by Ian Sarmiento
Spider-Man has swung his way back into theaters and has become a must-see for all audiences. In the new film “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” directed by Jon Watts, audiences get a new look on Peter Parker’s life as he juggles high school, friends, and being a web-slinging superhero.
The story follows Peter Parker (Tom Holland), also known as Spider-Man, directly after his time fighting with and against the Avengers in “Captain America: Civil War.” He makes his return to New York City only to find himself a little too eager to get back into the fight alongside his heroes. But to his frustration, his superhero antics are limited to stopping bike thefts and helping old women cross the street in Queens.
The directors give a strong amount of screen-time to Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), also known as The Vulture. Originally a disaster relief worker, Toomes finds himself out of a job when another big-name corporation takes over. Upset that he is unable to use the job to support his family, Toomes turns to other means.
This is the first time that a Marvel villain isn’t something outlandish like an alien or failed science experiment. By keeping the villain grounded and realistic, the movie emphasizes his intentions and character.
The movie highlights both the protagonist and antagonist’s goals. Toomes wants to find a way to feed his family, and Peter wants to be seen as an equal and trustworthy hero to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).
The story focuses on how young Peter really is, as he matures through the difficult positions he gets himself into.
Many have fallen in love with the comedic-yet-serious characters Marvel has recreated in the comics and on the big screen. Yet, others will argue that Marvel movies have been following an outline, repeating the same ideas in every movie:
There’s a protagonist with a troubled past who makes the best with what he’s got. When things don’t go his way, he pushes his luck, gets beaten by the bad guy who has his own reasons for doing what he does. And just when it seems like there’s nothing he can do, our hero somehow wins and gets the girl, only to leave her (at least until the next movie).
Despite following this Marvel movie outline, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is one of the greatest superhero films ever. The previous Spider-Man films spent so much time caught up in the little things, like Uncle Ben and his impact on Peter, or the Spider-Man costume, that they missed the big picture.
People wanted a Spider-Man who they could relate to.
Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were great Spider-Men in 2002 and 2012.
However, despite Tobey Maguire’s nerdiness that was well-portrayed in the movie, he failed to touch on Peter Parker’s funny and carefree attitude with quips and witty banter.
In Andrew Garfield’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” Peter is quite full of himself, constantly throwing out quips and jokes even in the most intense moments. Yet, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man was a lot cooler. With a skateboard, big hair and the ability to actually contain himself around his crush, Peter was a little too cool.
Tom Holland, however, captures the perfect balance between Maguire and Garfield, giving us the young, immature, smart, yet carefree Spider-Man we all needed.
Now, most people can’t imagine what it’s like to have a web-shooter jam, or to have a wedgie in your crime-fighting onesie, but a lot of people do know what it’s like to be looked down on.
We can all relate to the struggle of believing we’re fully capable, trying to prove our worth to the people that matter, only to know that no matter what we do, we won’t be good enough.
It can stink, but whether you’re a superhero or just an average friendly neighborhood kid, it’s a part of growing up. This movie touches on this message better than any other Marvel film, which sets up several opportunities in Spidey’s upcoming films.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” lives up to the hype, despite trying to squeeze as much as possible into an already long movie. With its focus on character portrayal, a relatable and realistic villain and a Spider-Man we can all relate to, this is one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Ian Sarmiento is a freshman electrical engineering major and an Arts and Entertainment reporter for Cedars. He enjoys playing the piano, watching anime, and buying swords and knives so he can pretend to be a ninja.