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Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man Homecoming
Despite a confusing and overly talky middle section, the expensive 2017 actioner Spider-Man Homecoming definitely scores some originality points for its attempts to meld different movie genres as well as what initially appear to be an attempt to marry two separate movie franchises.

This film re-thinks the character of Peter Parker, who is discovered once again to be the nerdy student being bullied by the cool kids while harboring his big secret. Peter's world is turned upside down when he is offered an internship with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), which Peter thinks is going to be a quick road to an invitation to join the Avengers. This turns out to be anything but as Spidey finds his journey to becoming an Avenger thwarted by a dangerous weapons dealer known as The Vulture (Michael Keaton).

Director Jon Watts and screenwriter Jonathan Goldstein have presented an often logic defying look at this character that has been explored in five previous films and, despite the film's title, does nothing to bring us back to those films, but gives us new glasses with which to peer at this classic character. This story offers story elements that we haven't seen before like the fact that Spider-Man's costume was designed and given to him by Tony Stark for the length of his internship and it is the section of the film where we see Peter kissing Tony's butt and blowing off the rest of his life in order to become an avenger that become quite confusing and, at some times, even snore inducing. And the previously murky debate as to whether or not Aunt May knows who Peter really is gets addressed beautifully.

On the other hand, I did like the fact that this film skips over the usual exposition regarding this character...the being bitten by a spider, the discovery of his powers and the experimentation with same, usually resulting in the dispatching of some school bully. Peter is already aware of his powers at the beginning of this film, which saved the filmmakers a lot of time that they could devote to the conflict between Peter and a very three-dimensional villain...can't recall the last time I saw a film like this where the villain of the piece actually has a family. This reveal is just the beginning of a slam-bang finale that delivers the goods in more ways than one.

Tom Holland brings a refreshing youthfulness to the character of Peter Parker that I really haven't seen since Toby Maguire in 2002. When this guys tells someone he's 15, you really believe it. Michael Keaton is often chilling as the Vulture and, of course, Robert Downey Jr. makes the most of his screentime as Tony Stark. If you're looking for a continuation of the Andrew Garfield franchise like I was, you will be disappointed but not for long.