Friday, July 7, 2017

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING poster
With his first Avengers mission completed, Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) returns home to Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and possibly a normal life with friends and classmates. His attempts at becoming the friendly neighborhood superhero are clumsy at best. Closely monitored by Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and his right-hand man Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), Peter must find his way in the Avengers' universe. He gets his chance when new villain Vulture (Michael Keaton) threatens New York City.

This refreshing new spin on the Spider-Man legend is fun and
lighthearted with a few thrills along the way. Setting it apart from other superhero films is that it revolves around Peter's home life - placing it firmly in John Hughes' teen flick world. Oddly enough, this works well and is the most interesting part of this film. Dealing with problems at school, obsessing over classmate Liz (Laura Harrier) and the prom are among the plot elements. But fear not Spidey fans, there's plenty of sci-fi action in the mix. Director/Co-writer Jon Watts ("Cop Car") has found a comfortable blend of comedy, romance and action. His star, Tom Holland, perfectly embodies the young web-crawler. He's convincingly enthusiastic, irresponsible and energetically heroic. An inspired bit of casting is Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, who runs a salvage company. After losing a city contract to cleanup after the Avengers' battle, Toomes seeks a better life for his family by using amassed alien technology to create and sell weapons and power his birdman-like suit. Vulture is a departure from Batman. Look for Chris Evans as Captain America in some hilarious public service videos for schools. Also good are Jacob Batalon as Ned, Peter's best friend/sidekick, and Zendaya as Michelle, a smart but weird classmate. Tony Revolori appears as rival schoolmate Flash (Spider-Man vs. Flash?). Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau along with Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts provide the Iron Man connection, but don't get in the way of this stand-alone story. Listen for Jennifer Connelly as the voice of Spider-Man's suit. All of the Marvel ingredients are here: past movie references, surprise twists, super special effects, scenes during and after the credits - and Stan Lee. There's also a rousing score by prolific composer Michael Giacchino. Enriched with humor and bite, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" is a marvelous adventure. (4 CAMS)


Rated PG-13 (sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments)
Running Time: 133 minutes