15 Years, 5 movies and 2 spidermen in, we arrive at Spiderman: Homecoming which manages to shake off the franchise fatigue and deliver a great, surprisingly fun and funny film.
In the 90s Marvel sold the movie rights to several of the their first tier characters to keep the business afloat, Homecoming marks the first Spiderman film in recent memory to be curated by Marvel Studios – in short the people who’ve loved and nurtured the character from his inception are back behind the reins.
Though, rather than a return to a completely purist version, several Spidey staples have been altered – Aunt May is younger and hotter than we’ve come to expect (but you know that it you watched Captain America: Civil War), Supporting characters’ races have been changed and Spiderman’s new suit is way less spandex and way more Iron Man Jr. Don’t worry it all works and it’s tremendously enjoyable navigating these alterations alongside the characters.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland), tired of being a friendly neighbourhood Spiderman and desperate to prove himself to Tony Stark/ Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), takes it upon himself to stop a gang of arms dealers lead by the aptly-named Vulture (Michael Keaton) all whilst trying to work up the nerve to invite the girl he likes to the impending Homecoming dance…
But the strength of this movie is its cast, Tom Holland is warm and witty as the titular hero; improving immensely on hipster-tinged Andrew Garfield and Tobey “I don’t quite have the character nailed” Maguire. Almost everyone delivers charisma but especially Neurotic May (Marisa Tomei), Peter’s bestie Ned (Jacob Batalon) and the dryly amusing Michelle (Zendaya) and I can’t forget Michael Keaton who delivers a deliciously malevolent but relatable antagonist.
This isn’t Guardians of the Galaxy with its universe-ending ramifications, heck it’s not even 2012’s The Amazing Spiderman where if Peter fails all of New York will be mutated into lizard folk – this is a very personal story about a 15 year old trying to figure out his place in a world increasingly crowded with high-stakes heroes.
I urge everyone who’s a fan of the character and comic book films to put their groaning about “another Spiderman film” aside and go watch it because it’s everything those films should have been.
Spiderman: Homecoming directed by Jon Watts opens 7 July worldwide.