Spider-Man: Homecoming ⭐⭐⭐½

They really should have called this Marvel’s Spider-Man. It not only draws a clear distinction from Toby Maguire’s Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man but it’s also rather apt as this third incarnation is really unnecessary if not for the simple fact that Tom Holland’s new teenage Spider-man now exists within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and provides the means for which to retell the story in a new context, bringing a much needed new dynamic to two tired and aging franchises. It also proves the point that the superhero movie is inevitably only as good as its villain. Holland’s green but keen Spider-man is likeable, as already proven in Captain America: Civil War and also different enough to justify its existence – but the real surprise is that Michael Keaton’s Vulture is one of the better written villains in recent memory. Knowingly smaller and more grounded, less is certainly more here as he proves menacing and emotionally complex in a few choice but crucial scenes. Retaining a light flippant tone from the original comic series, and making the best of the goodwill and intricacies of being part of the MCU, the film is earnestly nerdy and frivolously fun. And like Captain America was infused with 70s conspiracy film, here, we got an inspired boost of John Hughes (and especially Ferris Bueller) DNA and it works. Relatively new director Jon Watts does a competent job even though the action set pieces couldn’t match that of the technically more impressive The Amazing Spider-man, while somewhere in the middle of the film, it suffers from an identity crisis and turns into Iron Man Junior; but the breezy script is often funny and feels lean and unexpectedly refreshing, despite the 6 writers credited, and that saves it from being the pointless reboot that it could and would’ve been otherwise.

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