Following events in Civil War, where Spiderman (Tom Holland) stole Captain America’s (Chris Evans) shield, Peter Parker is trying to adjust to life as a “normal” teenager. Peter finds this difficult as he desperately waits for a call from Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) that will be the starting point of his career in The Avengers. Tony feels he is not quite ready and implores Peter to keep out of trouble, but when Peter discovers a group of criminals, led by Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, selling alien tech weapons he can’t help but get stuck in the action.
During the 18 years we have been in this 21st century there have been three Spiderman reincarnations. The first was Tobey Maguire, second was Andrew Garfield, and third, and probably not the last, was Tom Holland. Thankfully, they have decided to skip the origins nonsense altogether (who needs to see that again) and immediately thrust Spiderman into the ring. This does run the risk of leaving Spiderman a little on the wayside, but the hero’s teenage immaturity remains intact, leaving the hero feel like a genuine teenager.
Peter Parker’s teenage antics are at their height when he takes regular stumbles in trying to impress the girl he desires, and it’s enjoyable to see that aspect of his life. This is where Holland excels, he does a good job at showing Parker’s socially awkward aspect of his character. However, where he doesn’t quite hit the heights is as Spiderman himself. It just feels as though his quirky quips lack the bite or charm of the other characters, leaving Spiderman Homecoming the least funny of recent Marvel films despite having one of the lightest tones.
Perhaps it’s the fault of director Jon Watts for not getting the enough laughs out of the film’s light tone, but, whenever Spiderman dons his outfit, he seems the least interesting of the superheroes despite being perfect likeable outside. Perhaps it’s because the action scenes felt too computer ‘gamey’ as Spiderman shooting his webs from building to building is about as involving and exciting as a badly implemented quick time event in a video game.
Michael Keaton makes for a decent villain, but, despite some pretty impressive moments (the car ride to the Homecoming Dance is a masterclass in tension) Spiderman: Homecoming is one of the more disappointing Marvel efforts of late. That said, it’s still perfectly serviceable and that’s a testament to the constant level of quality output by Marvel Studios.