Many of us can trace our interests in drawing, making games, or playing music to something we enjoyed growing up. For me, it was comic books. They’re what got me started as an artist. Of all the comic book heroes that I read growing up, Spider-Man was - and still is - my favorite.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is not the first film adaptation of the web-head's adventures, not by a long shot, but it is the first time that a Spider-Man movie has actually felt like a Spider-Man movie. In reclaiming the character from Sony and incorporating him into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, director Jon Watts and the team at Marvel have masterfully demonstrated what it takes to faithfully bring Peter Parker, his friends, and his enemies, to the screen in a story that is genuine, funny, thrilling, surprising, and - most importantly for a Spider-Man story - full of heart.
Tom Holland is absolutely perfect as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, something that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield struggled with. Moreover, Michael Keaton’s portrayal of the Vulture is fantastic: Watts has turned a relatively dull, one-note member of Spider-Man's rogues gallery into a compelling and even sympathetic villain. Zendaya’s character, Michelle, steals every scene she appears in, and will hopefully have an even bigger role in future films in the franchise. Marisa Tomei plays a much younger Aunt May than we’re used to seeing, but it works wonderfully, and her relationship with Peter is easily one of the best aspects of the film.
Industrial Light and Magic did a fantastic job on the special effects, and I'm eager to go and see it again to watch them with a more critical eye. The first time, I was often so caught up in what I was seeing that the technical artist in my head was unusually silent... and that, in a way, may be the highest praise that I can give to another group of artists. There are a few moments (particularly early on) where Spidey’s movements feel a little too “floaty” for my eye, but by and large, the effects work meets the very high bar that ILM has set. (I would be remiss if I did not mention that Cogswell’s own Vineet Vijaykumar worked on the film: watch for his name under Method Studios’ pipeline support!)
While Spider-Man: Homecoming is not a perfect film, it is a good one, comparable to the first Iron Man movie in overall quality. If you’re a fan of the comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, you will enjoy this movie - and you’ll have no shortage of "Easter eggs" to spot throughout, to get you excited for what could come next.