Spider-Man: Homecoming (M15+)
Stars: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr, Angourie Rice
Young, sassy, clever, funny and warm but with plenty of tension, twists and menace – Spider-Man: Homecomings is the super-hero movie we didn’t know we needed.
A warm coming of age flick with a young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) trying to cope with his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero. On a high after his debut with the Avengers his head has been turned by the glamour and excitement of that life and his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). But he’s only 15 and living with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and instead of traipsing all over the world he needs to settle down and get back to high school and routine. He needs to grow up. However he craves that excitement but Stark wants him to return to being the “friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man”. So when a new villain emerges, the Vulture (played by Michael Keaton), Peter sees it as a way to get back to playing with the big boys. But instead it ends up almost costing him everything and everyone he loves.
There is something refreshing about a teen-hero with trainer wheels and a villian who isn’t inherently evil – but just a man trying to make a living. This is a relatable story told simply without resorting to melodrama. It has a high school caper feel for the teens but with enough nuances to keep the adults entertained and some pretty cool references to recent Spider-Man comics and cartoons (the appearance of Donald Glover is a very cool little in-joke for the diehard fans).
This is the sixth Spider-Man movie in 15 years and yet it feels fresh and in Holland movie goers have finally found an actor that successfully brings both Spider-Man and Peter Parker to life (Toby Maguire was all Peter no Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield was a nerdy hero but too cool to be completely convincing as the loser Parker). Keaton is fabulous as the vulture – a real hero – with believable motivations and menace. And while Spider- Man’s powers are unreal, the film feels real, the high school and teen-aged scenarios are honest.
All in all is a nice fresh shot in the arm for the Marvel Comic Universe and Sony without all the melodrama of the previous Spider-Man incarnations.
– Tania Phillips