Spider-Man is back, baby! It’s been almost three years since the last Spider-Man movie (2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2) and so it’s way past time for a brand new Spider-Man reboot. Determined to not disappoint a legion of thirsty fans, Sony and Marvel have teamed up to release a half dozen different Spider-Man reboots over the next week. Now it’s time for us to decide which one’s the future of Spider-Man!
First up is Spider-Man: Homecoming, which imagines Peter Parker as a young teen again the way it was meant to be. He has to deal with things like who to take to the Homecoming Dance (hint: Mary Jane’s back!!) and how to deal with Iron Man constantly checking in on him to see if he’s ready to join the Avengers full-time.
Honestly, I loved Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is really saying something because I usually hate the dumb kiddie Marvel movies. Much of Spider-Man: Homecoming is actually set in high school which makes it way more relatable than most superhero movies these days. Everyone remembers the laughs and tears of being a teenager, and Spider-Man is no different.
Of course, there’s action galore as well. But unlike previous Spider-Man movies, this Spider-Man is so young that he spends most of the movie screwing up. He’s just learning, he needs his training wheels. That felt realistic to me, and the age old teenage cliches about slinging your webs everywhere ring true.
The integration of Spider-Man: Homecoming into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe is seamless. The events of Captain America: Civil War are efficiently recapped via Peter Parker’s hyperventilating Instagram story. Peter and his classmates also have to watch a series of educational videos sprinkled throughout the movie starring Captain America. High schoolers sure do live in phones and videos these days!
Happy Hogan, Iron Man’s aide-de-camp, is a constant presence in the background. The fact that Spider-Man is being watched over by an extremely powerful billionaire does not drain the movie of any suspense at all.
Although Spider-Man: Homecoming is zippy, dippy, and goofy, not to mention fun as all hell, it’s hard to say whether this is the best of the new round of Spider-Man reboots because I haven’t seen any of the others yet. Check back tomorrow for my review of Spider-Man: Middle School Dance.
TL;DR – Spider-Man: Homecoming does whatever a second reboot can, delivering a colorful, fun adventure that fits snugly in the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe without getting bogged down too often in franchise-building.
What the rest of the critics are saying:
“This is the first Spider-Man reboot I’ve seen this week, so I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen them all.” – Dominique Vivant, Vulture
“I can’t wait to see the rest of the Spider-Man reboots if they’re as good as this one.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
“I didn’t love Spider-Man: Homecoming, but thankfully there are several more Spider-Man reboots coming out this week so I’m sure one of them will be more to my taste.” – Francis Kennard Colbeck, BBC
“We’ve already seen teen Spider-Man, so I’m not sure why we needed Spider-Man: Homecoming. I’m glad the other reboots will be exploring Spider-Man when he’s of different ages.” – Fabio Chigi, Film School Rejects
“If the eight rumored Spider-Man reboots are going to be as fizzy and funny and warmhearted as this, keep ’em coming.” – Chris Klimek, NPR
“The movie’s not flawless, but it is fun, a big improvement on the non-wowing The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel of recent years. Here’s hoping the other reboots are even better.” – Peter Howell, Toronto Star
“Tom Holland seems to have been born to play the role, infusing the entire film with cheeky teenage energy. And it’s also one of the funniest, most complex blockbusters of the year. I can’t imagine the other Spider-Man reboots coming out in the next few days could possibly be better than this one.” – Rich Cline, Contactmusic.com
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