Spider-Man: Homecoming directed by Jon Watts, Marvel Studios, 2017
Reviewed by Abbas Daya
Marvel fans were given a tantalising taste of the new Spider-Man last year when he stood beside Tony Stark/Iron Man in the Avengers: Civil War showdown. With Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spidey takes centre stage.
The plot to Spider-Man: Homecoming is simple enough, alien weaponry and tech – fallout from the Avengers/Chitauri dust up in the 2012 film – is being meshed with earth weaponry to produce some nasty hardware that packs a BIG punch.
The gang responsible is headed by the ‘Vulture’ (Michael Keaton), so dubbed because he flies using jet powered wings, and a genius with all things tech,who isselling the deadly hardware to his fellow criminals – the dastardly swine!
Spider-Man (Tom Holland) has to bring the birdman to justice and stop the flow of the deadly weapons, BUT, that’s nothing compared to navigating the minefield that is high school while juggling his Spider-Man duties of looking out for ‘the little guy’ and proving to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) that he’s got what it takes tojoin the Avengers.
The previous Spider-Man films with Messrs Maguire and Garfield were entertaining enough but suffered from oversentimentality – the loss of Pete’s Uncle Ben and the unrequited love shenanigans with Mary Jane (MJ) – not to mention the boring backstory.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens with Peter Parker already having his powers so thankfully there’s no time wasted with how he got them. Fans will love the film for that and for harkening back to Spidey’s original high school roots. But what really makes Spider-Man: Homecoming a winner, is the characterisation.
Holland’s Spider-Man is Fun with a capital F, and hugely watchable as the shy 15-year-old science and tech geek who stumbles as awkwardly through his adventures as the webslinger as he does the trials of high school.
The slick writing, and acting on Holland’s part, only makes him more endearing especially the scenes of Spider-Man behaving like a typical teenager and the distance shots of our hero clinging to something while looking curiously around which would be typical of an adolescent coming to terms with amazing powers.
Thanks to Holland, Peter Parker is utterly lovable as are his high school mates and supporting cast – Jacob Batalon is an equally lovable Ned, Pete’s best mate, and Laura Harrier who plays Liz, Pete’s love interest and head of the school’s debating team. Zendaya plays a quirky and off-the-wall Michelle ‘MJ’ Jones. It’s also refreshing to see the film cast black actors in the young female leads.
Marisa Tomei is Peter’s gorgeous aunt, May Parker, while Michael Keaton is dazzling as the pants wettingly menacing Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is also huge on humour and has all the thrills and spills you’dexpect from a Spider-Man film – Spidey’s death-defying acrobatic webslinging between skyscrapers and all the requisite CGI of a Marvel fantasy flick of things crashing, smashing and exploding.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is the best of the Spider-Man films to date. It has ageless appeal and all the action and special effects you’d expect of a Spider-Man film without all the unnecessary backstory and sentimentality. It has characters you’ll love and cheer for and still fondly remember long after the end credits have rolled.