A &E

Welcome Home, Web Slinger

Since he first crawled his way onto the big screen in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” fans have been eagerly anticipating the return of one of Marvel Comics most notable heroes, Spider-Man. “Spider-Man: Homecoming” recently hit the theaters on July 7 and is already becoming one of the best superhero films of the summer. The film stars Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., and Michael Keaton.

Set immediately after the events of “Civil War,” the film follows young Peter Parker (Holland) as he struggles with the mounting pressures of high school and potential superhero stardom. Wanting nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of his idol Tony Stark/Iron Man (Downey Jr.), and achieve official Avengers status, Peter dons his new Spidey suit and attempts to clean up crime on the streets of New York, often with disastrous consequences. Peter quickly learns that being a hero is a dangerous job when he encounters a dangerous enemy called Vulture (Keaton), a high-flying villain who plans to sell deadly alien weaponry to criminals for profit. To defeat his avian foe, Peter will have to rely on something stronger than his Spidey sense and learn that, sometimes, even heroes need a little help.

Unlike the Spider-Man films of years past, “Homecoming” focuses less on the heroics and more on the coming of age story behind them. Unlike Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of the wall crawler, who took to their super powers like the proverbial duck to water, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is still coming into his own as Spider-Man and is in the midst of navigating his new powers and suit. The film also focuses more on Peter Parker and how his role as a budding hero affects those around him, a refreshing view of life beyond the web slinging. Holland shines far brighter than his predecessors before him. The newcomer achieves the perfect blend of the shy and awkward Peter Parker and his strong and snarky alter ego, Spider-Man.

In true Marvel cinematic fashion, the story is well written, the film is well cast, and the graphics and special effects are stunning. The most eye-catching feature of the film is Spidey’s new and improved suit. It’s vibrant, sleek and smooth design looks as though it leapt directly from the pages of a 1960s comic book. But despite its many great aspects, “Homecoming” did have a few minor flaws.

The big question on many a Marvel fans mind is this: why is aunt May getting younger? The role was originated in 2002 by Rosemary Harris and has since been filled by Sally Field in “The Amazing Spider-Man” and now by Marisa Tomei in both “Civil War” and “Homecoming.” As the Spider-Man movie franchise has progressed with sequels and reboots, Peter Parker’s beloved guardian has regressed from the snowy haired, doting senior citizen to a middle aged, snarky “cool aunt.” The reason behind this is unclear and has many fans perturbed. And it isn’t just aunt May, Peter’s circle of friends and enemies have undergone some serious changes with

“Homecoming” as well. The film boasts a couple of hefty plot twists that, while they are quite clever and surprising, deviate far from the original comic book universe and will leave audiences scratching their heads and wondering “how is that even possible?”

But despite some befuddling surprises and the ever-changing characters, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” proves to be what audiences already suspected: the best Spider-Man movie yet!

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