07.12.2017

HUB REVIEW: Spider-Man Homecoming

HUB REVIEW:  Spider-Man Homecoming

By Michael P Coleman

As I settled into my cozy leather recliner at my local Cinemark Theatre last night and the lights dimmed, I found myself asking a question that, ironically, Spider-Man himself has asked repeatedly over the years: 

What the heck am I doing?

Spidey often asks that question as he finds himself in way over his perennially adolescent head, as he battles an endless barrage of bizarre villains.  Last night, I asked it in terms of this very film:  do we really need another Spider-Man movie, featuring our third Spider-Man in 15 years?  I’d not really enjoyed myself watching a Spider-Man flick since our hero battled Doctor Octopus in the second of Sam Raimi’s trilogy. 

That changed last night at my local Cinemark Theatre. 

In a nutshell, this new kid, actor Tom Holland, won me over in the title role. He’s adorable, and hard not to love and root for.  At 20 years old, Holland is a little closer in age to the high school student the somewhat older Tobey McGuire and Andrew Garfield portrayed in their Spider-man films.  In fact, this movie’s overall younger cast help present a much more youthful vibe throughout, virtually ensuring that a new franchise is born. 

The cast is also much more diverse than we tend to see in superhero films.  Bravo to Marvel and Sony Pictures for finally ushering these characters into the 21st century!  This Peter Parker is suffering from a bit of jungle fever!  Casting Golden Globe winner Michael Keaton as our hero’s foil, The Vulture, was brilliant, playing off both his Birdman comeback from a few years ago and his turn as the Caped Crusader in 1989’s Batman

Director Jon Watts wisely ditched the origin story — we already know about the radioactive spider bite, Uncle Ben’s murder, with-great-power-comes-great-responsibility, blah blah blah — which allows us to get into the action pretty quickly.  Spider-man: Homecoming picks up pretty much where we left our hero in last year’s Captain America: Civil War.  Speaking of Cap, the mechanism by which he makes a cameo in this flick is hysterical, Iron Man shows up, too, and you need to stick around after the closing credits.  The obligatory Marvel after-credit scene may be the best they’ve ever done.  

Keep your eyes peeled, as there are a few twists and turns that you don’t want to miss, including hints about the villains in possible sequels and even a gentle, comedic nod to McGuire’s first shot at portraying the web-slinger. 

In fact, there are a few really funny sight gags in Spider-man: Homecoming.  Ever wonder how the web slinger gets around when he can’t swing from skyscrapers a la Tarzan?  Superman can just take off, and Batman has a cool car, but how would Spider-man get from point A to point B?  I’d never thought about it, either, but I laughed out loud when I saw it. 

There were some things about the movie I didn’t like.  For example, I’m not a huge fan of Robert Downey, Jr’s Tony Stark, so the less I see of him the better.  I also wasn’t crazy about the technology-laden Spider-man suit that Stark gives Peter, but that gift provided the set-up for one of those great jokes I’ve mentioned, so I’ll give that one a pass.  And I’ve still got to get used to Oscar winner Marisa Tomei’s younger, “hotter” Aunt May. 

Overall, Spider-man: Homecoming is more than worth the price of admission, and with so many of us having paid it over the last week, we’re all but guaranteed that we can look forward to another Spider-man movie soon.  I hope that’s a good thing, and that the sequel will be at lest as good as this one. 

Spider-man: Homecoming is playing in cinemas everywhere. 

 

 michael bioConnect with Sacramento-based freelancer Michael P Coleman at michaelpcoleman.com or on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP.