Rating: 3.5 out 5

3.5 Robert Downey Heads

Spider-Man: Homecoming is the character’s first solo movie since going back to the MCU and one of the best things about it is how it beautifully ties into the Marvel Universe. Although far from a perfect movie, it’s definitely a solid start to a rebooted franchise.

Tom Holland
Ang problema lang ng Spider-Man suit? Walang bulsa kaya kailangan magdala ng backpack.

The movie directly follows the events of Captain America: Civil War where we saw Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) recruiting Peter Parker (Tom Holland) for Team Iron Man. Since then, Peter Parker has been under the wing of Tony Stark himself, with Stark furnishing Peter with a suit that has a collection of nifty features all courtesy of Stark Industries. But with “Civil War” being over, he has to go back to his routine of being a high school student. Eager to prove himself to Stark, Peter Parker stays close to the ground dealing with mostly petty crimes until he crosses paths with a villain that goes by the name of the “Vulture” (Michael Keaton).

This being the 2nd reboot and the 7th time we’re seeing Spider-Man on the big screen, it’s safe to say that almost everyone is already familiar with his background by now. So foregoing the usual origin story was the right decision as it takes us right into the meat of the story. How “Uncle Ben” died and his whole relationship with Peter can be told at another time. Seriously, who wants to spend the first hour of another Spider-Man movie exploring his relationship with Uncle Ben, right?

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Isa pang malaking problema ni Peter Parker? Ang daming lalaking gustong maging bagong uncle niya.

Spider-Man is without a doubt one of the most iconic and enduring superheroes of all-time, and I’m sure fans are very happy with the fact that Spidey is finally back in the loving arms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kung ako ang tatanungin, the greatest moment in Captain America: Civil War was when Spider-Man finally appeared alongside the rest of the Avengers in that now classic airport battle.  Partida na yan ah, para sa isang movie littered with superheroes, the best part of it was the 15 minutes or so na lumabas si Spider-Man. This only goes to show how popular the character really is. For me, one of the strongest points of “Homecoming” was how well it was able to integrate the story of Spider-Man into everything that’s been going on in the MCU and to do so seamlessly. You don’t get the sense na pinilit nila isama si Spider-Man sa Avengers kahit alam mong in reality, ganun naman talaga ang nangyari between Marvel Studios and Sony.

When the trailers came out, a lot of people (and that includes myself) were a bit worried because it looked like the movie was going to be high-jacked by Iron Man once again. And I say “once again” because that’s been the case for almost any Marvel movie that has Robert Downey Jr. in it. He’s one of the world’s biggest stars so it would only be natural for these movies to feature him heavily. But thankfully, it didn’t turn out that way for “Homecoming”. RDJ was actually used sparingly, probably appearing for a total of only 20 minutes, and he never felt liked a party trick na ilalabas ng director pag nagiging mabagal yung kwento.

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Iron Man/Tony Stark doesn’t appear so much as we were led to believe. Which is a good thing!

Tom Holland’s is great as Spider-Man and his take on the character is probably as close as we’ll get to the comic book version in terms of wit and charm. It’s a good decision to finally get a young guy for the role of a high school Peter Parker instead of casting another 30 year old like Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to play the part. Kuha ni Tom Holland yung youthfulness ni Spider-Man and he’s likable as Peter Parker e. Even when he screws up, hindi ka naiinis kasi kita mo how well-intentioned he is.

But as is usually the case for superhero movies, the weak point for me is the villain. I was so looking forward to seeing Michael Keaton as the Vulture given how great of an actor he is but sadly his character is not as fleshed out as much as I’d hoped. Sa totoo lang medyo mababaw yung pinakitang motivations niya for being a super villain and it’s hard for us to believe his transition from a working-class father to a murderous evil mastermind. Parang ang hirap rin paniwalaan na yung mga henchmen niya biglang mag dedecide rin na samahan siyang maging kriminal dahil lang sinabi niya isang araw na magpapalit sila ng career. He still had his moments though but ultimately he felt underused.

Jacob Batalon;Photographer select;Tom Holland
Peter Parker’s best friend Ned Leeds is played by Jacob Batalon, a Pinoy living in Hawaii. Pinoy pride!

Although Spider-Man: Homecoming is not the first big-screen version of the superhero, it still felt fresh because of the added kink that Spider-Man was being mentored by Iron Man. In this movie, he gets to have an AI companion just like JARVIS and is provided with a lot of cool gadgets by Tony Stark. That’s a great addition to the character kasi otherwise parehas lang sa mga Spider-Man na napanuod natin dati na naglalambitin lang patiwarik e, di ba?

Now all that being said, I don’t think this is the best Spider-Man movie we’ve seen. Although it’s better than both the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies, I don’t think it’s better than Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 1 or 2. Wag na yung Spider-Man 3, hindi ko pa rin mapatawad yung eksenang naging emo si Peter Parker at naglakad ng ganito sa gitna ng New York:

What’s great about the Spider-Man character is that out of all the superheroes, he’s probably the most relatable. Sure he has superpowers, but he’s also just a regular guy at the end of the day. He has to juggle school and work, his responsibilities at home, his finances, and his social life. Lahat naman tayo may ganyang problema e. Those aspects of the character can be seen in “Homecoming” but I think it was done better in Spidey 1 and 2.

Nevertheless, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a solid start to another potential trilogy. The movie is funny and delivers on the brand of action and adventure we’ve grown accustomed to when watching these Marvel movies. Fans of Spider-Man can all rest assured that the web-slinger is in good in hands with Tom Holland.

Photos courtesy of COLUMBIA PICTURES

Catch Spider-Man: Homecoming in cinemas everywhere starting July 6, 2017.

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