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Saturday, 8 July 2017

# 45 - Movie Review - Spider-Man : Homecoming (2017)

Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau
Directed by: Jon Watts.

Another reboot of the Spiderman saga, sans the origin story. Peter Parker is already Spiderman, but crime fighting isn't as easy as he thought it would be. 


What's common amongst Barney Stinson, Ironman, and Spiderman?
They are pretty much useless without their respective suits, well, almost.

Tom Holland is the third Spiderman to be portrayed on the big screen and the youngest. He is neither the lovable loser Tobey Maguire portrayed, nor is he the bratty, angst-ridden, Andrew Garfield (the videshi Ranveer Singh) - Tom's Spiderman is the somewhat middle path treading, more relatable 15-year old who all of us were at one point in time.

He isn't out to avenge Uncle Ben here, his priority lies in becoming a part of the Avengers team by impressing Tony Stark (extended cameo from Robert Downey jr., delightful as always). Of course, his big spider heart is at the right place, and he makes sacrifices - like missing a party or foregoing a chance to represent his school in a competition.

There is no sob story here, Peter Parker is a regular kid who, while ambitious, barely gets the chance to punch above his weight, and he doesn’t have to, this is a rare Marvel movie where the world or the universe isn’t facing imminent destruction. Spiderman’s heroics are, for the most part, restricted to his neighbourhood. This is your friendly neighbourhood protector alright, and it's mighty fun that way.

So we have a very attractive Aunt May (Marisa Tomei in a role that's closer to ‘My Cousin Vinny’ than any of the previous Spiderman movies), a loyal sidekick (Jacob Batalon, more irritating than amusing), Captain America (the brief appearances of Chris  Evans are seriously funny), an all new love interest (Laura Harrier is competent), a very interesting Michelle Jones aka MJ  (Zendaya) and  Flash Thompson re-imagined as a flashy nerd (Tony Revolori ).

And lest I forget, there's Adrian Toomes played by Michael Keaton. Think of him as an evil version of Uncle Ben.
Keaton is obviously no stranger to superhero movies, but he is on the other side this time around, and he is mighty fine, oozing menace with or without his combat suit and justifying his villainy with panache. He is absolutely a treat to watch, we hope we haven’t seen the last of his character.

It's not all positive though, the film isn't really about Spiderman, and it isn’t about Peter Parker either.

It’s the suit.

The spider sense has been laid to rest and has been taken over by a Siri/J.A.R.V.I.S.

And *Spoiler Alert* the Spiderman suit has enough bells and whistles to rival the Ironman suit, which is no coincidence because it's been designed by Tony Stark himself.  A big part of the movie is about the suit and gadgets that go all shiny in the night. While that doesn't take away from the plot itself, for some of us older viewers that is a let-down, because 'Spiderman' was never about the suit as much as it was about the person wearing it, and this one departs from that aspect a tad too much for my liking.

Go watch the movie.  It helps if you have followed the Marvel cinematic universe, but even if you haven't, it isn't a big deal.

You will get more than a few decent laughs, and more pop-culture references and inside-allusions than you may have expected; also the fact that it isn't a dark, brooding, coming of age tale without being all-out-campy definitely helps.

Oh, and there's Tony Stark attending what appears to be..naah, can't give that away.

Spidey may be 15, but he is definitely all grown up and in sync with the times here. 

RATING: 3/5.

Image taken from here.

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