Warning! This is a no-spoiler review. I won’t be going into plot or characters that haven’t been heavily marketed and even there i will tread lightly. That said, what makes up a spoiler differs for everyone. So if you are very spoiler sensitive, please be aware that what I say may affect your viewing.
Tom Holland’s first solo outing as the lead is a solid start. While not taking directly from any story, the creators are clearly basing this on the Ultimate Comics version of the character. So a lot of your enjoyment of the film will probably come from how you feel about that take on Spider-Man. Tom does a very good job of portraying that version of Peter Parker. If you are comparing him against the 616 version of Peter than you are going to have issues with some choices here.
Michael Keaton as the Vulture is inspired casting for this role in the movie. His portrayal as a working man Adrian Toomes is believable while also conveying a sense of threat. He is more realized as a character with motivations than most of the other MCU villains have been to date.
Most of the Iron Man scenes were featured heavily in the marketing of this movie. While he is here to sell tickets, they have at least also made him important to the main plot. However that’s where my biggest complaint comes in…
Plot vs Theme
Thoughts been put into most of this film’s plot. I wish the same could be said about the themes. Themes are important as they can anchor and ground a movie. Sadly, it was the biggest lacking element of the film. You might be able to read into the script attempts at themes like fatherhood and responsibility. None of that is really fleshed out in a satisfactory manner. Even the title ‘Homecoming’ feels odd in retrospect. The title is more related to meta-text of Spider-Man being a Marvel Studios film than an element in the movie.
If there is one element the film gets right it is that this film takes place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are plenty of nods to almost all the Marvel Studio movies. Some are on the nose but they also include some nice subtle Easter Eggs.
All in All
This is a very good film but sadly not a great film. If Sony demanded the creators to make an Ultimate Spider-Man film featuring Iron Man than this is not a bad effort and we could have gotten A LOT worse. The screening I was at was very poorly attended so I am hoping this isn’t the norm as this film isn’t one that deserves a bad box office. This is a nice side Marvel film. I’d put on par with the likes of Ant-Man or Doctor Strange but I cant help but feel Spider-Man should have a little grander cinematic outing. I am interested in where this franchise will go and would be excited to return for a sequel with Holland.