Spider-Man and I have a love/hate relationship. On the one hand, I remember really liking him as a kid. On the other, several of the movies there have been over the past decade or so have ranged from pretty good to pretty awful. Also, let me be clear that I’m not a huge superhero or comic book buff. I do like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and most if not all my knowledge of these characters comes from MCU, or things that other people tell me.
That said, I really liked Homecoming. It picks up right where Civil War left off, even sort of starting at Spider-Man’s entrance in Civil War. And it just goes from there.
Peter is a fairly typical nerdy teen, which is saying something in this instance because he goes to a charter tech high school so all kids there are either very wealthy or very nerdy. Some are probably both.
While expected because of his entry into Civil War, this movie does not beat the dead horse that is Spider-Man’s origins. Thank goodness. I’m tired of seeing that. I didn’t read the comics or watch that much of any of the shows and I knew that back in 2000s when Toby McGuire was Spider-Man. There is one mention of how he got his powers, one vague mention of what happened to Uncle Ben, and that’s it. The rest is assumed you know or deemed not important enough to retread in this story. And I honestly think that is to its benefit because it means the writers got to tell a wholly new story and the audience can get on with things and see something fresh.
Peter is also a wise-cracker, as he is meant to be. He has a thought on everything and doesn’t mind sharing it with anyone. He’s a geeky teen trying to be a big adult in a world he’s not quite ready to be in, and for most of the movie does not realize this is the case. He wants so much to have Tony’s approval that he’ll do anything to get it.
Indeed, most of the motivation for the story is to gain Tony’s approval. Whether this is because deep down, he just needs a father figure’s approval because he no longer has one, or because he just wants to be more than he is, or maybe both, I couldn’t say because I’m not him, but I think it’s probably both.
I felt for Peter in this movie because he is just a teen trying to find himself and his way. He wants to be so much more than he is, and is willing to take on bigger risks than he is ready for in order to prove he can be so much more. And this backfires on him.
I think, too, that my favorite part is after he gets his suit taken away. There is a lot of power behind Tony telling him that if he’s nothing without the suit, he doesn’t deserve to have it. This also shows that Tony’s grown a lot too and realized that he needs to be a good person even out of his suit. But it is very clear that Peter really only felt his was worthy of anything if he had the suit, that it is what gave him any special powers.
Take that away, and what is he?
Actually, very smart and resourceful. Which is what he had to have been to do what he did before and catch Tony’s attention.
That is why my favorite part really was after he got his nice suit taken from him. Because it forced him to take charge, step up, and use what was innately in him to do what was needed. He was bummed out, but when he had to step up, he did so. He had to use the brain he clearly had to solve problems. It was painful to watch at times, sure, because he didn’t have the protection or the help the Stark suit gave him, but that just meant that he had to be better, and I think that allowed him to ultimately see he was what he wanted to be.
Yeah, Peter done goofed it, but Peter also solved it. He fixed his own problem with little help at the end of it all. Except his friend Ned. Ned helped a lot in so many ways. I loved Ned. He was pretty great.
This was a movie about Peter sort of growing up over the course of it. Releasing him from the origin story narrative allowed the freedom to explore other facets of the character, and allowed him growth without forcing him to see Ben die.
I can’t wait to see what they do with this Spider-Man next.