We all have a favorite superhero. We look to them for tales of action, adventure, and justice. We turn to them when we want to feel inspired, hopeful, and just downright good about ourselves. To be able to instill that impenetrable feeling of hope and joy into millions of enthusiastic fans, that's what makes a hero super. That's why to me, there is no greater superhero than Spider-Man.
It wasn't Iron Man and his billion-dollar suit, or even Captain America and his path of justice that lined the book shelves of my room. It was Queens native Peter Parker and his web-swinging alter ego that inspired me, and still inspires me to this day.
There's a reason that so many other heroes believe that #PeterParker is the most important of them all, and that's because he has the best opportunity to instill hope in million of readers - young and old.
That's why it came at no surprise to me when I walked in the theater and saw a ranging age demographic of viewers. These were Spider-Man fans of all ages who, like me, had come to see the newest on-screen adaption of our favorite wall-crawler, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Homecoming, made in partnership by #Marvel and #Sony Entertainment, is the third franchise attempt at bringing Spider-Man to the big screen. Starring #TomHolland as the titular Spider-Man, Homecoming follows young Parker as he tries to handle the duties of a superhero and an average awkward high-school student. What ensues is a two hour joyride that captures everything I and so many others love about the character.
As soon as the film started, you could feel the excitement in the air. You could hear it too, as tons of fans cheered uproariously as the Marvel logo appeared on screen, accompanied by that all too familiar Spider-Man theme music.
As the Spidey theme played over a bright red screen, I could hear the lyrics in my head, as well as the iconic words of Spider-Man's own Uncle Ben: "With great power comes great responsibility." Marvel had the great power and even greater responsibility of bringing Spider-Man to the big screen, and it was finally time to see how well they handled it.
Spider-Man: Homecoming starts off in the aftermath of an even we've seen referenced time and time again in the #MCU the Battle of New York from the first Avengers. You see the film's big bad, Adrian Toomes (portrayed by Michael Keaton) and his men cleaning up the damage from the battle, before the Damage Control (a crew specializing in cleaning up after superheroes and villains) comes in and instructs them that they've been hired by Tony Stark to relieve Toomes of his duties.
Cut to eight years later, and Toomes and his crew are selling black market weapons made with alien tech stolen from the battle's wreckage. At first you think, Oh, great, another movie where the bad guy is inadvertently created by Tony Stark and he spends the whole movie trying to enact his revenge on him.
Not that other films in the MCU haven't done that concept well, but it's a concept that has been done before. Luckily, #SpiderManHomecoming lets us know immediately that that's not what we're in for.
Instead, we slowly get welcomed into the life of Peter Parker. Thankfully, Homecoming decides to skip his origin story, with which we're already familiar. The film isn't about Spider-Man coming to grips with that fact that he has powers now, it's about him getting used to those powers, and the massive responsibility they come with. Homecoming gets straight to what we want to see in a Spider-Man origin story.
But it's not just about Spider-Man becoming Spider-Man, it's also about Peter Parker becoming Peter Parker. Homecoming is a coming-of-age tale that shows us the part of Parker's life where he just isn't sure who he is without the Spider-Man suit.
That's what makes Spider-Man so inspiring, because he's just like us. We've all been at that age where we just don't know what we want to do in life. We don't know who we are or who we want to be. Some of us are still at that age. We're constantly tackling new and bigger responsibilities. Maybe we're not out fighting crime in billion-dollar Spidey suits, but we're fighting our own battles just as challenging.
Homecoming director #JonWatts tells this story by channeling his inner '80s kid, filling the movie to the brim with classic tropes of the teen comedy genre. Parker is an awkward, geeky kid whose life is suddenly changing in more ways than he could have ever imagined. Tom Holland portrays this perfectly, ranging from a quick-witted, fist-flying Spider-Man to purposely tripping on his lines to portray an awkward and shy-mannered Parker without ever losing the charm that exists in both Parker and Spider-Man's characters.
Homecoming is full of a supporting cast of high-school students, from Ned (Parker's best friend and supplier of some of the film's best lines, portrayed by Jacob Batalon), to bully Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), to Parker's "Type A" love interest Liz (Laura Harrier).
All in all, Homecoming manages to captures the heart and soul of Spider-Man. Holland brings an on-screen Spider-Man we've never seen before. One that stumbles on his own webbing, and despite being able to take on a group of armed robbers, can't talk to a girl without stuttering.
Holland's #SpiderMan is eager, he makes mistakes that cost him a lot, but he always gets back up and tries again. He's constantly battling himself throughout the film's running time as he tries to figure out who he really is, and whether or not he can handle all the responsibilities life is throwing at him.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is an epic love letter to the character. It captures the very heart and soul of Spider-Man. It reminds us why he's so popular, why so many have spent hours on end reading the comics. It teaches us lessons about responsibility, endurance and inner-strength.
Homecoming is a must-see for any fan of Spider-Man, or just anyone whose looking to leave the theater with a hopeful smile on their face.