Even after seeing this film twice its still hard to believe Marvel and Sony were able to work something out and get Spider-Man in the MCU. Spider-Man arguably the most popular comic book today has had 6 movies since 2000 and 3 separate reboots, and this is by far the best film. A large reason this film is so great is because we finally have an actor who looks and feels like a teenager and Marvel specifically Kevin Feige took full creative control away from Sony and made a film true to the Spider-Man character. Tom Holland as Peter Parker could not have been more perfect. From the quick one liners, to the fighting, to the relationship and emotion he brought his A game to this film and brought Peter Parker to life. We should have known from the beginning that this film would be great when Marvel cast Michael Keaton as the main Villain The Vulture. Michael Keaton when motivated is an incredible A list actor and for a cinematic universe that has had just criticism about their throw away villains, Michael Keaton stands out at the top with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki as the clear best and most compelling villains in the MCU.
This film takes place a little after the events of Captain America: Civil War and Peter is still on a high from fighting the Avengers and is eagerly waiting for his next mission. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is in a mentor role where he wants Peter to become a hero but thinks he is still real young and needs to get more experience. Peter in classic teen rebellion fashion, is not here for the patience and goes after The Vulture Adrian Toomes who is selling stolen alien tech from the Shitari invasion in Avengers. As the film goes on Peter learns some hard lessons and makes some important long lasting relationships on his way to becoming the hero that Tony thought he could be.
For so many years we would watch TV shows and films shot and set in New York and the cast would be 90% or more white and I always thought “thats not what New York looks like”. Spider-Man Homecoming had a clear and purposeful message of depicting New York city as it is. This is not only the most diverse super hero film ever its honestly one of the most diverse cast films I have ever seen. Peter’s love interest Liz played by Laura Harrier was a black girl, his best friend Ned played by Jacob Batalon was an Asian man, his classmate nemesis Flash Thompson was played by Tony Revolori and Indian man, and we cant forget Zendaya as Michelle and Bokeem Woodbine as the Shocker. And those were just the main cast, the background characters from teachers, to reporters, to secondary villains, this film felt like New York city and was inclusive in a way that is not often seen in film. And I almost forget Donald Glover was in this film as a character that we will probably be seeing a lot more of in this trilogy. None of these characters played racial stereotypes or token characters, they all had major speaking roles and played a big part in Peter’s life. Also the agency and importance put on black women specifically which we typically see the least in these big budget action films was refreshing and long over due. Zendaya and Laura Harrier both played characters that were essential to Peter’s character and had their own interesting stories and twist that gave them agency and I expect to see both of them in future films. Marvel has done a great job but they have taken some heat, and rightly so for a lack of diversity in their films. This film was just the start, with Black Panther coming in February and Captain Marvel sometime next year it seems like Marvel and Disney heard the message and I expect to see this as a norm with their films going forward.
When the previews for this film came out, all people were talking about was that they knew the whole movie and they know exactly what Spider-Man Homecoming would be and I am here to tell you, that couldn’t be more wrong. There are scenes in the previews that are not even in the film at all and twist and turns that even the most staunch comic book reader would not see coming. I hear this complaint so often with Marvel films and you would think people would learn by now that they can cut a hell of a trailer that will get you in immediately, but never really shows you anything about the film. There was also complaints that this was Iron Man 4 and that is also another misconception and flat out lie. Robert Downey Jr. was used sparingly in this film and he is essentially a mentor to Peter and only appears in moments when the Spider-Man character needs development. His appearances were always impactful and strategically placed to show how important he is to this character without sucking all the air out of the room.
Just incase your weren’t sure, Spider-Man is not going anywhere. Sony and Marvel have an agreement for a Trilogy to use Spider-Man. At the same time Sony thought about building a separate universe with a Tom Hardy Venom movie and a Silver Sable and Black Cat movie, yeah I don’t see that happening. This film is going to make well over $1 Billion and Sony would be fools to do anything on their own as long as Marvel agrees to this deal. As it is now Marvel gets Zero dollars from this film Sony gets all revenue and reaps all the benefits of Marvel’s creative direction. Ego wise, this may hurt because no one believe Sony could make a Spider-Man film this good, but money talks and Sony would be foolish to take him back. The only way their separate universe would work is if they made essentially an Ultimate Universe version of Spider-Man with Miles Morales as the main character, and even then its hard to tell Miles story without Peter and as someone who loves Miles, I don’t trust Sony to do him right. At this point Sony needs to sit back be thankful that Marvel is making them a billion dollars and hope they want to use some of the other Spider-Verse characters.