It is impossible to discuss this movie without spoiling Avengers End Game.
Spider-man’s role in the MCU has often been used to lighten the mood and bring in some humor. Spider-man Homecoming brought us a more complete picture of the Tom Holland Spider-man we first met in Captain America Civil War. Homecoming was filled with humor and teenage awkwardness. Fortunately for us ‘The Blip’ has stunted Peter Parker’s emotional development and he remains an awkward teenager, especially around Michelle (MJ).
Keeping the movie so upbeat is a balancing act between Peter and Spider-man. Peter is desperate to tell Michelle about his feelings for her, but Spider-man has to save the planet. Weighing on both Peter and Spider-man is the death of Tony Stark; who will be the next Iron Man? (Cue up this song and get through the acoustic intro, it was in my head for much of the movie; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6GKwWEQT38 ) Much like at the end of Homecoming where Peter wasn’t ready to become an Avenger, Peter is no more ready to be the next Iron Man. Peter just wants to be a normal kid on his science class trip to Europe; what makes it a science trip, I’m not sure.
Nick Fury and Agent Hill make plenty of appearances as does Tony’s former assistant Happy Hogan. Colbie needs more MCU BIG screen time; she gets a few good scenes this time around. The theory of a multi-verse is brought up, a nice nod to the fabulous Spider-Man into the Spider-verse.
Every MCU movie needs a villain, but unlike most MCU movies, this villain explains every component of his plan in minute detail leaving the viewer with no guess work. It feels more James Bond than Marvel. The plan involves CGI, so director Jon Watts makes full use of it. In any other MCU movie, the CGI would seem over the top, but it works well this time around. The plot may rely a little too much on visual trickery for some people.
I had my issues with the villain, but they were minor and discussing them would be a spoiler. The painfully awkward teenage love story keeps this movie fun. Michelle and Peter’s evolving relationship makes up for a weaker than normal villain story. I enjoy the fun side of the MCU the most and this movie is certainly in that camp. It isn’t as much of a stand out as Thor Ragnorok, but it is in the top half of my MCU movie list.
This movie is the official end of the current phase of the MCU. The fact that it was released so close to End Game may be a negative; there hasn’t been much time to grieve. Make sure to stick around for the mid credits and the after credits scene. The later is similar in weight to the very first post credit scene in Iron Man.