It was easy to be skeptical when Marvel acquired the rights to the Spider-Man franchise from Sony. On the surface, it meant that a moribund franchise that had already been reset once, would get stretched even thinner. But a closer look suggested that in the context of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, a new Spider-Man film might actually work.
In the latest trailer for Spider-Man: Homecoming, we see that vision fully realized. The chemistry between Tom Holland’s teenage webslinger and Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark was palpable in Captain America: Civil War. So it makes perfect sense that the filmmakers have decided to make that relationship one of the central narrative threads of the film. And while there seems to be plenty of snappy banter between the two superheroes, the stakes of their relationship are through the roof thanks to Michael Keaton’s Vulture.
The villains in the Spidey-verse have always lacked the terrifying menace of say, a Joker. But here, Keaton looks genuinely chilling as a blue-collar worker who breaks bad after stumbling on some alien technology. We also get our first look at Donald Glover, who may not be playing Spider-Man as some had hoped, but still looks to figure prominently, which is always a good thing.
But the real star here is Holland. For whatever reason, Andrew Garfield never really felt right as Peter Parker. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he was in his mid-twenties while playing him. Holland, now 20, was an actual teenager when he shot this film. A plucky high school student in way over his head should be played by someone that recently attended prom. We totally get that this is the sixth Spider-Man movie in 15 years. But if anyone can inject new life into a stale tentpole, it’s these guys.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7. Watch the latest trailer below.