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Review: Spider-Man – Homecoming (English)


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Most "Spider-Man" Spidey-flick yet. Tom Holland is the best Spider-Man yet. Fairly well-fleshed out villain. Hilarious Captain America instructive videos. A spiritual successor to Iron Man (2008) and The Avengers (2012).


Too familiar. Forgettable score by Michael Giacchino. Unimpressive action sequences. Lacks impact.

With “Spider-Man: Homecoming” Marvel and Sony give us the most “Spider-Man” Spider-Man-movie yet! Our Spidey-senses are still tingling!

Posted 30/06/2017 by

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 Can't you just be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?

With Spider-Man: Homecoming, we have reached the third iteration of Marvel's most popular superhero, Spider-Man, after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man-trilogy with Tobey Maguire and the two Amazing Spider-Man movies with Andrew Garfield. It was up to director Jon Watts (Cop Car) to realize this coproduction between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios with actor Tom Holland. How did the first ever blockbuster about the popular webspinner in Marvel's vast superhero movie universe with the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, end up being?

Having concluded his epic adventure in Captain America: Civil War, 15 year old Peter Parker/ Spider-Man (Tom Holland) now has trouble finding a balance between his life as the web swinging superhero Spider-Man and his daily routine as an average teenager at Midtown High School in Queens, New York City. Together with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Michelle (Zendaya), the unpopular and socially awkward Peter tries to survive his time in high school, while struggling with his romantic feelings for Liz (Laura Harrier) and the ever growing concerns of his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei).

He now continues his young carreer as Spider-Man under the surveillance of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) while seeking the approval of his personal hero Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.). If it is up to The Vulture/ Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), his heavily armed crew and their high-tech gear, however, Spidey won't succeed in gaining his mentor's trust. At all.

Let's get straight to the point here: Homecoming is the most "Spider-Man" feeling Spidey-flick yet. The duality of Peter Parker as Spider-Man and his responsibilities are pivotal for the plot, at which Homecoming finds a near perfect balance between both sides of his busy life. That way, the movie focusses on the little, more intimate moments and shows the audience "a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man" in New York City in a new, seperate story. The well-known origin story is only briefly mentioned in favor of this John Hughes like "coming of age"-narrative with some unexpected twists. A drawback here is that Homecoming remains mostly without impact.

This small-scale story links itself to the most popular episodes of Marvel's movie universe, Iron Man (2008) and The Avengers (2012). In this regard, Homecoming is a spiritual successor to these movies thanks to the many nods, the importance of the Chitauri technology for example, some fun cameos and especially some hilarious Captain America-serials and instructive videos by Chris Evans. Yes, Homecoming is by far the funniest Spider-Man-movie yet, containing lots of jokes and some witty dialogue. Visually and musically speaking, there aren't all that many suprises, despite a fun and inventive vlogging-sequence. We get the usual, well-executed visual effects and this time, unfortunately, a forgettable score by Michael Giacchino (Doctor Strange), despite the fun nod to the 60's-theme song and some songs by New York punks The Ramones (who also covered the iconic Spidey theme song).

While having been introduced in a cameo role in Captain America: Civil War, it was still up in the air if Tom Holland could perform his task as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in his own solo movie, especially in comparison with his predecessors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Whereas Maguire was a perfect Peter Parker and Garfield an excellent Spidey, Holland sets himself up to be an ideal combination of the two. On the one hand, there is his acrobatic and hilarious Spider-Man. On the other hand, there is his unexperienced, yet non-stop responsible Peter Parker. The critique on his highly advanced suit and A.I., courtesy of Tony Stark, shouldn't be taken to heart. It never bothers and has thematical meaning in Homecoming. It should be clear by now, with Tom Holland, Marvel has found themself an ideal torchbearer for Phase 4 and the post-Avengers: Infinity War-age and the best live-action Spider-Man to date.

Other members of this impressive (and subtly etnic diverse) cast are the returning Marisa Tomei as a foxier Aunt May, Jacob Batalon as the funny and ever-so curious Ned Leeds, Laura Harrier as the smart and charming Liz and of course Zendaya as the sarcastic Michelle. On the background, characters like Betty Brant, played by Angourie Rice, and the modern version of bully Flash Thompson, performed by Tony Revolori, can be noticed as well. We shouldn't of course forget about Jon Favreau as control freak Happy Hogan and franchise veteran Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, this time being a more serious mentor for Peter, narrowly following the comic books from Marvel's New Avengers/Civil War era. Fans shouldn't worry about his part in the movie, by the way: Homecoming is never a full-on team-up movie, but more so contains a recurring Iron Man cameo.

A good hero has need not only of a strong supporting cast, but as well as an adequate villain. With Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture, a classic Spidey villain once again gets his live-action introduction. In Homecoming, he is pretty well fleshed-out, despite having a fairly rapid transition from "everyman" to flying murderous psychopath, who still adheres to a code. His Vulture is of course part of a few impressive action scenes, while also being a part of a disappointing climax, and is the best villain in a Spider-Man movie since Alfred Molina's Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 (2004). Among his crew and business associates, comic book fans will have a field day spotting all of the comic book characters, like Jackson Brice/ Shocker I (Logan Marshall-Green), Herman Schultz/ Shocker II (Bokeem Woodbine), Phineas Mason/ The Tinkerer (Michael Chernus), Aaron Davis/The Prowler (Donald Glover) and Mac Gargan (Michael Mando).

As expected, Homecoming combines Marvel's classic early Amazing Spider-Man-comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko with the Ultimate Spider-Man-comics by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, with dozens of easter eggs for the fans and a hero that firmly belongs in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – yet is strong enough to have his own little world (and spin-off movies) around him.

In the end, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a fine coming-of-age-story about Peter Parker/Spider-Man, as was his first movie, with a strong cast, nice visuals, sufficient action and a lot of heart and humor. Without a doubt, the movie shows itself to be a typical, downscaled "Marvel Studios"-blockbuster with some unexpected twists, yet Homecoming also feels a bit too familiar, too predictable and too much style-over-substance – especially in comparison to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man-trilogy. A part of us hoped for a bit more, but nevertheless Spider-Man: Homecoming is a great Spider-Man-superhero action movie!

Scroll down for the post-credits sequences!

Spider-Man: Homecoming post-credits scènes – Spoilers!

1. The first post credits scene shows Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture, who is now incarcerated. In the corridors, Mac Gargan (Michael Mando), with a clearly visible scorpion tattoo, asks Toomes about rumors of him knowing Spider-Man's secret identity. Toomes refuses and tells him he has no idea, while going to his family, faithfully waiting for him.

2. A second scene – after the entire credits have rolled – has Chris Evans return as Captain America in a third instructive video. This time, Steve Rogers adresses the audience and gives us some lessons about the virtue of "patience". And that at times, waiting long for something just isn't worth it. Of course, this is a not-that-subtle nod to the casual Marvel-fan waiting minutes for just a snippet of what is to come next in Marvel Studios' movie universe.




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