‘You just don’t do anything I would do,and definitely don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. There’s a little grey area in there and that’s where you operate…’
Despite generally enjoying Marvel films, I have definitely been suffering from an Avengers malaise in recent months. Doctor Strange was fine. Captain America: Civil War had its moments. In reality however, all these films have suffered just because there are so many of them. While ever they remain financially successful Marvel gonna Marvel but it becomes difficult to review a film on its own merits and not as another chapter in a seemingly never ending saga. And so to Spider-Man: Homecoming…
Having been spared the obligatory slaughter of Uncle Ben, we pick up with Peter Parker keen to join the Avengers following his involvement in the airport battle featured in Civil War. My undying love for Andrew Garfield is no secret but really Tom Holland’s Spiderman is so different in both characterisation and age that comparisons between the two seem a waste of time. It is possible for Holland, Garfield and Tobey Maguire to all inhabit the red and blue suit without feeling the need to pick a side. They are all good in their own way. Holland makes for a likeable Peter Parker, something that both Garfield and Maguire struggled with, as well as being a convincing and compelling Spider-Man.
In terms of plot we are given Michael Keaton’s menacing Vulture as the villain and the fact that a lot of what he seems pissed off about feels totally fair, actually makes for a much more well-rounded antagonist. This blurring of the lines between good and evil is vital if the MCU is going to remain relevant going into the next phase of movies.
Aside from Keaton however the supporting cast are a little forgettable. Jacob Batalon is typical sidekick fare as Parker’s best friend Ned, Marisa Tomei is an unconvincing Aunt May and Robert Downey Jr gets more annoying with each passing performance as Iron Man.
Another issue is just how damn long the film is. If you can’t tell a story in under two hours, then you are definitely doing something wrong. Particularly when that story has already been set up in a previous film.
Having said that, Spider-Man: Homecoming is entertaining, funny and packed full of heart. It does much more than merely justifying its own existence but in the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe it is just another film.