Film Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts, 2017) ★★★½

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(Courtesy of Sony Pictures)
Following his cameo with the Avengers in Civil War, a young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) returns home under the supervision of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr). Struggling to adapt to a normal routine, Peter is eager to prove himself as a superhero and goes in search of criminals. However, when a vengeful arms dealer (Michael Keaton) threatens to reveal Peter's true identity, his powers are truly put to the test.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures)
As the third official revival of the Spider-Man franchise, it's safe to say that this superhero needs no introduction. Now back in the hands of it's rightful owners, the Marvel Cinematic Universe picks up exactly where we left it. Having stolen Captain America's shield in some airport shenanigans, Peter has now returned to life with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). But having been fitted with a state-of-the-art superhero suit from Tony Stark, Peter is eager to get out and fight crime; tackling bank robbers and petty thieves on the streets of New York. At the same time, Peter picks up on a gang of arms dealers selling something beyond your usual weaponry, Peter stumbles upon arms dealer Adrian Toomes (Keaton).

Forget everything you've seen before. Unlike the Spider-Man introduced by Sam Raimi back in 2002, this Peter Parker is a refreshing take on the geeky highschooler. Peter is obviously Spider-Man in secret, he is also your average kid who just wants to fit in and is constantly battling his own social awkwardness. It is a combination of this and Holland's performance that makes the character so endearing and (equally) amusing. From shooting at the airport fight from Captain America: Civil War on his phone to building a Death Star with his best friend, there is something far more relatable in Holland's representation then we have seen previously. Further to this, Peter is barely in control of his powers and despite his super-duper suit, seems to fall flat on his face on more than one occasion.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures)
As with the majority of superhero narratives, audiences are naturally expected to suspend disbelieve in several instances. True to it's genre conventions, Spider-Man: Homecoming does follow a refreshing take on the comic-book template, there are some very minor plot holes which perhaps are best taken with a pinch of salt (or just ignored entirely. For example, Peter disappears constantly throughout the film - even on school trips when he's meant to be supervised by a teacher. Yet no one thinks to ask where he's been. As such, the genre suggests it is far more of a comedy over anything else.

Much like Ant-Man (Peyton Reed, 2015), the film focuses far more on humour - but this is possibly it's biggest success. Besides the laughs there is also a great deal of heart with some thrill and action thrown in for good measure. Whilst it is quite clearly constructed of your standard narrative building blocks, this does in no way take anything away from the enjoy-ability of the film. However, if you're looking for the darkness and grit of Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Joe and Anthony Russo, 2014), you'll most likely be disappointed...or wonderfully surprised.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures)
Director, Jon Watts, is somewhat of a rookie when it comes to blockbuster movies. Best known for the Kevin Bacon crime/thriller, Cop Car (2015), he makes a seemingly natural step in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with comedic references from Ferris Bueller and beloved comic book heroes. Just as he pitted children against an adult villain in Cop Car, Watts showcases the same dynamic here when Peter is forced to fight against Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture.

Sporting his fluffy-collared bomber jacket, we are immediately introduced to Spider-Man's new nemesis. Opening the film to Adrian's backstory of a failing business, it seems that Marvel has attempted to give this particular villain a real purpose; besides 'just wanting to watch the world burn' or seek revenge. Instead, the Vulture is all about the money. Having suffered financial loss directly at the hands of Stark's company, he and his crew now scavenge for alien technology, left behind from The Avengers (Joss Whedon, 2012), and turning them in to deadly weapons for sale on the black market. Sadly, whilst Keaton himself is always compelling, his character felt a little rushed in part. In the CGI heavy finale in which The Vulture and Spider-Man must battle it out, it felt somewhat drawn out and anti-climatic. Keaton's Vulture does, however, provide the movie with some very cool scenes (no spoilers) including his bird-like armour and amusing one-liners. Overall, a worthy opponent for Peter Parker.

(Courtesy of Sony Pictures)
All in all, it may not be perfect but it's arguably the best Spider-Man we've seen so far. Including in this success is a brief performance from Zendaya (as Peter's quick witted classmate, Michelle) and a short lived but ever present cameo from Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr.) himself. It's safe to say that the film gets progressively more enjoyable as it goes on. The story may be nothing new and neither are the characters but you can find comfort in this funny, refreshing take on a legendary superhero narrative. Spider-Man: Homecoming is in cinemas from July 5th and gets a Sophie star rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Right, that's it for another film review. Are you seeing Spider-Man: Homecoming this week? What are you most looking forward to? As always, I love reading your comments so please do leave me lots of lovely ones down below.

Until next time fellow film fans,

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14 comments:

  1. I'm glad of the positive review as I will be seeing it this weekend :) I'll probably watch Baby Driver again, too since a lot of the other summer films have gotten negative reviews. I hope you're doing all right, Sophie!

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    1. Ah great! You'll have to let me know what you think. I was very tempted to give it 4 stars because it is very good but there's just a few very minor flaws that probably don't matter but I couldn't unsee haha. I think everyone will really enjoy it! That's great, I really loved Baby Driver even more the second time around. Hope you have a good weekend :)

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    2. Now that I've seen it, I understand what you said about the comedy throughout the film. I thought it worked very well as a John Hughes-inspired-teen comedy with a superhero twist :) Oh, Baby Driver was definitely worth another watch! I'm looking forward to Dunkirk later on in July. It'll be good to see Christopher Nolan's direction again :)

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    3. Most definitely - I totally agree. There's a lot of Ferris Bueller type references which I love. With Baby Driver, I'm so pleased I could see it twice - I spotted so much more detail and just LOVED it.

      I should be seeing Dunkirk this Thursday - I'm thinking it could be my film of the year so I have very high expectations. I hope it lives up to it :) Will be reviewing it shortly!

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  2. I just seen this last night! Totally agree it's the best Spider-Man so far, I got a bit bored of the others and I went to this with no expectations as he's my least favourite super hero but it was surprisingly enjoyable and really fun! Loved his friend Ned and was also crushing on Aunt May!!
    I seen Baby Driver last week and loved that as well! Don Draper gone rogue with weapons! You summed up John Hamm perfectly! I love him!! It was like nothing I'd seen before, loved all the music in it and the car chases were super fun!
    Great reviews as always! Xxx

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    1. Ahhh! I'm so glad you liked it. I did wonder if you'd see it :) Haha omg I know. I love that her being hot is like an on going joke in both Civil War and Homecoming.

      Ah don't get me started on Jon Hamm in that movie. He is FAR TOO good looking. Thank you so so much for taking the time to read them babe, I really appreciate it xx

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  3. I finally saw Spider-Man and I loved it! I completely agree with the comedy you mentioned here and I can see why it reminds you of Ant-Man now. I think it is my favorite of the Spider-Man films although I really liked Tobey Maguire XD

    Ashley Christie
    http://www.imamovienerd.wordpress.com

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    1. Thanks for reading Hun! Glad you liked it! Ah see I wasn't much of a fan of Tobey Maguire but they're very different :) xx

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  4. I'm glad you liked this film! I really liked the Spider Man with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone so I was apprehensive as to whether I would like this one but I will definitely be adding this to my list of movies to watch!
    Robyn // http://www.midnightandlace.co.uk

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    1. Thanks for reading Hun. Yeah I liked the Andrew Garfield ones too so I think you'll like this too :) Tom Holland is really good xx

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  5. I haven't watched this yet but from trailers etc I think I'll like it. Iron Man is probably my favourite avenger too so that's a bonus x

    www.owlsinthesummer.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Yeah Iron-Man is good in it although he's not in it for long. I'd definitely recommend it :) xx

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  6. I am absolutely desperate to see this film! I'm so ready for a fresh take on the whole storyline and with a hint of comedy value to it. Fantastic review x

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    1. Yaass!! Go see it :) It's very funny and I much prefer it to the other Spider-Man films so far x

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