Coming back home
2002's Spider-Man film was by my definition the perfect way to adapt a comic book to film. To this day, I still consider it a standard to how other comic book films must measure up to. I commend Marvel Studios for adapting our favorite super heroes while getting past all the licensing red tape and workarounds with certain characters (Fox has X-Men while Universal has the Hulk just to name a few). Part of me wishes what last year's Captain America: Civil War would have actually looked like if all the heroes were in play but I can say at the most part Tom Holland's first appearance as Spider-Man was gratifying. His first solo film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man: Homecoming is different from the previous interpretations of the web-slinger as it isn't a retelling of his origins like we've seen several times before but more like a coming-of-age story for our teenage hero. In this film, Peter is juggling both his life as a sophomore in high school and trying to impress his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to seriously consider him to join the ranks of the Avengers. Tony prefers he keeps his scope within his neighborhood as he seems inexperienced to carry that status. But like every other teenager, Peter is too impatient to stay idle and instead takes matters into his own hands of thwarting neighborhood thugs. Peter's activities gains the attention of Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a local arms trafficker who isn't at all pleased with Spidey's meddling into his business. I was both surprised/not surprised that the Spider-Man franchise was getting yet another reboot but seeing how Sony screwed everything up with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and turning it into an expensive mess of a blockbuster, it was time for a change. Marvel Studio's golden touch may have just saved the franchise as Spider-Man: Homecoming is quite literally the best Spider-Man film since the second entry. The film's lighter tone and new supporting characters are welcome change to the franchise; with Tom Holland being the force that drives the film's success as he proves his worth as the webhead and delivers a knock-out performance. That isn't to say the other supporting characters don't have their moments; Jacob Batalon definitely deserves some recognition for his hilarious comedic chops as Peter's second-hand man Ned. Michael Keaton also gets some kudos for being the best Spider-Man villain since Alfred Molina's Doc Ock, and is one of the few villains in Marvel's film library that actually feel menacing. And like all Marvel films, Spider-Man: Homecoming is filled with everything you've come to expect, from certain cameos, easter eggs, an appearance of a particular hero from another franchise, neatly cut action sequences and the quirky humor that sits right at home with the Marvel universe. To call Spider-Man: Homecoming one of the best films of the Summer isn't enough; it's also a sigh of relief knowing that franchise has gotten back on the right footing and an exciting expansion to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man: Homecoming is a terrific return to form for the franchise and has me excited once again to see what's to come for the future. Welcome home Spidey.