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Movie Review: Spider-Man Homecoming (2017) *Spoiler Free*

Spider-Man Homecoming delivers on the promise of the new Spider-Man from Captain America, Civil War, with an enjoyable stand alone Spidey film that also clearly shows where the character fits in relation to the Avengers.

Tom Holland continues to shine as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man with a good mix of self conscious uncertainty as well as decisiveness and resolve, when needed.

In this film Peter is initially obsessed with becoming a fully fledged Avenger. In the meantime he's working hard at being a 'friendly neighborhood Spider-Man', looking for ways to impress Tony Stark with his superhero capabilities.

In the process he discovers alien technology based weapons are being sold to street level criminals, which sets him on the trail of the Vulture, played by Michael Keaton.



I will say I was expecting to be a little more satisfied with this film than I was because it is, by far the best stand alone Spider-Man film to date. However I think the film suffers a little from its marketing.

I certainly didn't seek out all the trailers and teasers prior to seeing the movie but, of those I did see, they allowed me to anticipate certain moments in the film ahead of time, thus taking the edge off a particular joke or situation.

That aside, almost everything in this movie comes together and just works. Peter and his class mates all look age appropriate and are not obviously older actors trying to convince us that they're 15 years old. There's no tired old Spider-Man plot line where Peter is trying to save his girl friend and, for once, the main villain is not anyone known to Peter or a result of something Peter set in motion.

In fact the Vulture and Michael Keaton's performance is a highlight of the movie. He has a genuine story arc that you can almost empathize with. If you took Spider-Man out of the equation you could make a great movie out of the Vulture's entire reason for coming into existence. (I could definitely watch a whole movie of Michael Keaton playing the Vulture. It's not many MCU villains you can say that about).

Unlike the marketing, Iron Man and Tony Stark don't overshadow the film's stars. He's in the film just enough to link Spidey into the wider MCU in a way that makes sense, and builds on the mentor relationship in exactly the way you'd expect Tony would, given his history in the MCU.

One thing I'm kind of in two minds about is Spidey's, Stark created, Spider-Man suit. On the one hand it's great watching Peter figure out all it can do, on the other it does give off a very Iron Man-ish vibe. Almost like Tony made a Spider-Man, spandex, Iron Man suit. It's quite a lot more 'techy' than previous Spider-Man suits, which is both great but distracts a little from Spider-Man's own Spider powers. Though, without spoiling anything, you do get plenty of Peter relying almost entirely on his Spider powers.

Props to the filmmakers and Tom for not having any scenes of Spider-Man fighting without his mask in front of crowds of people/reporters/press, some of whom, obviously have cameras. Considering Tom probably did much of his own stunt work (otherwise why did he do all that gymnastics training?) it would be very tempting to prove it was him doing the stunts in a scene by giving some lame reason for his mask to come off. Almost every previous Sony, Spider-Man film has his mask come off during a fight for no good reason.

Overall, Spider-Man Homecoming is an incredibly solid film for this incarnation's first solo movie. Tom Holland gets to explore and expand upon his very likable, somewhat naive but good humored Spider-Man whilst Michael Keaton gets to play one of the most interesting villains in the MCU to date (who isn't plotting world domination or setting off a great big blue cloud of trash in the sky).

There's plenty of supporting character relationships (which I haven't even touched upon) weaved in around the main story, with nothing feeling forced or shoe horned in. The only way this isn't your favorite Spider-Man movie by the end is if you're not a fan of Tom Holland's Spider-Man to begin with. I'm definitely a fan.

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