Arts & Entertainment

“Spider-Man: Homecoming”: heartfelt and hilarious

By Tyler McMaster
Staff Writer

It has been 15 years since the first Spider-Man graced the big screen. Since then, there have been two sequels, followed by a stylish reboot in 2012. Both franchises suffered the same fate of starting out strong, yet never quite hitting its desired stride.

So, why is it that one of the most popular and profitable super heroes cannot seem to receive a proper film treatment? Sony pictures asked themselves the same question in 2014, when “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” performed poorly in the eyes of fans and critics alike. The public grew tired of the same old stories.

However, things would change a year later when Sony and Marvel Studios announced an amicable partnership ahead of the release of “Captain America: Civil War.” Being that Spider-Man was an important player in the “Civil War” comics, people began to get excited. Spider-Man would finally come to life in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

With the massive amount of buzz generated from Spidey’s cameo, Kevin Feige and the rest of Marvel decided that it was time for the world to experience a faithful version of the Spider-Man canon. Thus, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” was born.

“Homecoming” hit theaters on July 7 to massive amounts of hype. This film brought fans back to the wall-crawling hero that many of us have fallen in love with time and time again.

Tom Holland, 21, accepts the mantle in flying colors (he actually flies in one scene and it is amazing.) Being the youngest actor to portray Spider-Man, Holland brings all of the heart, energy and humor that you would expect from a superhero in high school. He represents the challenges that come with shouldering immense responsibility, all while suffering through the awkwardness of teenage life. His Spider-Man is honest and heartwarming, leaving audiences cheering as he triumphs.

It can be challenging to highlight the entire cast, since almost every player brought something memorable to the table. Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark and acted as Peter’s pseudo-father-figure throughout the film, while Marissa Tomei helmed the infamous role of Aunt May. While May does not receive a massive amount of screen time, her presence is important and will most likely be emphasized in the sequel.

Another heavy hitter is Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. The Vulture. Keaton offers a perfect amount of charm and absolute menace, providing a likeable, yet problematic villain.

No one necessarily wants to like this guy, but it is so hard not to and Keaton makes sure that the audience is well-aware of this. His seamless transformation between charismatic and slimy is spellbinding and presents real danger in the film.

There is so much about “Homecoming” that accurately portrays the Spider-Man spirit. It does not quite feel like a reboot; more of a celebration of what has made Spider-Man endearing to readers for the past 50 years.

He is not always an adult hero, but a teenager contending with two different lives.

The writers of “Homecoming” present viewers with a heartfelt and hilarious portrait of Peter Parker and his friends and family. What may have seemed contrite in past portrayals of the character now feels honest and inviting. Fans will not only fall in love with Tom Holland and the rest of the cast, but they will leave with the satisfaction that our hero is finally home, where he belongs.