Monday, 31 July 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

"Can't you just be a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man?"

Hmm. Well, let me first emphasise that I liked and enjoyed this. All Marvel Cinematic Universe films are fun, have a real wit and lightness of touch, and give a real sense of the wider universe. All of that was present this time and, for what it's worth, this is now my favourite Spider-Man film. But it doesn't quite reach the heights of Marvel's best.

Still, it's a bloody good film. Tom Holland is already cinema's best Spider-Man- a real and believable teenager, young and enthusiastic. Michael Keaton makes a magnificent villain as the Vulture, drawing out Adrian Tombs' depths as a genuinely nuanced character with some rather superb facial acting. Cinema's best Batman turns out to make a rather good baddie for the competition.

And then there's the plot, the script, and the excellent and highly relieving decision not to spend any time rehashing that bloody origin story again. We get only a brief mention of the spider bite and no mention at all of Peter's bloody Uncle Ben. Good. A Spider-Man film should start with ol' Web-Head up and swinging.

But I thought there were nevertheless a couple of misjudgements, not least that excessively Iron-Man-like suit which just isn't very Spidey. And then there's the use of Tony Stark as a mentor figure which gives the feeling that Spidey is a minor offshoot of a very Avengers-centric universe. This feels wrong, perhaps as a consequence of integral parts of the Marvel Universe having been deplorably and immorally pilfered by Fox; the Marvel Universe should not be Avengers-centric. It has no centre. But here we are constantly defining Spidey in terms of the Avengers, which we shouldn't be. It's nice to have a street level story, but the Avengers connections threaten to overwhelm. That's a shame, because the film is otherwise very good indeed.

A good film, then, although perhaps not without flaws. Still, it can surely boast the best Marvel post-credits sequence yet.

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