Opening during the aftermath of the first Avengers outing this is the sixth Spider-Man movie in recent memory and by now the die has been cast, not only that but it is the one hundredth Marvel flick. Hundred and first? Either way it’s a lot of superhero films. You have the villain who has a small shred of humanity and is acting as they do through a twisted outlook on the way the world works, you have the moral dilemma of the star, the explosive final battle and the comedy side kick.
In Homecoming all are tropes are present and correct, except here everyone seems to be jostling for the role of comedy sidekick. That however is no bad gambit as this outing from ‘ol web head is a knockabout breeze, nothing is played particularly serious. Not even a whiff of the iconic phrase “With great power… Peter Parker and his best bud have outlandish handshakes to signify how close they are, build Lego Deathstars, set ridiculous ringtones on their phones and apparently just hang about in each others bedrooms when the other one is not in the house. Flash is somehow cocksure, brash and preppy without annoying the viewers, side characters who’s names are less important than what’s under your seat will amuse and entertain while Zenday’s Michelle steals every scene she is in with her sardonic quips and unfazeable attitude, these are a pleasing counterbalance to the boyish charm and levity that the film revels in.
With all this in mind it only makes sense for Aunt May to be a very desirable single lady, Happy to hang about in school bathrooms, have classmates dressed in full army attire, Captain America to admonish students via a recording and gangsters to have a heart of gold. It is a good job Jon Watts’s effort is fast paced and easy on the eye because there is many a moment of seen it all before; Standard big cooperation not giving a fig about the little guy, Ramones soundtrack, half a face/half a mask analogy to continue The Empire Strikes Back references from Civil War, the inability to pronounce Thor’s belt as opposed to his hammer, Michael Keaton even has the gall to utter “I’ll kill you and everyone you love”
The worst offender however is the tension inducing moment where Toomes twigs to the identity of Peter’s alter ego. Handled well enough – scored to perfection, eerily lighted due to the neon colour scheme of a road at night and acted out as expected. However Keaton is not Willem Dafoe and the scene pales in comparison to the reveal from when Toby Maguire first donned the red and blue apparel. That is not to say Tom Holland does the webbed wonder a disservice, more akin to Andrew Garfield’s effort; he bounces about the stage with a childlike enthusiasm, geeky charisma and all the growing pains of any adolescent. The suit from uncle Tony is a new toy at his disposal and as every child knows you don’t read the manual first…
Verdict: Do you like Spider-Man or Marvel movies? Yes? Go see it. No? Don’t.
Three out of five.