Like most Marvel movies of late, this film was fun, funny, intense and exciting. In this review, I’ll keep any spoilers under one obvious heading.
Aside: These are just my opinions. My tastes in film are quite diverse (my favorites include The Holy Mountain, 2001, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Alien, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Baraka and the Empire Strikes Back). I can laugh at Billy Madison and fully appreciate the symbolism in the Last Temptation of Christ. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe has thrown at us. Now that you have that perspective, let’s move on.
I also cared about the characters. I was invested in them. I even cared about the villain. Maybe I’m just a sap, but I feel more empathy from certain films than most, it seems. I teared up during Wonder Woman (the WWI stuff was heartbreaking), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (Yondu’s scenes and that part with Drax and Mantis) and Logan (boy lots of melancholy in that one).
Tom Holland was great as Peter Parker and as the titular hero. He felt believably emotional and geeky. I’ll always have a soft spot for the Tobey Macguire films, but Holland really nailed it here.
The secondary characters (mostly Peter Parker’s school friends) were all interesting to me and I loved the casting. While I cringe at tokenism in general, I actually loved the diversity of the cast. New York, like most major Western cities, has a lot of racial diversity. That’s just a fact. Get the hell over it, Alt-Right crybabies.
Also major props to the casting: the high school kids actually LOOK LIKE THEY’RE IN HIGH SCHOOL. That’s a nice change.
There are some genuinely heartwarming or heartbreaking scenes in this. Parts that made me want to cheer (and I would have but I didn’t want to embarrass my wife again). The comedy made me laugh out loud, the action was entertaining and the camera work and set design charmed me throughout.
Spidey’s new costume is great. The emotive eyes add SO much to the character.
Any references to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe made sense to me and didn’t feel forced. To me, anyway.
The reveal of the villain as the father of the love interest really, genuinely shocked me. A fantastic idea.
M-J’s reveal was also really cool. I hadn’t expected that. I’m glad that she gave Peter a lingering look at the end to hint that there’s something there. Very, very happy with this. Again, I don’t give a crap about M-J not being a white girl with red hair.
I also loved the twist about the usual “no one believes the kids” trope: Stark DID listen to him and took steps to deal with it. Again, a nice plot choice.
End of Spoilers
Again, I wholeheartedly recommend this movie. It’s wonderful and cheerful but also dramatic. It’s in my mind still. Good job Sony + Marvel. You’ve won me back into Spiderman as a movie franchise.