Peter Parker is back in high school after helping Iron Man during the events of Civil War and must now stop the Vulture’s evil plan in the first Spider-Man film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Marvel and Sony have teamed up to bring one of the most popular comic book superheroes into the most financially successful superhero film franchise. This is the film that helped both companies realize they will see greater individual success if they work together to incorporate this character into the MCU.

Tom Holland portrays the absolute best version of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He actually looks like a high schooler when playing Peter Parker, something Tobey Maguire failed to do. And his Spider-Man is quippy without being mean-spirited like Andrew Garfield’s version was. Granted, that may have more to do with the film’s writers and directors than Garfield, himself. Still, both of the previous attempts at bringing Spider-Man to the big screen failed with one version of his identities. Tom Holland’s version is the only one that is believable as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man.

I know this has been said numerous times since this film came out, but the smartest decision made with this film was to not make it an origin story. We didn’t need to see Uncle Ben die again, so they didn’t even write him into the film. In general, I love that decision, although it led to one of the most surprising turns in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Instead, we get Iron Man serving as a mentor figure in the loosest way possible. It fits Tony Stark’s character while leaving Peter Parker to make mistakes along the way. It’s a nice subversion of what many expected with a possible reboot.

Michael Keaton as the Vulture was a unique choice that worked out for the filmmakers. Vulture doesn’t have the clout of Green Goblin, Venom or Mysterio. He’s a capable villain, but not necessarily one that grabs the viewers’ attention. This could’ve very easily gone the way of Lizard in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” but instead, it turned into one of the best villain portrayals of the MCU. Part of that credit has to go to Keaton who was, honestly, a bit scarier when he was being himself rather than when he was in the Vulture costume.

As seen previously, “Spider-Man” films from Sony can be hit or miss. And, while the MCU has delivered more successes than failures over the years, it’s not immune to the occasional dud either. This could’ve been a colossal flop. Instead, it was one of the best first films in the entire MCU.

Rating: 5 stars

What did you think of “Spider-Man: Homecoming?”

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Jeremy Brown

Jeremy has been a big Disney fan since he was a kid growing up during the Disney Renaissance. One day he hopes to go to every Disney Park in the world.

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