Spiderman is the biggest superhero in the Marvel universe and yet, he was not a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe up until last year when production studios reached an understanding so Marvel could make Spiderman movies. The character had a fantastic intro and cameo in last year’s Captain America Civil War, and now he has his own movie.
After his encounter with the Avengers last year, and after Tony Stark offered him his new suit, Peter Parker is hopeful of joining the Avengers. He has the usual superhero problems of balancing his life as a kid at school while fighting crime as Spiderman at the same time.
There are a lot of things the movie got right. Most notably, Tom Holland’s Spiderman is just a kid and reacts the same way any high school kid would react to his sudden powers. He is over-excited about his new abilities, curious about his new suit’s capabilities and he believes Stark treats him like a kid and wants to do more with his powers and his suit. These are very relatable feelings for anyone in his position, and Holland portrays them amazingly. There are scenes where I laughed out loud at his zealous attempts to stop bad guys, and also others where I felt genuinely sad for what he was going through. The movie also dives right into the plot with no origin story about the radioactive spider or Uncle Ben’s fate. These are addressed in merely one or two dialogues, which is a great choice given that everyone knows Spiderman’s history. There are some cool action scenes, particularly one on the Washington Monument and another on a New York City ferry. But the real strength of the movie is its light tone with humor peppered into almost all of its scenes. Director Jon Watts goes for a non-traditional high-school movie for a superhero, with silly school problems as opposed to world saving stakes, giving the movie a sense of levity that makes it soar.
The antagonist’s character isn’t developed very well and Michael Keaton also ends up being underutilized. There’s barely any originality in the plot in the movie, but this doesn’t really matter since it becomes obvious that it’s just a light high-school story meant to be a fun time. There seems like there is a contrived push for racial diversity, which isn’t a big deal but it’s just noticeably odd.
I have always maintained that I like the darker realistic Marvel movies like Civil War and Winter Soldier, rather than the mystical ones with infinity stones like Doctor Strange, Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy. Spiderman doesn’t fit into any of these boxes. It’s a realistic movie, without magic stones or aliens, but it’s not dark at all. It is just a load of fun. Watch the movie for its light tone and for Tom Holland. I will rate it 8/10.