Yet again, the famous webslinger is revived, this time with the young Tom Holland in an entertaining return to form for the friendly neighbourhood hero.
Peter Parker is an ordinary teenager. He juggles education, tensions, relationships, and the conflicts of being a fifteen year-old superhero. As this is the third origin story, there is very little need to go into detail, which is also director Jon Watts’ best decision with this outing. Understanding that the majority will be reasonably fatigued with another spider-bite baptism into Parker’s new-found world, Watts begins the film acknowledging audiences’ pre-existing knowledge. Saving time, the film manages to focus on numerous elements that make this film more layered than previous efforts.
Not only is this a superhero movie, but in having Tom Holland in the lead role, the coming-of-age and awkward teenage transition elements are believable and charming. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield always felt too old and mature in the role, so it is opportunely refreshing to see a Marvel protagonist exuding a certain juvenile charisma. This also translates to the surrounding cast, particularly with Tony Revolori’s performance as Parker’s bully, Flash, who is unconventional in his portrayal of a bully who is himself rather obnoxiously dorky.
The main plot points however feel familiar. It will certainly prove habitual to those that have seen the previous Spider-Man films, but the characters help elevate it, amongst other things. There are some impressive action sequences to enjoy, particularly those involving the film’s villain, the Vulture, played by the excellent Michael Keaton. He brings an antagonistic intensity to the role; his back-story is brief yet his decisions to turn to crime seem rational and convincing, also tying in nicely to other films of the Marvel cinematic universe.
The script may be the weakest link, as some of the jokes fail to land and can feel more than cringeworthy. However some jokes are successful, and while it is easy to dismiss some of the weaker jokes, they may strike an effective chord with one of the film’s primary target audiences: children. Children will surely have an excellent time with Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the coming-of age elements will satisfy teenage audiences, although it is granted that the film would have benefited from more time spent delving into Parker’s domestic lifestyle as well as elaborating romantic sub-plots. Adults with enjoy the spectacle, and will appreciate that Spider-man’s latest outing is more ambitious and stimulating than Marc Webb’s directorial efforts. By no means is this a great film, but it is somewhat of a pleasurable triumph, and a definite crowd-pleaser that corrects many of the mistakes and bad-tastes that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 left on the tip of viewers tongues a mere three years ago.