"Homecoming" represents Sony's second attempt at rebooting the franchise, after the Andrew Garfield-led "Amazing Spider-Man" films ($1.5 billion combined worldwide gross) failed to live up to the heights of the original "Spider-Man" trilogy directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, which brought in almost $2.5 billion worldwide. Will this film live up to expectations?
Miles Morales isn't included in Spider-Man: Homecoming- not a surprise, since Marvel has said as much before - but the studio managed to find an interesting and low-key way to establish that the character does exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's now in the midst of crime-fighting, thwarting the ATM robbery attempt by the faux-Iron Man from the poorly masked Avengers criminals featured in much of the marketing for the film.
What makes "Spider-Man: Homecoming" so fun isn't the stunts or the spectacle or the superheroics, but that it's a real high school movie, in the vein of a John Hughes classic.
Which is not to say there aren't big action set pieces, and "Homecoming" stages a pair of thrilling sequences, one at the Washington Monument and another on board the Staten Island Ferry. So Pascal and Feige hammered out a plan to save Spider-Man, thanks to a creative joint custody that allowed Holland's Peter Parker to appear first in last year's "Captain America: Civil War" in a winning "homecoming" of sorts for Marvel - the company that birthed the Stan Lee/Steve Ditko character in the early '60s. He is not yet an Avenger, and agonises over still being stuck in the Training Wheels programme. He steals scrap left behind by the warring Avengers and uses it to build lethal weapons. What does Spider-Man do when there's no high building to swing from? Will he be successful? The Wrap, Bustle, and Vanity Fair report that at the end of the film, Peter's crush Liz, played by Laura Harrier, moves away, and Michelle takes over from her as president of the high school's student academic decathlon team (of which Peter is a member). The 21 year old beat out hundreds of actors vying for the coveted role, and it's easy to see why.
That doesn't mean there aren't still trolls, though, who've been making their critiques of the film known for months, now, even if everything they have to say is pretty ridiculous.
But how does the cost of becoming Spider-Man compare to other superheroes? The way the bigger world was localized down to a still up and coming Spider-Man's beat brought out the best of Spidey and the best of the MCU. His best friend Ned is the only non-superhero who knows his secret, and while he tries to help keep Peter grounded, he also can't help geeking out about his friend's alter-ego, which can be less than helpful at times.
A little British boy named Liam, dressed in a mini Spider-Man costume, was recruited to interview the two stars when the child asked Holland, "I'm going to take Zendaya a bunch of flowers and maybe ask her out - any advice?" Marvel Studios and Sony were able to come to an agreement since that debacle, which led to the best Spidey on screen in 12 years with Tom Holland's appearance in Captain America: Civil War last year. Whether it's Marvel, DC or X-Men, post-credit scenes are now the norm.