Spiderman has always been a fan favorite. He has superpowers, but he is also vulnerable, with bills to pay, school issues, and a lot of angst from his guilt about Uncle Ben.
Yet, he is also the one of the few superheroes who lives in a real city, and is a funny, positive guy. If Batman was the night, you could say Spidey was a nice sunny day.
In recent times, we have already seen about 5 Spiderman movies starring two other actors, that have given this franchise their own interpretation of how he should be, and personally, Toby and Sam Raimi’s version was the better of two, and I must say, I shed tears when Spidey fought to the point of exhaustion to keep the runaway train from crashing into the river in Spiderman 2. So now there’s a new reboot.
However this is more than simply another chap donning the outfit, and sharing a new version. It’s the first time Sony has allowed their golden goose to work with other studios, thus allowing Spiderman to enter the MCU or the Marvel Comic Universe. This is unprecedented in the movie world and we first saw a glimpse of Tom Holland’s Spidey in the Civil War and he gave as good as he took and did not look out of his league bouncing around with the best.
So he gets his own movie now, with cameos by other MCU heroes and an absent father figure in the form of Downey’s Ironman. Thankfully the plot does not spend too much time on the origins, and let’s a 2-minute conversation between Spidey and his sidekick Ned do the explanation. Instead it focuses on a version of Spiderman that is younger, more naïve and nascent than the previous two outings.
Here, he is still wearing his L plates, and whilst he has a new suit given by Tony Stark, he is shown to be new and still feeling his way around his powers. This gives a different take to the other shows, and of course, the fact that his aunt is now the super hot Marisa Tomei helps steer things from the usual interpretation.
Does it work? Well to a certain extent. I must say, the best superhero movie in recent memory was the Avengers Civil War. That is hard to top and this show has it’s moments, but it’s a bit too long and a bit too angsty to get the same top scores. Nevertheless it’s a solid outing, and there is enough action, humor and even a sprinkling of romance to keep it in the good category.
Michael Keaton is an excellent choice as the vulture, and it plays into the second rate kind of feel here. The stage is smaller, the villains are in your neighborhood, the hero is some guy or kid next door and the impact more localized. It does prevent a certain staleness that a larger scale movie may run into, given the recent rash of superhero outings with large ensemble casts which have even gone into the galaxies.
Here, it’s a borough in New York, with the setting of a school as the main stage, some action in the streets of NYC and many close ups of New York. I delight in knowing that Tom Holland actually attended a school there incognito so he could get a feel of it, and surprisingly no one there recognized him or believed him when he revealed who he was. Tom Holland is the youngest actor to play this hero, and he cuts a slim figure and balances being Peter Parker and Spiderman well.
This is what Spiderman is about, like 7-11, he is close but never closed, our friendly neighbourhood superhero. I look forward to the next installation and seeing him in future Marvel outings.
Apart from a nice plot, there was solid action and enough bass, activity the surrounds, to satisfy the home theatre fans. This will make a nice demo disc in future.
I am glad he turned down the chance to be an Avenger. It doesn’t close the door, and depending on how things are polled, he can star in his next standalone movie or join as a member of the ensemble in a MCU matchup. But the fact that he refused initially makes him stand tall and not just become another cog in the wheel when the next Marvel / Avenger movie comes around. Right now, each Avenger movie has become rather busy and is in danger of being overwhelmed with too many stars.