Over the last few years, the Spider-Man reputation has fallen from beloved superhero to mediocre film star, even reaching the depths of box-office joke.
The latest movie, “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” is yet another attempt to restore a little luster to the embattled web slinger.
And, thankfully, it kind of works.
In the film, the audience meets back up with Peter Parker (Tom Holland), who, on the surface, is your ordinary high school student. He is awkward, nerdy and does not know how to speak to girls. But underneath, Parker is Spider-Man.
With the help of his mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Parker learns the ropes of what it takes to be a superhero, which is more than just wearing spandex.
As time passes, Parker tries help people where he can but feels that he on the sidelines.
One evening he observes a gang of criminals robbing a bank with energy weapons. After stopping the robbery, Parker makes up his mind to stop those responsible for creating and selling these weapons.
"Spider-Man Homecoming" is a lighthearted adventure that audiences can enjoy. I enjoyed the father-son relationship between Parker and Stark. This element does not drag the pacing of the film down and, instead, adds comedy to break up the action.
One scene that shows this is when Parker tells Stark that he can be so much more if only given a chance. Stark brushes off Parker's request, asking him why he “Can’t you just be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?”
This relationship adds another layer to Stark’s character that has not been seen in previous Marvel movies. It shows that Stark has a little bit of a softer side.
Another element that makes this film work is its villain, Adrian Toomes, played by Michael Keaton. Toomes owns a salvage company who is cleaning up the city after a battle fought by Avengers. His contract is canceled and forced out of businesses.
Leaving little options, Toomes uses salvaged alien technology to create and sell weapons. He becomes known as the villain known as Vulture due to robotic bird wings he wears that allow him to fly.
Keaton portrays Toomes as a very blue-collar kind of a guy, which helps to make the character relatable to the audience. It also grounds Toomes and keeps him in the realm of reality. In some points in the film, I can almost sympathize with Toomes and the difficulties he faces.
As a villain, Toomes works well on the big screen unlike villains such as the Penguin. The Penguin comes off as too cartoonish in movies. I also wonder if filmmakers were giving a silent nod to Keaton’s 2014 film “Birdman” by turning his character into a vulture.
I would say “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is on par with “Spider-Man” released in 2002 starring Tobey Maguire. Both films give audience members’ memorable time at the theater and something to talk about on the ride home.
I give “Spider-Man: Homecoming” four mustaches out of five.
This film is rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments and runs 133 minutes.
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