Title – Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Director – Jon Watts (Cop Car)
Cast – Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Bokeem Woodbine, Donald Glover, Marisa Tomei
Plot – After helping on an Avengers mission, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Holland) struggles with every day high school life as he awaits his next call-up from Tony Stark (Downey Jr.). When Parker stumbles upon a chance encounter with alien trash collector Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Keaton), it gives him a chance to prove to Stark that he to can be an Avenger.
“Can’t you just be a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man?”
Review by Eddie on 07/07/2017
While we most surely didn’t need another Spider-Man reboot, you’d be hard pressed finding too many cinemagoers that won’t enjoy this breezy, fast-paced and fun webslinging solo outing.
After his popular cameo like appearance in Civil War, this is our first proper journey alongside our newest sticky hero in the form of British rising star Tom Holland and working in tandem the relatively unknown Jon Watts in the director’s chair, the two new Marvel mavericks make Homecoming the most easily accessible Spider-Man adventure since the ground-breaking one-two double punch of Sam Raimi’s first two films in the series back in the early 2000’s.
After those Raimi adventures hit it big, the franchise lost its way with overly serious and emo tendencies, a problem that plagued the initially promising Amazing Spiderman reboots with Andrew Garfield but with Marvel now working alongside the Sony studio and moulding Peter Parker into a future Avengers member, Watt’s and Holland nail the tone of Homecoming to allow it to be never less than entertaining, even if it fails to swing to great heights due to a lack of genuinely memorable set piece’s.
You don’t often find Marvel films bereft in jaw dropping sequences (the effects work here is however, mostly quite flawless) but Homecoming’s lacking in that particularly department never weighs its narrative down too far thanks to Holland’s born for this role type performance as Parker and the smart decision by the filmmakers to eschew the Uncle Ben type plot line that has been a large part of other incarnations as Homecoming instead turns its attention to Parker’s trials and overcoming’s as both a high school student masking a huge secret and a wannabe Avenger.
There’s simple yet effective joys found in Parker’s high school exploits, whether it’s with Jacob Batalon’s best friend Ned, potential love interest Liz or Zendaya’s sassy Michelle and Homecoming does a fine job of combining a high school/John Hughes like teen comedy with the extended Marvel universe while also setting up some fine encounters with Michael Keaton’s Vulture, Bokeem Woodbine’s Shocker and some other mysterious figures like Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover’s Aaron Davis.
There’s some particularly enjoyable narrative twists and turns that occur through Homecoming, especially concerning Keaton’s Vulture and while the talented performer could’ve had more to do here in his second incarnation of a Birdman, seeing Keaton and Holland share the screen together is as good as a double up act Spider-Man’s ever had on screen and the way in which Watt’s smartly avoids a typical Marvel final act showdown (even though explosions do still occur) is another wise move, which makes you believe this outing is an enjoyable stepping stone to what’s hopefully more of the tightly wound storytelling that is present here.
A problem with beloved films like Civil War and other over-long superhero films is the fact they’re often taking themselves far too seriously, which can often be detrimental to the entertainment factor they are supposed to bring and while there’s nothing wrong with trying to ground comic book extravanagza’s within some reality, it can bring the film to a screeching halt which it never fully recovers from.
Homecoming shares none of these recent traits and while it’s still a bum-numbing 130 plus minutes, barely a second of the films runtime feels wasted on anything that’s unnecessary, even if we’re simply watching Peter have dinner with Aunt May or talking to his newly voiced suit.
Final Say –
Whilst not as ground-breaking or awe-inspiring as other classic Marvel adventures or Raimi’s first two Peter Parker outings, Homecoming’s perfectly casted and fresh approach to the Spider-Man universe makes for fun, humorous and smart superhero flick that with the added addition of memorable spectacle, could become the Marvel cannon’s biggest drawcard in future instalments.
3 ½ Lego Death Stars out of 5