Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Battalon, Laura Harrier,
Tyne Daly, Donald Glover and Robert Downey, Jr.
Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and
Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers
Directed by Jon Watts
Reviewed by Patrick Gibbs
Out of Four
It's been 15 years since the webslinger finally made his way to the big screen, and I remember the night I first saw it vividly. My Spidey sense was tingling with anticipation. These were the days before we had a new superhero flick every few weeks, and Spidey had taken a very long time to make his way to the cinema, so this felt like a huge event. It was an event that totally lived up to the hype, and it really wasn't until this summer with Wonder Woman that I finally saw a comic book film that could match Sam Raimi's Spider-Man in terms of delivering exactly what I had always wanted to see on the big screen as a kid.
The approach here is the polar opposite of The Amazing Spider-Man series. Instead of an angsty, emo take on Spidey, we have a light-hearted comic version that recalls the John Hughes era so much so that there is an overt Ferris Beuhler reference. It's a very funny film, with a number of laugh out loud moments, and it's really the only way they could have gone with the material at this point in time. We've can't sit through Uncle Ben dying a third time, or Peter wrestling yet again with the question of whether to risk having a girlfriend dragged into his dangerous lifestyle. That being said, this does lead to an inevitable consequence: this movie is missing the emotional gravitas of the original, and I never found myself as invested or as thrilled as I was by Sam Raimi's first two films (admittedly, a factors such as how many films there have been, me being 15 years older and a new superhero films not exactly feeling like a novelty contribute to this fact.). Still, the new take is an awful lot of fun, knowing exactly what it is going for and never stumbling. Let's be honest: watching Spidey get fully integrated into the MCU, interacting with Robert Downey, Jr,, Michael Keaton and Jon Favreau is about as much entertainment as a Marvel geek can handle.
Some plots elements are a bit far fetched even for the genre, however. While I love that Tony Stark made the Spidey suit, given that I always had a problem with how easily Tobey MaGuire's Peter Parker made his own suit with so little to work with, this particular suit has so many spectacular features that the idea that it was created in a couple of days goes beyond suspension of disbelief for me, and honestly, this is Spider-Man, not Iron Man. Spidey has powers, he doesn't need that much tech, and it actually detracts a bit from,hat makes him special. At times it almost feels like this is Iron Man, Jr rather than Spider-Man.
All in all, Spider-Man: Homecoming continues the hot streak from Marvel Studios (a very good thing, since DC is finally starting to become worthy competition) and is about as much fun as anything you'll see in a darkened theater this summer.
(And for those few who haven't gotten the cue yet, or who have gotten bored with it, I have to give a reminder to STAY UNTIL THE CREDITS ARE OVER. This is bar none my favorite post credits stinger in the history of Marvel.).
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