BEWARE THIS REVEIW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS. IF YOU HAVE YET TO SEE THE FILM, GO TO YOUR LOCAL CINEMA TO SEE IT, THEN RETURN TO THIS BLOG.
I have been waiting for this film ever since it was announced that Spider-Man first swung onto our screens in Captain America: Civil War.
With Spider-Man being such a pivotal character within the Marvel comic book universe, it’s only fitting that he be included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Before we get onto he actual film, let’s talk about Tom Holland for a minute. What I personally feel has been a major factor in the fact that the previous Spider-Man films have been less that successful is the fact that the actors that have been hired to play the teenage superhero, have both been in their late twenties. This rendition however, they decided to hire an actor much closer to the age of the character he is portraying, which I think makes a MASSIVE difference in the success of the film. Holland brings a, somewhat youngness and immaturity to the character, in the sense that, he is still a teenager, he things that being a superhero and all the stuff that comes with it is all cool and exciting, and while that may all be true, he is yet to experience the real struggles that all the other characters within the MCU have experienced.
Now on to the movie itself. Let’s talk about some of the most major points, twists and Easter Eggs.
The film starts off with a little bit of a back story as to how the villains of the film journey began, starting 8 years ago, as a result of the Alien attack with the first Avengers movie. This scene I very much enjoyed as it gave us a little bit of backstory into the villains motives, but was also a short enough scene to leave a lot of mystery surrounding the character of Adrian Toomes aka Vulture (portrayed by Michael Keaton)
Now let’s talk about the growth of the Spider-Man/Peter Parker (portrayed by Tom Holland)
Fast forward to 8 years later and we see Peter Parkers video diary of his battle in Berlin (from Civil War) which gives us a different view of the infamous battle, and very much displays what I mentioned earlier, the immaturity and childness of the character at this stage. If you’ve seen Civil War, then you know that for all of the other characters within that battle (Iron Man, Captain America etc etc) then you know that for them, this was a VERY serious matter, while Parker, see’s it as a fun time.
Parker just wants to make a difference, a point that is a recurring theme throughout the whole film. After his mission to Berlin, he is very much eager for another one, constantly contacting the MCU recurring character of Happy Hogan after his very small saves, such as stopping a “grand theft bicycle”. But Parker wants to be bigger, do more good. Be an Avenger.
While all this is happening, Parker is still trying to navigate the world of High School. Dealing with his classes, desperately trying to fit in, and of course, what would a film be without a love interest. His affection for the character of Liz (portrayed by Laura Harrier) ultimately leads to Parkers secret identity being discovered by his best friend Ned (portrayed by Jacob Batalon).
This for me was a defintie major scene, as again it displays the theme of excitement of being a superhero (or knowing a superhero) and how for a teenager that’s the coolest thing in the world. Peter then makes Ned swear not to tell anyone, especially his Aunt May, stating that he doesn’t want her to worry after “everything she’s been through”. This quite obviously is in relation to the death of Ben Parker. I feel it was definitely the right decision to only very briefly touch on this topic, as everyone knows this story, it’s been done in the two previous renditions of the franchise, and is very much not needed. This is not an origin film for the character, this is the film about the journey of the character, about shaping him from a child to the superhero we all know and love from the comics.
After defying Tony Stark’s (Portrayed by Robert Downey Jr.) suggestion to leave everything to the right people, an incident upon a Staten Island Ferry almost cost many civilians their lives because Parker was in way over his head, Stark and Parker have an extremely intense conversation about the dangers of the Superhero job. This scene really acts like an arguement between father and son, with Parker looking up to Stark like the male role model he wants, and Stark looking down at Parker as the son he never had with Stark even saying “god I sound like my father” Its at this point that we really realise that Stark does in fact care about the wellbeing of Parker, and doesn’t want him to be wreckless or get hurt.
One of the biggest twists in the move is the revelation that the villain is father of the heros love interest. This is a twist I most definitely see coming, and causes Parker to make some major adult decisions, decisions that shape him in new ways. After a confrontation with Vulture, after Vulture discovers Parkers secret identity, he is left with the question “Do I follow my heart and stay with the girl I like, or do I risk it all and go to stop the bad guy, regardless of the personal consequences”
Parker of course makes the courageous decision to leave Liz at the homecoming dance to stop Vulture, because deep down he knows it’s the right thing to. The adult thing. The hero thing.
After stopping Vultures highjacking of a Stark plane full of alien materials and weapons, he then proceeds to do the right thing once again, which is save Toomes from dying in an explosion cause by his Vulture suit. This is a major point to take note of, as one of the final scenes shows Toomes in prison being approached by a fellow inmate that asks Vulture to reveal Spider-Man’s identity, to which Toomes does not do, to return the favour of saving his life, he keeps Parkers of identity a secret, possibly in hopes of keeping his life safe.
The film ends with Parker being brought to Avenger headquarters to meet with Stark, who offers Parker the chance to officially become an Avenger, even showing him a brand new suit (we will discuss the suit in a minute). Parker then shocks Stark and Happy by declining the offer, as for now he wants to stay where he is, on the ground as a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. This really shows the viewers how much Parker has grown throughout the journey on the film, making the mature decision that he knows is right, knowing he has a long way to come before he’s ready to be an Avenger, and that the superhero gig isn’t always fun and games.
Now let’s talk about the Easter Eggs within the film. As always there are nods to previous and future MCU films plotted throughout the movie, but there are always a few things that people who have read the comics and know the Marvel universe pretty well, that are also hidden.
The first major Easter Egg is in relation to the charater Michelle (portrayed by Zendaya). Throughout the entire film though she is one of the main cast, she is more there for comedic value, coming away with some funny remark every so often. That is until one of the Final scenes where she refers to herself as “M.J.” Now any fan knows that the character of M.J. is one of Parkers major love interests in his life, and this is a brilliant and inventive way of introducing the character in a fresh and different way, breaking away from the typical portrayal within the comics. This is definitely something I enjoyed and was pleasantly surprised by.
Next we have the newly designed Spider Suit that Stark offers Parker at the end of the movie. This is most likely the Iron-Spider suit that was rumoured to be featured, and while we only see it for maybe a total of 45 seconds, I defitniely believe it will make an appearance in the Infinity War movie.
Other Easter eggs include some characters that appeared insignificant at the time, but are actually major characters in the spider man franchise.
The first is the character that midway through the film, Parker interrogates to find out where a weapons deal is occurring. When looking at this characters criminal history, it is briefly seen that this character has an alias under the name “Prowler” who is infact a hero from the comics that aids Spider-Man on occasion. It’s very possible that this character could return or may have just been a fun addition for people very familiar with the comics.
Another character is the other prisoner that speaks to Toomes during the post credit scene. What is most noticeable about him is the scorpion tattoo on his neck, leading me to believe that this character will soon become the Spider-Man villain Scorpian, and he also makes reference to other inmates that want Spider-Man dead, leading me to believe that this is a nod towards the Sinsier Six, to which in the comics Vulture, Shocker and Scorpian have all been members.
Those are most definitely the most notable Easter eggs, and while there are others, none are quite as relevant to the film or any future film.
Overall I think that this was an amazing rendition of the Spider-Man character, a film that has a very different tone to the rest of the MCU films but also fits in with them perfectly, and the portrayal of the character done beautifully by Holland. The film is completely different as it isn’t an origin story. It’s fresh and it’s new and it’s introductions to many beloved characters as well as changing the way they are usually portrayed (such as choosing to make Aunt may a younger aunt) is definitely something to be commended. In my opinion this is the most successful Spider-Man film there has been, far surpassing the previous renditions of the character.