Spider-Man: Homecoming — What the teen superhero means for Marvel's Cinematic Universe
When we first saw Tom Holland playing the teenage Spider-Man for the first time in Captain America: Civil War, comic book aficionados were gleeful.
Finally Spider-Man was everything the comics had made him out to be: A young, wisecracking millennial, who is too self assured for his own good. For those of you have been following the hero bitten by a radioactive bug, you will know this is the third live-action version of Spider-Man to hit the big screen.
Also Read: Homecoming indeed: What makes Spider-Man so special?
The first ever big screen rendition of the Spider-Man films was released in 2002 with Tobey Maguire in the lead role. Though the first film didn't do too well at the box office, the second film with Tobey Maguire is still the most popular fan film and has the highest grossing box-office collection of the three franchises till now.
This is because, the second film, mundanely titled Spider-Man 2, has all the makings of a great superhero film: the hero's just a regular guy, not a man of immense wealth like Tony Stark aka Iron Man or a God from another planet, ie Thor.
Tobey Maguire played a regular guy trying to pay college tuition and save the world at the same time. He is in love with a woman who doesn't seem to return the sentiment, and he's struggling to keep up with his friends.
The most beautiful part of the film is when Parker loses his spidey powers — not because of a conniving supervillain but because he falls in love. That is what I feel captures the essence of Spider-Man and makes the second film the best of the lot — a large number of people, and not only comic book fans, can relate to how damaging unrequited love can be.
There's also the cheesy and well remembered line from the first film franchise that Uncle Ben tells Peter, "With great power, comes great responsibility."
After that film, fans eagerly awaited a hero they could relate to. Films like Iron Man and Dark Knight were masterpieces, but their superheroes certainly weren't relatable.
Patient Spider-Man fans have been waiting more than a decade for a story that’s worthy of the webslinger's legacy — one that’s as much about the heart and soul of its hero as it is about swinging through the city skyline.
And with Spider-Man: Homecoming, which brings Marvel Studios back into the Spider-Man franchise as a co-producer with Sony, that story is finally here.
But does the new film work well for the audience?
It checks all the boxes to make it a hit:
It has a racially diverse cast: the hero's love interest (Laura Harrier as Liz Allan), best friend (Jacob Batalon as Ned), and school bully (Tony Revolori is Flash Thompson) make this a racially diverse cast.
The high school drama arc: Tom Holland has talked about how director Jon Watts made him see Ferris Bueller and Back to the Future in preparation for Spider-Man because they are both coming of age stories.
The big star cast: The star power of Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr and Michael Keaton meant that people would watch the film, whether they are fans of the comic books or not.
It's highly stylised: The film is highly stylised, like all Marvel films. VFX is at its best — Spider-Man has a digitalised suit that has an AI (like Iron Man has Jarvis), even Aunt Mae is an updated, younger version of her comic book counterpart.
Great sense of humour: This is the funniest Marvel film so far, hands down.
The whole look of the film is slick, stylish and fits into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) timeline perfectly.
And now that the Marvel Studios and Sony collaboration is in place, we also know that Spider-Man is also set to appear in in Marvel's magnum opus Avengers: Infinity War - I in 2018.
Along with his strong Spidey-sense, Parker will bring the one thing that might be missing in the upcoming mega superhero battle — a great sense of humour.
Humour is what brought Tom Holland's Spider-Man into the spotlight in his cameo in Civil War too. Though Civil War is a great film, the comedic moments were solely supplied by Spider-Man.
Yep, Tom Holland's Spider-Man is one of the few comedic reliefs that Marvel has added to their expanding universe other than the out of the world Guardians of the Galaxy films.
Avengers: Infinity War, which is turning out to be like the Baahubali of the Marvel Universe with its humongous budget and production scale, will showcase a battle between all the superheroes of Marvel ever seen on screen against a big baddie.
The litmus test of how important Spider-Man is to the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be in the two Infinity War films.
Will the teenager be lost in the barrage of superheroes around him, will he be just used as comic relief?
Only time will tell.
Watch where Spider-Man stands in the battle when Avengers: Infinity War I premieres on 25 April 2018.