Spider-Man: Homecoming not only delivers the “Spider-Man” part of its title in heaps but also the “Homecoming” side of things. The film is a homecoming to what Spider-Man stands for in every sense – a colourful, funny, and endearing character as close to the original iteration that fans originally fell in love with back in 1962. Marvel has done a fantastic job at bringing out the trademark characteristics of its iconic heroes with their cinematic universe, and thanks to the deal with Sony (who own the rights to Spider-Man), the studio has now achieved that with everyone’s favourite web-slinger.

Homecoming doesn’t reiterate the origin of Spider-Man as other films have focused on in recent years, but instead fleshes out the character of Peter Parker and his arm-wrestle to hide his identity and achieve his superhero potential, while also trying to keep his head in school. It’s a core part of Spider-Man’s story that’s handled excellently, showcasing the nerd-by-day, vigilante-by-night dichotomy that fans of the character love. There’s an amazing pacing to this flip-flop world too, jumping from downright hilarious Peter Parker moments to some sublime Spider-Man antics that deliver exactly what Spidey fans have been waiting for.

Spiderman

As for the star behind the mask, young Tom Holland stole the show during his Captain America: Civil War cameo, but having his own full-length feature really gives him the vehicle to prove he is a bonafide star. Holland is to Spider-Man as Downey Jr is to Iron Man. Witty, charming, and bumbling, Holland breathes new life into Spider-Man, showing his more vulnerable, yet slightly arrogant side. And speaking of Downey Jr’s iron-clad Avenger, the veteran actor’s Tony Stark makes a few prominent appearances throughout the film, adding a father-son dynamic and emotional gravity to the film way beyond what the eye can see. We don’t get to see too much of the Stark/Parker chemistry, but it’s a taste of what’s to come in future films.

Michael Keaton’s Vulture also dons the villain hat in the film, bringing a different type of antagonist into the universe – one whose actions are motivated by the right things, but executed in the wrong way. Much like Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2, the Vulture is a cool, frightening, but incredibly likeable villain – and what more could you ask for in a Spider-Man film?

As for the film’s big moments, Marvel have become experts at showcasing their characters in action on the big-screen, and the fluidity between Spider-Man’s CGI and practical scenes is astonishing. Not to mention that the film delivers on some of the most impressive and ambitious set-pieces seen so far in the MCU.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is not only a step forward for the character but a tribute to what makes him such an iconic and unique hero. Breathtaking action, rib-tickling moments, and a huge dose of heart makes Homecoming one of the best Marvel movies to date.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits cinemas on Friday, 7 July.

Originally featured on MenStuff.co.za.