The Best Film of the Series
MPAA Rating: PG-13
for sci-fi action violence, some language, and brief suggestive comments
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Runtime: 133 minutes
Directed by: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr. , Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau
Bright young star Tom Holland is bringing youth and vigor back to the character of Spider Man! Playing a 15 year-old high school student in the new Spider Man: Homecoming, Holland reinvigorates the stale character from previous movies and brings him back to life with humor and youthful glee as Spidey is re-born. Holland, from England, drops his British accent and takes on a perfect American sound and nobody is aware of the tremendous talent this takes to accomplish.
Holland, a terrific new find, is cute as a button with big brown eyes, an impish smile, and a puppyish demeanor. Spidey is just a normal boy from Queens whose real name is Peter Parker. He is awkward and unsure of himself. He has a crush on the beautiful Liz (Laura Harrier) at school but can’t get up enough courage to even speak to her. His best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) worships Peter and encourages him to be more forward with the girl.
Favreau, Downey Jr., Holland
Tony Stark, philanthropist and genius billionaire (Robert Downey, Jr.), is Peter’s mentor and looks after his development, such as it is. Downey has a smallish role in the film and comes in for a day or two to walk through his scenes, but he does lend credence to Peter’s dilemma about being Spider Man. Peter is not sure how to use his fabulous new suit and how to control his spidery hijinks. Thus, there is a lot of comedy in how bungling Peter is with his newfound powers. He’s not exactly sure what to do with his magic, and Holland expertly captures the feelings and awe that a young boy would feel. Holland is extremely endearing and the audience roots for him all the way, despite his obvious inadequacies at being a super hero.
There has to be a villain in every Marvel picture, and that is where Michael Keaton fills the bill. He plays Adrian Toomes, the owner of a New York salvaging company that removes debris. When he loses the contract, he seeks revenge by stealing alien machines that had previously invaded the city. He is now known as Vulture, a creature with enormous wings who flies all over the city terrorizing people. A nod is made to his previous film Birdman, and the new character of Vulture fills the gap. Is Spidey the man to tone Vulture down and shut off his thuggish activities?
The highlight of the film must be credited to the special effects wizards. When things go awry on the Staten Island Ferry and it splits in two; it’s pins and needles throughout the action-filled scenes. The audience will gasp at how Spidey is called upon to save the day---and the ferry!
Normally these Marvel Comic Book movies are made simply for pure entertainment. This one is also, to a degree, but it also is here to explain the why and how of the young Peter Parker. Director Jon Watts emphasizes humor, and there are written many funny scenes and situations for Holland to act out as only a teen-ager could.