No matter what, if it’s a Spider-Man movie trailer, and it’s new, you have to look. It’s a peculiar blend of the old and the new. Spider-Man is played by Tom Holland, who is 20 years old but looks young enough to play 16. This is the 16th film in the franchise, but it’s only the second one where the Webbed Wonder appears in the same universe as the Avengers, the first one being Captain America: Civil War. Because of that introduction, and how tightly dependent Peter Parker is on the suit Tony Stark gave him, Stark is a powerful presence in the plot line for the new film. Do the clothes, in truth, make the man? Spider-Man: Homecoming tries to answer that question.

Of course Stark is being a jerk about Parker getting in over his head and demanding the suit back. “If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”

Look who’s talking. They should call him Irony Man.

And of course, giving the suit back puts Peter at a disadvantage when he has to hand it over. What we get from it, though, is a Spider-Man more authentic in some very important ways. Peter Parker is still a kid with superpowers, and has that whole parallel dynamic of trying to be respected as a hero while trying to figure out how to finish growing up. It’s a coming of age story, as it was meant to be. The setting is new and modern, and we do see the suit he made for himself in a lot of the scenes in this trailer. He has to fight The Vulture without the fancy tech the suit gives him, and gets himself into some pretty serious trouble.

Michael Keaton plays Adrian Toomes, better known to the True Believers as The Vulture, one of the classic Steve Ditko era villains from the comics. This is rather delicious in a number of ways. First, Keaton is no stranger to fantasy movies (Beetlejuice, 1988). He’s no stranger to superhero movies either (Batman, 1989). He’s also, weirdly, already got a track record playing emotionally troubled comic book characters with giant feathered wings (Birdman, 2014). As the heavy, he brings a lot to the table.

Peter’s got a real situation. He has to fight for legitimacy as a hero, and as a person, in practically every aspect of his life. In light of this, the action scenes propel the character story along, and if we’re any judge at all, this movie looks like it’s going to be extremely tightly made. We can hardly wait.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is directed by Jon Watts, with a screenplay by Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. 

Look for it in theaters on July 7, 2017.

It’s going to be a great summer.


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