Homecoming establishes its own identity from the Spiderman films we’ve seen over the last decade by having much smaller stakes for the webcrawler as Peter Parker is shown trying to balance school life with underground superheroics in his double life. This John Hughes inspired adventure may lack the thrills and life or death stakes of previous films, but it’s lighthearted approach to ‘Spidey’s world’ does give its own charm while also subverting a lot of the cliches present in those films such as showing Uncle Ben’s death and by not focusing on a tepid love story.
Tom Holland once again proves that his Peter Parker is fantastic by staying true to his sense of responsibility while also adding in quirks related to his age. Zendaya and Jacob Batalon are great as Peter’s friends although a twist regarding the former does raise a lot of questions. And despite not having as much screen time as the advertising suggests, Tony Stark’s inclusion in the film does lead to a nice subplot of his relationship with Peter coming full circle. Michael Keaton does a passable job as The Vulture with an interesting twist to his relationship with Peter.
Overall it may not be as exciting as the first two Raimi films, but Spider-Man: Homecoming is miles better than the last three films thanks to Marvel understanding why the character works in the first place and a willingness to move the character away from plots motivated entirely by romance – the change opens new possibilities for Peter in his future career as an Avenger.