“Spider-Man: Homecoming” proves the third time is definitely the charm

Spider-Man has finally found its Peter Parker

Tobey Maguire was great for introducing the character to contemporary Hollywood. Andrew Garfield was even better. However, Tom Holland? This review can easily be summed up by the fact that he is the Spider-Man we needed, fans wanted and the Marvel Cinematic Universe is lucky to have.

In the franchise’s third reboot, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" once again sees a young Peter Parker, played by the eager Holland, easily recognizable to those who have seen “Captain American: Civil War,” and easy to get to know even if you haven’t.

The film utilizes to great effect the fact they don’t have to waste a half-hour explaining who Peter Parker is by doing a quick recap of recent MCU events. That time is put to better use by establishing the film’s villain and diving into the story.

As advertised, this is a coming-of-age story (as all great Spider-Man films are) and focuses solely on the young Peter Parker and his great struggle to juggle. Well, juggle the different passions in his life, that is. Between his web-slinging through the streets as part of his “Stark Internship,” trying to woo the heart of the popular Liz (Laura Harrier), and keeping the nature of his internship a secret, he has a lot on his plate. 

It becomes even harder when he sets out to stop the recent rise in criminal activity involving a heavy-looking set of wings. As he tries to discover what being Spider-Man means, and in turn a 15-year-old Parker, the action, heart and payoffs demonstrate why this is the Spidey audiences have been waiting for.

The main reason for this is that Peter Parker is finally fun. Not that Garfield wasn’t fun in his two-film go at the character, but this Peter isn’t afraid to tell a joke. Every moment that Holland is on screen, he fills the character with a light that Maguire and Garfield didn’t have. If he isn’t making a playful fool of himself on screen, he’s making a fool of the other characters and the audience has a blast.

Holland has said in multiple interviews how much he loves the character and it shows. There wasn’t one minute in the whole two hours I sat in my seat that I wasn’t invested in his performance. Even during the more emotional moments, Holland convincingly carries the weight of being a teen as his alter-ego carries of the weight of the world on his shoulders.

His Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) and the one and only Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. duh) are the perfect mentors in this movie and equally match Holland laugh for laugh and intensity for intensity.

Of course, the film isn’t perfect and misses the chance to really develop another one of the epic romances that stole the show in previous iterations of Spider-Man. It’s hard to forget the way Kirsten Dunst snuck her way into Maguire’s heart and even harder to forget the way Emma Stone lit up Garfield’s world, and this film didn’t even attempt to reach for something close to those. 

There are also times the film feels like it leans a little too heavily into the high school mindset it is set in, but honestly, these are minor things. They are backdrops meant serve as a space for Spider-Man to fill with personality and in that, this film excels.

If the film could be summed up in a final thought, it would be that this Spider-Man meets and exceeds expectations. While the whole film itself is one fun ride you want to ride gain and again, it’s the last 10 minutes of surprises, massive payoffs, potential for an epic romance and large teasers that will have fans jumping out of their seat waiting for the next one.

Oh and of course, don’t forget to stay till the end of the credits as two teasers lie in wait, and one in particular is a Marvel-ous treat.

Overall score: 4.5/5

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" hits theaters Friday, July 7. 

Reach the reporter at balnero13@gmail.com or follow @BaldnerOwen on Twitter.

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