Review: Spider Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider Man: Homecoming (2017)

Directed by: Jon Watts | 133 minutes | action, adventure, science fiction | Actors: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Tyne Daly, Abraham Attah, Hannibal Buress, Kenneth Choi Selenis Leyva, Angourie Rice, Martin Starr, Garcelle Beauvais, Michael Chernus, Michael Mando, Logan Marshall-Green, Jennifer Connelly

Spider-Man is perhaps the only hero who can compete in popularity with icons such as Batman or Superman. It is therefore no coincidence that the teenager who has spider powers has more movie adventures than the average hero from the Marvel stable. This iteration, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, is already the third attempt at making Spider-Man’s story into a successful film franchise. This time, however, marks the moment that the young hero is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which also includes films such as ‘Iron Man’, ‘The Avengers’ and the ‘Captain America’ films. A world that provides the backdrop for a fantastic superhero movie.

The role of Spider-Man and Peter Parker is filled this time by Tom Holland. Lovers of the aforementioned Marvel Universe already know the actor from ‘Captain America: Civil War’ in which Holland was introduced as the superhero. His scenes in that film prove to be a very good indication of what to expect from his own solo film. A whole lot of energy and charisma ensure that one cannot take his or her eyes off Holland for the full playing time. Constantly switching between the teen and the superhero, he ensures that the viewer is actively involved in caring for both aspects of the person (something his peers in previous films have missed more than once).

He does get a lot of help in this from a wide range of equally charismatic supporting characters. The big outliers here are Jacob Batalon, who plays Parker’s best friend Ned, and Robert Downey Jr., the famed Iron Man who takes on the mentor role. Both are woven into the story at crucial moments without affecting the focus of the title character. The only other character to get a similar focus (rightly so) is Michael Keatons The Vulture.

Adrien Toomes, as this Vulture is called in daily life, is thrown out on the street by Stark Industries shortly after the events of ‘The Avengers’. This makes Toomes hate Tony Stark, the Iron Man, and decides to turn various mysterious artifacts into weapons and plot his revenge in the shadows. Peter Parker encounters more and more heists in which the thugs shoot lasers instead of bullets and comes on the trail of the sinister Vulture, the mastermind behind these operations.
Keaton’s return to the superhero movie is truly outstanding. He almost steals the show from Holland. He gives a pretty serious and menacing interpretation to a character that is mostly made fun of in the comic books these days. In fact, he makes the viewer empathize with his story. Spider-Man faces some moral choices when he finally comes face to face with the flying super villain.

‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004) is often regarded as the best of the superhero series. However, there is a new standard for wall creeper movies. Never has an actor captured the essence of the superhero so well, and rarely has there been a Marvel film where the villain was so memorable. The fact that the plot is otherwise somewhat predictable can then be condoned. In a year that has been inundated with superhero movies, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ still manages to rise above the rest.

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