Josh Davenport’s review published on Letterboxd:
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Spider-Man is the most important character in Marvel’s history, on screen or on page. There was a big question for a long time whether or not he would get to live up to that in the Marvel Cinematic Universe because he was owned by Sony, but we finally got to see him join the ranks of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Unfortunately, Iron Man’s presence in the MCU has been overwhelming, so much so that he ended up taking over Spider-Man’s film and robbed Peter of some character development. With Iron Man now being gone, this film really had the chance to let Spider-Man grow as a character and develop who he is as Spider-Man. Thankfully this film does just that and gives us a depiction of Spider-Man that we haven’t seen on screen before, and Peter Parker turns into the Peter that we’ve always wanted him to be.
I love the struggle that Peter has between wanting to be Spider-Man and wanting to be a normal kid. No other hero in the MCU can relate to this, and there’s an impossible balance to be had between the two. This film is the best at portraying that struggle out of every Spider-Man film, specifically when it comes to the scenes where Peter has to choose between Nick Fury and MJ. I love Peter and Ned’s relationship and the way that treat the fact that he’s Spider-Man, and I just love the aura that Tom Holland carries when he’s wearing that suit. Also the fact that The Ramones’ music tends to accompany these films helps endear me to this version of the character, but I do genuinely feel like we are witnessing the most iconic portrayal of this character that we’ll see.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio is easily the best thing about this movie, and his time in the role is one of the best things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. His character is so likable and detestable, easily playing everyone on every emotion that they have. Falling in and out of a Lou Bloom-esque performance from “Nightcrawler,” Gyllenhaal perfectly captures the essence of the character and gives such a magnetic and enigmatic performance that every second he was on screen he stole the show. Tom Holland kills it as Spider-Man, but something about Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio makes me want him to have a film of his own. The scene where Spider-Man has to fight through Mysterio’s illusion is one of the top 10 scenes in the MCU and it’s so unlike anything we’ve seen in a Marvel film before.
As someone who didn’t originally like “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” I loved this film and I’m extremely excited for what the future of Spider-Man in the MCU is. I adore Tom Holland as Spider-Man, I’ve come around to Zendaya’s version of MJ, and I’m just really pleased with the direction his character seems to be taking. Iron Man will always have a presence on Peter’s life, and he totally should, but I want to see Peter grow into his own hero more and take back some of the character development that I feel he lost while being Iron Man’s student. I’m nervous about the next Spider-Man film after that mid credits scene, but I’m also cautiously optimistic. Im not sure yet where I view this film in terms of both the MCU and the other Spider-Man films, but what I do know is that this film is really enjoyable, and overall, it’s one of the best depictions of a character to hit the big screen.