Movie Review - Spider-Man: Homecoming
By Felix Quinonez
August 3, 2017
The aptly titled Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts, is the endlessly entertaining, if slight, solo debut of the title character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a thrill ride that successfully builds on the momentum of Spider-Man’s show stopping Civil War cameo.
Bolstered by a charming lead performance by Tom Holland and an all around strong cast, the movie comes the closest to capturing the gee-whiz excitement of the early comics since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
The movie hits the ground running and effortlessly knocks it out of the park. It’s no easy task to make a franchise that’s had three different iterations since 2002 feel fresh but Homecoming does just that.
Although X-Men, directed by Bryan Singer, kick started the comic book movie craze, it was really Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire, that took the genre into the stratosphere.
That movie was a crowd-pleasing summer event that opened to a then record-setting $114 million. Although it hasn’t aged all that well, it was, at times, very fun and proved how massive the appeal of these characters can be.
And the sequel managed to top it with a much more interesting villain, improved action set pieces, and more emotional weight. Spider-Man 2 is still a high mark for the genre.
Unfortunately, things took a bad turn very quickly with Spider-Man 3. That movie was so badly received that it brought the franchise to a screeching halt.
But just five years later, Sony decided to reboot the franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man, directed by Marc Webb. Although it was initially seen as generally harmless, its reputation has only diminished with time. And the sequel was seen as a cynical attempt to kick start a cinematic universe to rival the MCU.
Because that movie seemed more interested in setting up sequels and spinoffs than telling its own story, audiences quickly turned on it. That movie died swiftly at the box office and laid any franchise plans to rest.
This put Sony in a tough spot. After seeing the success that the MCU had, they got ahead of themselves in planning their own cinematic universe. However, The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s critical and commercial failures put those plans to an early grave.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 somehow got worse reviews than Raimi’s own derided Spider-Man 3. And it made a little more than half at the domestic box office than what Raimi’s Spider-Man did 12 years earlier.
Because of this, Sony had to decide if they wanted to keep the Amazing Spider-Man series going in its current form or reboot it yet again.
But instead of trying to copy Marvel Studios again, they decided to team up with them. The two came up with a plan that was pretty obvious to fans but surely mind-blowing to the kind of executives who make these decisions; work together.
You can find all of the details of the deal online but basically Marvel Studios and Sony will share the character. And the first sign that Sony made the right decision to work with Marvel Studios came last year when Spider-Man showed up in Civil War, directed by the Russo brothers.