Friday, 14 July 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Year of Release:  2017
Director:  Jon Watts
Screenplay:  Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, based on Spider-Man created by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee
Starring:  Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier
Running Time:  130 minutes
Genre:  Science-fiction, action, superhero

Teenager Peter Parker (Holland) has his hands full with schoolwork and maintaining his secret identity as superhero "Spider-Man".  After aiding billionaire Tony Stark (Downey Jr.) in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Parker is taken under Stark's wing and given a new, sophisticated Spider-Man costume.  Soon tiring of the small-scale crimes he has been foiling and good deeds that he has been doing in his neighborhood, Peter sees his chance at the big time coming when he runs across a gang stealing and adapting advanced alien weaponry and Stark technology and selling it to criminals.

Spider-Man first swung on to the world's cinema screens played by Tobey Maguire in the 2002 Sam Raimi film Spider-Man, which was followed by two sequels, and then in the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man and it's sequel, with Andrew Garfield in the role.  Here we have yet another reboot, and, following Tom Holland's debut as everyone's favorite webslinger in Captain America: Civil War, he is firmly part of the ongoing "Marvel Cinematic Universe", the shared universe of various movies and TV shows centered on various superhero characters from Marvel comics.  Here we have the superheroics in the world of a teen movie.  Peter Parker worries about ordinary teenage stuff such as his grades, and his crush on classmate Liz (Harrier).  It's a refreshingly small-scale film, there are no world destroying monsters or maniacs, here the villain (played by Michael Keaton) is quite sympathetic.  He's a man who wants money to look after his family and his employees after they are casually laid off.  He's ruthless and murderous when pushed, however he is kind of likable.  Tom Holland is possibly the best screen Spider-Man yet, returning the character to his teenage roots, his Peter Parker (and Spider-Man) is engagingly awkward and enthusiastic, also the fact that he makes mistakes.  Most of the film's destruction, such as slicing a ferry in half, is his fault (albeit accidental),  he is also surrounded by a fun group of friends and adversaries.  By and large the film is self-contained, although it probably helps if you have seen the other MCU films, it also differs from other Spider-Man films in that it doesn't show Spider-Man's origin story, which is only briefly referred to.   While the action sequences aren't as thrilling as some of the other superhero films, this is still a funny, thoroughly entertaining romp.

Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming


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