- Joe Gross American-Statesman Staff
So many good decisions went into making in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” the best Spider-Man movie in years, that it’s hard to know where to start.
But let’s start with actor Tom Holland, who was introduced as Peter Parker in “Captain America: Civil War.” There, he was a high school science nerd and tinkerer who has been webbing his way around Queens stopping crimes when Tony Stark tracks him down. His participation in that movie’s big fight scene in Berlin helped it be the best such sequence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I n “Homecoming,” Holland is note-perfect. It isn’t just that he’s the closest in look and feel to what is on the comics page since Christopher Reeve tied on Superman’s cape and turned into a dead-ringer for a Curt Swan drawing; it’s that he is better than anyone — better than Tobey Maguire, better than Andrew Garfield — at embodying Spider-Man’s youthful energy. It helps that he actually looks like a high school student.
“Homecoming” is a co-production between Sony (which had the rights to Spider-Man) and Disney (home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies). So Spidey is — unlike, say, the X-Men or the dormant Fantastic Four — back with his Marvel comic cohorts in “Homecoming.” But there is still something refreshingly off-brand about the whole enterprise, and the film is well aware of this, and the way it conflates with Peter’s underdog persona (Spoon’s “The Underdog” is the first pop song you hear.)