Story: Home ties up the MCU Phase Three storylines and paves the way for more adventures for your friendly neighborhood web-slinger. Want more? Too bad. Oh okay; Peter Parker and his schoolmates head to Europe for an educational summer trip. It’ll be educational all right.
Genre I’d put it in: Teen Comedy-meets-Action Thriller
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Film #3 in the newest Spider-Man film series. Part of the MCU, and the final film of Marvel’s Phase Three.
Gotta say: A Spider-Man film ends the all-important Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? After Avengers: Endgame? What is Marvel thinking; couldn’t they have just ended things with Endgame? Sure they could have. But it would have been a maudlin way to go about things. Yes, I’m as torn up about Tony as the next fangirl, but with Home we get to take a look at what happened after Thanos’ snap was undone Tony’s snap-back…or as MJ calls it, “The Blip”.
Home paints a picture of a world where, while people who were affected by The Snap returned, life continued for everyone else. We saw a touch of this when Ant-Man/Scott Lang returns to find his young daughter a teen in Endgame, but it’s laid out on a larger scale here. Peter, MJ, Ned, and many of Peter’s classmates return to see once-younger classmates matching them in grade level, while other classmates have graduated and moved on. Screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers do a great job taking a microcosm of society (Peter’s classmates) and showing how they and their school have been affected.
I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that even though the world is doing its level best to pick up the pieces, Tony Stark is celebrated everywhere. The world knows what he did, and Peter sees Tony’s face just about everywhere. Tom Holland does an amazing job of portraying Peter’s complex emotions, and the delightful onscreen chemistry between Holland and Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan give the film both gravitas and laughs.
Damn it’s really tough trying to review this film without talking spoilers. But on I go; as Big Bads go, the Elementals are fascinating, and their FX are impressive as hell. With the introduction of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck/Mysterio – an adult with remarkable powers – Peter has someone who he hopes can fill the Tony-sized hole in his heart. Gyllenhaal does a great job with Mysterio, and I can absolutely see why this indie darling chose to sign on for this blockbuster. Beck’s backstory is compelling, and that’s all I’ll say about that. (But hello – will we be seeing all kinds of alternate Earth folks in Phase Four?)
All in all, Home balances pathos, delight, and surprise exceedingly well, thanks to an expert touch by director Jon Watts, who amps up the stakes from his work on Homecoming. This “dialed to 11” suits a story that’s the end of a Marvel era. Holland and his young castmates have nicely settled into their roles, and look like they’re enjoying the ride. The same can be said of the adults in the cast, especially Favreau and Tomei, who have a delightful back-and-forth here, much to Peter’s delightful-to-watch confusion.
Though you shouldn’t expect everything in the trailers to be in the film as you settle into your seat, you won’t notice unless, like me, you re-watch the trailers afterwards for kicks. Just enjoy the ride, and appreciate the well-crafted end to ten years of world-building. I can’t wait to see what Peter – and Marvel – will get up to next.
#Protip: There are two end-credits scenes, so stay all the way through the rollcall. Believe me, it’s worth it. Plus, the first part of those credits are a lot of fun, and worth checking out on their own merits.