If you loved ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Deadpool’, then grab your popcorn and get ready for two hours of pure pleasure while an adolescent Peter Parker captures you in his web.
There’s almost nothing better than a teen angst movie that perfectly captures the awkwardness and agony of high school. Combine that with a superhero like Spider-Man whose alter ego is a seemingly 98lb weakling, and you’ve got a recipe for relate-ability and unlikely laughs.
Peter Parker [Tom Holland], in Spider-Man: Homecoming is absolutely like almost every one of us in high school. Most of us were the 99 percenters who weren’t the football heroes, cheerleaders, or any member of the “in” group. And neither is Peter.
Instead, Peter, played so convincingly by Holland, is an ordinary New York City teen living in a Queens walkup apartment with his hardworking Aunt May [Marisa Tomei], who happens to be hot enough to have takeout delivery guys swooning. That is, he was ordinary until he got that infamous spider bite, and was endowed with super strength, super web making, and etc other super powers. However, out of his blue and red Spidey suit, he’s still scrawny, nerdy enough to land a spot on his city school’s Academic Decathlon team, and he is hopelessly crushing on beautiful brainiac, Liz [Laura Harrier].
He has an equally geeky tech genius friend, (of course) Ned [Jacob Batalon], and a desperate desire to become a full fledged superhero and member of Tony ‘Iron Man’ Stark’s Avengers. Stark is keeping a close eye on Peter, seemingly at a distance, and that’s a relief since Peter is still in the amateur stage of super-heroing. He can’t wait to get out of school, to change into his Spidey-wear in an alley and start jumping from rooftop to rooftop disarming bike thieves and purse snatchers. While doing his good deeding he stumbles onto a gang of bad guys trafficking in dangerous weapons made from “alien” materials stolen from the federal government.
Adrian Toomes ( Michael Keaton), a former city contractor, is the leader of the bad guys, and he feels fully justified in conducting his illicit arms trading. In his mind, he’s simply stealing from the privileged rich elite in order to support his family. As Peter becomes obsessed with tracking down Toomes and saving the world from his weapons, it becomes harder and harder to hide his dangerous adventures from Aunt May and to keep up his front as a serious student at school.
Meanwhile, the iconic NYC Staten Island ferry and Coney Island come in for some serious danger as does the Washington Monument, thanks to Peter.
But the best moments of the movie aren’t Peter’s swinging and scaling feats, they are the takes on high school’s daily agonies and ecstasies. Peter getting called “Penis Parker” in the hallways, Peter practicing with the Academic Decathlon team under the ironic empathetic eye of his dry-witted teacher/coach [Martin Starr], Peter getting up the gumption to invite Liz to the prom and then Peter gathering his courage to meet Liz’s parents when he picks her up for the big dance. These are the scenes that make the movie, along with Peter’s face to face encounters with his idol Tony Stark, doing his Robert Downey Jr., Tony Stark thing.
In any case, this is the summer of the superhero and heroine. Both, thankfully remind us that there are critical values that need to be defended — honesty, goodness, caring, innocence, kindness, love — even if we aren’t seeing that from the highest office in our land.
HollywoodLifers, are you going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming in theaters? Let me know!