As someone who has lived through all three renditions of the big screen’s Spider-Man, I can safely say that the MCU version is by far the best. It earns this prestige mainly by casting a Peter Parker who looks the right age! Fresh faced Tom Holland actually looks as though he could be in high school, compared to Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire who quite frankly could only pass for high-schoolers if they had been held back for a few too many years. And unlike The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter is actually a ‘nerd’ like his comic book counterpart. In fact it is quite refreshing to see that most of the popular characters, like love interest Liz (Laura Harrier), are all academically minded. Instead of following most teenage films where the popular crew are delinquent drunks, this group are part of the scholastic decathlon team! But, perhaps the most important feature that really sets Spider-Man: Homecoming above all over the versions of the titular character, is that it is not yet another origin story. Thank God!
What Homecoming manages to convey particularly well, and what has often been lost or overlooked in previous incarnations, is that Peter is at the end of the day still a child who is just trying to do good. Evidently, he is capable of a lot more than your average teenager, but he is obviously not invulnerable. This is undeniably shown in the emotional scene where Peter is crushed under debris from the warehouse, his cries for help show that even his amazing Spidey Senses and Karen the super suit are not always enough. Perhaps what is most heartbreaking and equally funny is his relationship with Tony Stark. Despite multiple quips between the two, Peter obviously looks up to Tony as a father figure and trying to impress him. But tragically like many father-son relationships, Peter is brushed off or dismissed as inconvenient, often even when he is right, like telling Tony to look into Vulture (Michael Keaton) and his gang.
Homecoming is packed with multiple highlights, the best being the relationship between Peter and his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). The classic wit and sarcasm that is Peter Parker is demonstrated brilliantly throughout the film especially in multiple one-sided phone conversations with Happy (Jon Favreau). Homecoming even makes it predecessor Captain America: Civil War ten thousand times better knowing that Peter was secretly filming his action scene the entire time.
What was Unique?
What was refreshing throughout Homecoming was seeing the diversity of the ethnicity of the main cast. In previous versions the main cast has been predominantly Caucasian. This is not said to take away from the talent of the previous actors, it was just refreshing to see such a talent cast that was also diverse, when often is not the case in Hollywood. Among the cast was the beautiful Zendaya, who plays Michelle; her wise cracks and sarcasm particularly struck a chord with me as this is my sense of humour to a tee. It was nice to see what I assume to be an upcoming main character in the sequels who will not be the typical helpless damsel in distress but a strong female lead. Well one can only hope anyway!