Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Judd: Spider-Man has had some very bad luck in the theaters. Spider-Man: Homecoming introduces the third Spider-Man audiences have come to know in the past 15 years. Since 2002 Sony Pictures has tried to create a franchise for the ages, but was never able to sustain the interest. When the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) was kicked off in 2008, Disney and Marvel finally found a way to make multiple related pictures that keep the audience excited for the next. Does Spider-Man: Homecoming keep that fire burning?

Jon Watts directs Spider-Man: Homecoming, and his resume is only Kevin Bacon’s Cop Car (2015), direct-to-video Clown (2014) and thirteen episodes of The Onion News Network sitcom. Writers include Jonathan Goldstein (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2); John Francis Daley (Cloudy with a Change of Meatballs 2); Jon Watts; Christopher Ford (Cop Car, Clown); Chris McKenna (Community); Erik Sommers (Drawn Together, American Dad).

This is a group of underdogs that encapsulate the struggle of our hero. Inexperienced and slightly bumbling, they, in the end, finally create a Spider-Man that the audiences will be eager to see on screen again. Part of that comes from Tom Holland, who finally gives us an age appropriate Spider-Man. His angst comes from not being taken seriously, and being treated as an inexperienced and slightly bumbling superhero. When our villain, wonderfully played by Michael Keaton, starts wreaking havoc, Peter Parker brings it to the attention of Tony Stark. When Tony tells him that The Vulture is too low level a criminal, Spider-Man takes matters into his own hand, against Tony’s advice to remain a “friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man.” Meanwhile, there is a girl at school that Peter has a crush on; can he find a way to impress her?

The movie picks up with Peter Parker already having his powers, which saves the audience from have to watch the radioactive spider bite for the hundredth time, and keeps the movie moving at a fast clip all the way up until the end. Tom Holland and Michael Keaton both give great performances, and Marisa Tomei’s May Parker seemed a little too young for the role, but that’s an admittedly petty complaint. The rest of the cast perfectly satisfactory performances, but no real standouts. Here’s hoping that the sequels can let our character grow, while still remaining an awkward, goofy teen — for as long as nature permits — without introducing unnecessary angst.

Judd: 3 stars

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