Movie Review - Spider-Man: Homecoming
By Felix Quinonez
August 3, 2017
But that’s not to say they were bad in the role. Both were great in their own ways. But Tom Holland’s performance captures a very important aspect of the character that the previous movies failed to explore.
Holland really conveys the excitement that a teenager who found himself in his situation would feel. He also captures the melodrama that comes from being that young and still growing into one’s own skin. He swings from ecstatic euphoria to overwhelming despair, the way that teenagers often do. And he really embodies the good-hearted, innocent nature of Peter Parker.
But he is also great at showing the alienation that is often a part of one’s teenage years. He is dying to be part of the Avengers and feels like he’s being left out in the way that teenagers often think that everyone else is having fun without them.
But the rest of the cast is generally strong too. His best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) is a total delight. He not only offers plenty of comic relief but also a lot of heart. It’s clear that he and Peter care a lot about each other and the two actors have great chemistry.
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is also great as a sort of father figure. It’s clear that Peter needs approval from Tony and they are great together. They really capture the father-son dynamic. But luckily, Robert Downey Jr. was not overused the way the trailers made it seem that he would be. During the lead up to the movie, many people jokingly referred to Homecoming as Iron Man 4, but that was not actually the case.
On the other hand, Michelle “MJ” Jones (Zendaya) is a bit one-note but generally entertaining and is reminiscent of Ally Sheedy’s character from The Breakfast Club. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast is not as well developed.
Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is predictably underused. This is not surprising but it is disappointing considering the fact that Tomei is such a great actress.
Liz (Laura Harrier) is an interesting character, but unfortunately the movie shows her almost exclusively from Peter’s point of view. She’s rarely seen outside of his gaze. And although she and Holland are both charming in their roles, it’s hard to really feel invested in their relationship. It’s not that they don’t have chemistry, it’s that they don’t really interact much.
Like many other movies before it, Homecoming believes that telling the viewer that these two have feelings for each other is an adequate substitute for showing it. It seems that they like each other because they’re supposed to or because it’s in the script rather than actually having feelings for one another.
We’re constantly reminded that Peter has feelings for her but never actually shown why. His crush seems to be motivated by the fact that she’s pretty rather than any sort of genuine connection. And while it’s completely plausible that a teenage boy would like a girl in his school just because she’s pretty, especially an older one, it doesn’t make for a very interesting relationship.