As I walked into the Jam Factory to attend the Spider-Man: Homecoming fan preview, I was reminded of a very important fact: people fucking love Spider-Man. Costumes adorned many of the fans, and there was a buzz about that I’ve never really encountered at the movies before. So, how would they – and I – react to this latest reboot?
Spider-Man is probably the most rebooted superhero, with 3 different series of movies being released in the 21st century. Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and now Tom Holland have all donned the red suit for the big screen, with varying levels of success/notoriety (see here). This latest reboot comes with the intention to further establish Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having already appeared in Captain America: Civil War.
This movie succeeds by walking a tightrope between seriousness and levity. A high-school student who squirts web from his wrists isn’t as scary as a superhuman being from a defunct planet. Therefore, it follows that the Spider-Man movies shouldn’t have the same level of seriousness (a trap the Tobey Maguire trilogy fell into). Arguably, it’s more of a comedy than a superhero movie – the fight scenes are well choreographed and dramatic, but not with the same level of undeserved gravitas that certain other movies have had (see: Batman vs Superman).
Iron Man features a lot in this film, and he’s the perfect ambiguous voice in the movie. You never really know who to side with – do you feel bad for the awkward teenager, or do you agree with the restrictions being placed on him? It’s much like your mum telling you off. You know she’s right, but you don’t really want to listen to her. Luckily, she won’t tell you off if you take her to see Spider-Man, because she’ll be too busy having a great time.
Does this movie have the same level of storytelling as the aforementioned Civil War? No. Past Marvel movies have had more grandeur surrounding them, and in many ways, the relatively low-key build up to the release of this movie means that it can be enjoyed without any preconceived notions. What it does have are lovable characters, with Zendaya in particular playing her role perfectly as the disinterested Michelle. Indeed, great performances are delivered across the board.
Honestly, this is a very enjoyable superhero movie. It’s a perfect link between arcs in the Marvel universe, and it remains to be seen where the series goes next. New fans and old fans alike will enjoy this movie, and realistically, who doesn’t love a teenager in a red and blue suit?