I think it’s pretty apparent if you’ve seen my last few reviews but I admit it, I’m totally biased when it comes to superhero movies. Even when I say I’m done, I’m usually not. Granted there are still some that I don’t like (i.e. Man of Steel, Ant Man, and Age of Ultron come to mind), but overall I tend to let myself get hyped up. That’s why I’m not really going to write a review of Spiderman: Homecoming (I did like it though), however I am going to talk about one of the best things about it (no spoilers).
The teenagers looked, acted, and felt like real teenagers. Yes Tom Holland is actually 21, however he plays the awkward enthusiastic 15 year old Peter Parker quite convincingly. As compared to Toby Maguire and Andrew Garfield the difference is huge. For example, there’s a scene in the original trilogy where a bunch of people on a train (that Spiderman just saved) see Peter sans the mask and realize that their hero is just a young guy and help him out. This scene is really powerful and really well done, except for the fact that Toby Maguire is clearly no teenager. That same scene done over with Tom would’ve really made the audience as well as the characters on the train realize just how much responsibility is being put on a kid. Thus making a bigger emotional impact.
I’d argue that ultimately that is one of the huge appeals of Spiderman as a character, because as someone who only just left my teenage years behind I can tell you it really does feel like a heavy load sometimes. This also really ups the ante for scenes when Peter and his classmates are in danger. Personally the peril here made me more nervous than any other Marvel film.
Of course Peter Parker isn’t the only kid in this movie, and seeing his high school (which was super/realistically diverse) was a treat too. His friend Ned loved legos, his crush Liz was super passionate about the scholastic decathlon, and Zendaya’s character Michelle was pretty much me as a teen. Despite it being the title of the film, much like my nerdy friends and I, it was quite refreshing to see characters that didn’t actually give much of a crap about The Big Dance™. This is what has been missing from films about teens in general, but it also definitely added something different to the MCU universe as well.
Granted of course kids need adults they can look up to, nonetheless it’s important for young people to see themselves as not only heroic but normal. Voice cracking is totally fine. Not wearing makeup/ getting dressed up, also fine. Not looking like a 30 year old is also extra fine, because you’re not supposed to.
I definitely plan on seeing Spiderman again (hopefully in the near future) to see if there are any details I missed, but if you’ve read this first and plan on watching it now I’d really recommend paying close attention during the school scenes because they did a good job portraying the whole experience (Zendaya also does one or two funny things in the background). As usual stay informed and I’ll be back Friday.
***Featured Image- Just the title
****Bonus- My favorite Spiderman theme song