If you’re struggling to get out of bed for another Spider-Man movie, that’s more than understandable. After all, there are 7,000 of them in existence and the pubescent web slinger has been played by 100 actors. But if you’ll recall from last May’s Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is the fucking one. He was the right amount of unintentionally hilarious, and most importantly: He was an actual teenager.
However, after tagging him in to go toe-to-toe with the Winter Soldier, Falcon, Captain America, and Ant-Man at full, towering oil-rig size, Tony Stark doesn’t think Peter Parker is ready, for whatever reason. That’s the gist of the latest Spidey reboot, Spider-Man: Homecoming, the trailer for which dropped late Thursday night. Peter Parker doesn’t get to play with the big guys, probably because he’s just a kid. But, having aced AP Biology and hospitalized at least four dudes in plastic Avengers masks from the post-Halloween sale at Walmart all on his own, Peter Parker thinks he is ready. AND HE’S NOT A KID. Well, he is a kid, but [finishes ridding Queens of adult criminals, throws off backpack, storms upstairs] HE’S SICK AND TIRED OF BEING TREATED LIKE ONE [slams bedroom door].
This is to say Spider-Man: Homecoming looks — and sounds, being soundtracked by MGMT’s “Time to Pretend” — and feels pretty spry and youthful. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it might be exactly the shot in the arm this franchise needs. Because Spider-Man needs to be a whiny, goofy teen.
Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield were both pushing 30 when they got bitten by radioactive spiders for the first time. Now, none of the original trilogy was bad (with a huge, blinking exception for the third movie, what the hell, Sam Raimi). And the Amazing movies weren’t awful, either, but they were weird and mopey: Garfield and Emma Stone played “disgustingly, dreadfully in love” pretty straight and had good chemistry or whatever, but Peter Parker isn’t supposed to gush and muse like a long-lost member of Death Cab for Cutie until he morphs back into a digital rendering. (But it makes sense, considering the director, Marc Webb, was just coming off 500 Days of Summer.) Peter Parker is supposed to be a pint-sized outerborough kid that literally cannot shut up. He’s also supposed to be young and convinced that he’s indestructible. He’s supposed to, you know, have fun being Spider-Man. Because it would be really, really fun to be Spider-Man.
Insofar as we can trust trailers (which, you know, we can’t, really), Homecoming looks like it will give us the Peter Parker we want, and a movie that makes sense around him: the 10th grade, giddy electro pop, and Michael “Batman” Keaton. That might be because it’s the first Marvel-produced Spider-Man movie. Sony is still technically involved and the brand name is still technically on a splash screen there in the first few moments, but here’s what matters: MARVEL. The company may not break any film-school boundaries, but there’s no one better at competently ushering a moderately fun and extremely fan-service-y superhero movie onto the screen, legal battles be damned. The film itself is directed by Jon Watts, who’s been working closely with Marvel Studios president and Comic-Con oracle Kevin Feige. Great. The screenplay was written by Jonathan Goldstein, previously known for such bangers as … Horrible Bosses and Horrible Bosses 2. … OK?
So, honestly, this could go either way. In Homecoming’s corner: Robert Downey Jr., who may or may not know Marisa Tomei’s much-younger Aunt May in the biblical sense, and fucking BATMAN (or maybe BIRDMAN) playing a villain that looks a lot like if the Green Goblin performed the fusion dance with his Goblin Glider. And then put on an Imperial TIE fighter pilot’s helmet.
ANOTHER HUGE PLUS, and maybe the biggest of all: As of yet, there’s no indication that we’ll have to watch Uncle Ben die a third goddamn time. I’m with it. Homecoming hits theaters July 2017.