To say that Spider-Man: Homecoming is a great movie would, indeed, be a statement. It’d be an inaccurate statement but a statement it would remain.
When Sony and Marvel Studios first announced a collaboration with Spider-Man I, like many of you, assumed that meant that the MCU would be joining Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man universe. The MCU had been struggling with a string of failures such as Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy so aligning with Sony would have been very advantageous. Shockingly, Sony elected to end their successful Spider-Man franchise and loaned the character to Marvel and fans reacted with revulsion. After the tragic interpretation of the character in Captain America: Civil War one might have thought Sony would be wise enough to terminate their contract and reclaim Spider-Man. But hindsight is 20/20 and Sony has learned, yet again, that Marvel has absolutely no idea how to handle Peter Parker.
Let’s get this out of the way, this is not a Spider-Man movie. This is an Iron Man movie with a Spider-Man cameo. For a film touting the title of Spider-Man the focus of the film is centered squarely on Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark. The character weasel’s his way into the forefront, casting Peter Parker to the side of his own story and leaving no room for character development.
And development Peter needs, as Tom Holland plays the character as bland and unlikable. If his brief appearance in Civil War didn’t already tip you off this film sure will. Holland’s interpretation of Spider-Man is all fluff and no substance. The character’s trademark lovability is completely out the door and his alter ego’s quippy banter went right along with it. Spider-Man doesn’t make jokes, Spider-Man is a joke with eye-rolling one-liners and cringeworthy banter. But Peter is not the only character who was mishandled.
Adrian Toomes, aka The Vulture, is a waste. Michael Keaton appears to be doing his best impression of himself from Tim Burton’s Batman. But Keaton’s best just isn’t enough as The Vulture is as dull as the hilariously goofy wings he sports. You have to give Marvel and Sony credit for trying to re-envision a character as uninteresting as Vulture. But credit is only good if you can pay the tab and the audiences bank account is empty. Vulture may just go down as one of the weakest Marvel villains to date.
It's also unsurprising to note that the supporting cast fares much worse. Peter’s half-witted sidekick Ned bumbles his way through the film lacking any charisma worthy of the screen time he wastes. The remaining bulk of Peter’s classmates are as humdrum as they come, lacking any personality or endearing appeal.
There is, however, at least one standout performance in the form of Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May. Tomei nails the geriatric and simple-minded Aunt who is so convincing as the ancient old hag that the character literally wastes away in between scenes.