This is a film worth getting excited for. Spider-Man is back, and he is better than ever…

Stay tuned for more on Spider-Man: Homecoming in the next week or so!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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