I'll admit that I liked Andrew Garfield's Spider-Man better than Tobey Maguire's. It's not the popular choice, but meh.
The first two iterations of Spider-Man told of Spider-Man's beginnings: how he was a nerd in school, went to a field trip to Oscorp and inadvertently getting bit by the radioactive spider and waking up with awesome spider powers. Spider-Man: Homecoming skipped that. The story starts with a salvage crew, owned by Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), going through the remnants of a Chitauri ship as part of the city cleanup they were contracted to do. Then they were taken over by a government department (under Tony Stark's orders) and were forced out of business. Instead of surrendering the alien technology that they already had in their possessions, Toomes came up with a brilliant plan to create and sell Chitauri-technology-integrated weapons.
Cue 8 years after. The movie picks up where Captain America: Civil War left off with regards to Spider-Man. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is already well-adjusted to his powers and has already met with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and they've both concocted this story that Peter is part of an internship with Stark Industries – an excuse that they used to justify Peter's absence during the stand-off with the other Avengers. After that "war", Peter was sent home to await further orders.
Being a teen, it should be assumed that he's restless and has problems following orders now that he considers himself part of the Avengers. So Spider-Man goes around the city, saving people from petty thieves or helping them with directions — just being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Until one day he manages to prevent an ATM robbery where the robbers were wielding high-tech weapons. He sees the destructive powers of those weapons and tries to get in touch with Iron Man but Happy (Jon Favreau) is pretty dismissive. Oh and upon returning home after that bank incident, Peter's best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon), finds out who Spider-Man is.
Peter continues his adventures as Spider-Man while at the same time, he and Ned studies this one piece of Chitauri tech – a purple stone – that Spider-Man managed to pick up in a botched transaction between a local gangster and Toome's men. In this same incident, Spider-Man and Vulture meet for the first time and Vulture almost kills Peter. Thankfully, Iron Man saves Peter because of a tracking device in Peter's Spider-Man suit. Of course, Toome, who we will now refer to as Vulture, is starting to get antsy because suddenly, there's a superhero who's messing with his business. After being left alone for 8 whole years. Peter continues investigating and ultimately was able to put a tracking device in one of Toome's men where he learns that they're in Maryland.
Peter rejoins the decathlon team since the competition is in Washington D.C. Peter sneaks out (and with Ned's help, disables the tracking device and unlocks the advance features of his suit) to try and stop Vulture from stealing more alien technology but instead gets stuck inside the D.O.D.C. truck and warehouse. While in there, Peter realizes that the Chitauri stone that he picked up, and is currently with Ned, is a grenade. Spider-Man manages to escape the warehouse but while he was on his way to Ned and the rest of their friends, the grenade detonates and traps them inside the elevator of the Washington Monument.
Peter was able to save them and all is well, they go back to New York. He doesn't give up his chase and manages to learn about a deal between Vulture and a buyer. Spider-Man sabotages the deal but Vulture escapes and Peter has to deal with the aftermath of his meddling: the ferry they were all in was cut in half and people were still inside. Thankfully, Iron Man comes and manages to save the day. Spider-Man's actions doesn't go without consequences though. Iron Man confiscated Spider-Man's suit and tells him that he's still a kid and he's not ready to have people's deaths on his hands, or something to that effect.
Peter goes back to school with barely any repercussion. With newfound confidence even if the Spider suit is gone, and the homecoming dance within the horizon, Peter asks Liz (his longtime crush) to the dance. She agrees and on the day of the dance, Peter goes to Liz's house.
Surprise! The Vulture is Liz's dad!!
During the ride to school, Vulture/Toomes deduces that Peter is Spider-Man. He talks to Peter alone and says that since Peter saved Liz's life (she was part of the decathlon team), he was going to save Peter's just that one time. In return, Peter should forget all about the Vulture and let them do their business in peace. Peter was shaken (or shookt? That's what the young people say nowadays, right?) but his righteww- I mean, his righteousness takes over and he decides to finish things with the Vulture once and for all.
So Spider-Man tracks down the Vulture with the help of Ned (again!). Spider-Man ends up buried in debris and Vulture escapes to chase after the plane holding the Avengers' stuff. (This was the time that they were moving to a new HQ.) Spider-Man was able to overcome his flaws and he catches up to the Vulture in the plane. They crash the plane, battle it out, Spider-Man loses again… BUT! He saves Toomes as the latter was flying out with broken wings. Like his wings were literally about to explode and Spider-Man was telling him not to fly with the goods anymore but he's so greedy so that's exactly what he did. So they exploded and Peter jumped into the fiery mess, got Toomes out and webbed him together with the salvaged Stark supplies from the plane, to be discovered by Happy.
All's well that ends well. Spider-Man was brought to the new Avengers facility and was asked by Tony Stark if he wanted to join the Avengers. Peter thought that it was a test so he declined and said that he's still satisfied being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
Okay, so when I heard that the title for this new Spider-Man movie was "Homecoming", I initially assumed that since this iteration is an early teen Peter, it was going to be a Homecoming Dance. And we did get the dance. Except that nothing "big" happened during the dance. Actually, Peter didn't even stay for at least a minute in the dance. He left Liz and went off to chase the Vulture. So at first, I kept thinking why it was entitled Homecoming when the event was hardly relevant.
Boyfriend enlightened me by explaining that it was Homecoming because Spider-Man is now back in Marvel's clutches (was it Fox or Sony who owned the rights before?). I don't know if he's pulling my leg but I guess that makes sense? Anyway, I definitely liked this Spider-Man better than the other two. It's a lot more lighthearted and funny and the cameos were entertaining, to say the least.
I never followed Spider-Man at the comic level, so having a different villain this time – someone who isn't Green Goblin – is… refreshing? I mean, it gave me more insight that Spider-Man's nemeses aren't just the Green Goblin and Doc Ock. Yeah, there's the Sandman person who always comes up when I look for Neil Gaiman's Sandman toys, or Electro who caused one of the most frustrating deaths in a superhero movie for me… Or that lizard doctor whose villain name escapes me… They aren't exactly memorable beyond the name.
Though not being biased, the Vulture sans the Chitauri weapons could have been very easy to beat.
I did like the fact how the whole movie was kind of simple. You could kinda guess all the plot twists so I think they're aiming more for the 5-12 age demographics when they thought up the story for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Oh and Peter having a sidekick worked really well. Ned made the movie funnier as an awkward teen character.
Overall, I'd definitely add this to my blu-ray collection. Maybe it'll be part of the Marvel Phase 3 collector's set?