I am positively wired right now after getting home from a screening of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING tonight. For a fan whose favorite MARVEL hero has always been Spider-Man, this movie was literally the live action film that I have been waiting for my entire life. I go way back with the character after seeing a Spider-Man impersonator when I was 3 & 1/2, eventually consuming every episode of the classic (yes, I said classic despite Stan Lee's objections!) Nicholas Hammond live action series. Cheesy? Heck yeah, but it put me on the path to obsessing over learning everything I could consume about the wall-crawler. I would stencil out web-shooters on paper, then cut them out and tape them to my wrists and palm and pretend...and it was awesome. Now, after watching MARVEL's newest magnum opus for the hero that is really the company's flagship character, my love for the character and the Spider-Verse has been reborn. I feel like I got a B-12 shot I am so hyped up!
Once I screened CIVIL WAR and saw Tom Holland steal the show from Hollywood heavyweights last year, I spent a good deal of time researching the Brit's rise to stardom as the release date of HOMECOMING approached. This kid was born to play the dual role of Peter Parker & Spider-Man. I mean the last spot on casting in the AFJ world that I can think of that is remotely close to Holland as Spider-Man was Margot Robbie in last year's SUICIDE SQUAD. The big difference is that SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING is the first film in the MCU that I am giving a full 5 stars. I felt like a kid watching the film, belly laughing at the incredibly smart and surprisingly funny script and some of the best supporting casting that I have seen in a long while. Even the things that I was skeptical about that I convinced myself would not work on screen was pulled off by director Jon Watts with ease.
To start, I have been researching for over a week the one thing that concerned me about HOMECOMING as far the MCU timeline goes. The opening scene in the film featuring the DAMAGE CONTROL (see below) is Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes cleaning up with his crew after the Battle of New York as seen in 2012's THE AVENGERS. After that scene, we see an on-screen title that says, "8 YEARS LATER" that to me means either 2019 or 2020, depending on how you calculate these things as far as movie universe's go. However, most just thought, "Wait, hasn't it only been 5 years since Iron Man flew into the sky to stop the Chitauri?" So that definitely needs to be fixed, explained, etc.
Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by Tony Stark's U.S. Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.). Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.
Parker quits his school's academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes' associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker nearly drowns intervening and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against involvement with the dangerous criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.
Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck but is overpowered and trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes' whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes' new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers before admonishing him for his recklessness and taking away his suit.
Parker returns to his high school life and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Liz is Toomes' daughter. Deducing Parker's secret identity, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team's new headquarters. He dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes' lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building's support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker is able to escape the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes engage in an open confrontation that ends with Parker saving Toomes' life from his own unstable equipment, and leaving him for the police along with the plane's cargo. After her father's arrest, Liz moves away, and Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full time. Stark returns Parker's suit, which he puts on at his apartment just as his Aunt May walks in.
In a mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man's real identity, but Toomes denies this.
Editor's Note: That is all Jarrett wrote for his spoiler review of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The fourth of each month marks the anniversary of the passing of our founder, the Head Junkie in Charge, who wrote this review. We wanted to share with you as it highlights his unique style. #ALLFORJARRETT