Matt Adcock reviews Spider-Man: Homecoming (12A), starring Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr
Spider sense tingling...here it is then – Spider-Man is back (for the third incarnation in just over 15 years) and this time Spidey follows up his scene-stealing antics in Captain America: Civil War by cementing his place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and getting to play again with the Avengers.
Everything about Spider-Man: Homecoming feels ‘right’. Tom Holland brings real heart to the role of Peter Parker. He’s young, fun and gutsy, channelling the eagerness to impress his new super pals, especially his mentor, Iron Man himself (Robert Downey Jr).
Being a teenage super hero isn’t easy though as we’ve learned from films such as Kick Ass, and trying to find love can make things even more complicated – so when his fellow quiz team member Liz (Laura Harrier) catches his heart it’s like watching a super powered John Hughes film.
Director Jon ‘Cop Car’ Watts does a great job of mixing plenty of exciting action with the romance and coming-of-age teenage angst backdrop. Adding Tony Stark to the mix ups the ante as the new Spider Suit comes packing A.I. and all sorts of tech enhancements.
Baddie of the piece this time is the Vulture (Michael Keaton), a man who feels deeply wronged by Stark Industries and who creates high powered weapons plus his winged mech suit from alien tech left over from the battle the Avengers had with Chitauri. Keaton is excellent and makes what could have been a laughable supervillain into a fleshed-out menace who is a believable threat.
It’s a joy to watch this new wall-crawler learning to use his suit and powers, egged on by his nerdy pal Ned (a winning supporting role from Jacob Batalon). There are some jaw dropping scenes and some excellent Easter eggs for comic book fans to pick up – which will please long term fans and shows the writers respect their fan base.
The mentor / mentee relationship between Iron Man and Spider-Man will also resonate with anyone who ever had someone look out for them, provide some wisdom and support. It gives the film an emotional core and bridges Spidey’s transition into becoming an Avenger in one fell swoop.
This is a Homecoming that everyone should witness. It looks great in IMAX and even the 3D adds effectively to the super spectacle. It’s good to have Spider-Man home in the Marvel universe.