Patrick Jensen’s review published on Letterboxd:
With my Wonder Woman review in mind, I'm kind of fearing how anyone of my followers will react to this review, as I will just be blunt here, I liked Spider-Man: Homecoming more than Wonder Woman. Knowing Letterboxd, I'm kind of getting the feeling that either the tumblr crowd will go for my head, because my opinion could be a sign of me being sexist or something, or I will get slaughtered by the number of people here who defend a film like Batman v Superman, because you're not allowed to dislike that film here for some reason, because it is not made by a money-grubbing company like Disney, even though Warner are actually even bigger cunts on that account. I found Spider-Man: Homecoming to be a fine new introduction to a high school-aged Peter Parker, but I can honestly also see why others would be tired of the MCU formula by now.
What I liked about this film was primarily Tom Holland's performance as Spider-Man. While Tobey Maguire had the nerdy aspect down, and Andrew Garfield had the smartass quip-machine part nailed to a tee, Tom Holland is the more balanced of the two, as he was a convincing nerdy kid, but also had the wit to come up with some good quips, he became both a relatable hero for me to root for, but also a likeable nuisance for his foes. He is definitely for me the one hero in the MCU who feels the most human and most down to earth, as he is basically just a fanboy of the Avengers who gets in too deep. Speaking of getting in too deep, on the other end of the justice scale, we've got Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes/Vulture, who is my new favorite villain of the MCU. With Kurt Russell's performance in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 in mind, it looks like the MCU is going to give us better villains from now on. Toomes is terrifying because of his access to hi-tech weaponry, and his intense approach to villainy, but he's also sympathetic in that he chose villainy as a result of the events of The Avengers as a means to provide for his family. He is so far the only villain in the MCU I have been able to identify with. This dimension to the hero and villain, as well as their interactions with each other, made this film that more intriguing to me, as they were both acting out of good intentions, and even if the dichotomy between them is ultimately black and white, you can at least get behind the motivations for both characters.
The supporting cast of the film was a bit hit and miss for me. We did not need two different versions of Shocker, especially since Bokeem Woodbine was Herman Schultz, the Shocker most are familiar with through the comics and animated shows, and he is terribly underused here. Anyone who has seen season 2 of Fargo knows how charismatic and menacing Woodbine can be, and his character came off most of the time as more of a chump than a suave villain who can stand on his own. It is kind of sad that Shocker disappointed me so much, as Vulture along with Tinkerer were a great villainous duo in my opinion, even if it was kind of annoying that Tinkerer could basically create anything through plot magic. The supporting characters at Peter's high school were better. His best friend Ned could have easily become an annoying nerd/token Asian, but he felt likeable enough, and I liked that he was a fanboy helping his best friend, who just happens to be the biggest fanboy superhero in the MCU. Zendaya Coleman was great as Michelle too, basically being a more likeable version of Ally Sheedy's character from The Breakfast Club, but I was annoyed at her short amount of screentime, and the unnecessary detail revealed about her at the end. Laura Harrier's Liz was a great love interest for Peter, and I liked how their relationship evolved throughout, with one certain development giving it a rather interesting dimension.
My biggest problem with the film is honestly the seemingly forced tie-in to the rest of the MCU. Yes, Spider-Man has come home to Disney (temporarily, it seems), but did they really need Tony Stark to be as a big presence as he is in this film? Sure, I liked how he was supposed to be a mentor for Peter, but every time he was on screen, he drew all attention towards himself, and it did piss me off that this was a Spider-Man film, that apparently didn't want Spider-Man to stand on his own. The film was at its best and most fun when it was just Spider-Man, as every scene with Tony or Happy Hogan felt like something from another film. Cameo appearances from them, and Pepper Potts, would have just been enough. Another minor gripe is that you could sometimes feel a bit of rehashing of certain elements from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films, but thankfully, they never stuck out too much for me to be too distracting.
In conclusion, I liked Spider-Man: Homecoming a lot. It's not the best Spider-Man film, as I still have a lot of love (possibly nostalgic) for Spider-Man 2, but I found it to be a great summer blockbuster that also happens to show some kind of progress in the writing for the MCU.