Even Tom Holland and Michael Keaton can’t save this from being the weakest Marvel movie since Thor: The Dark World.
Spider-Man was a favourite of mine growing up. Everyone I knew wanted to be the famous web-slinger and have the ability to climb walls and shoot webbing out their wrists. Sometimes I think studios realise just how big a hero Spider-Man is to the world.
There is more pressure on making a Spidey film than say an Iron Man or X-Men film. Stan Lee’s teenage hero is the most relatable to many, which is one of the major reasons he is so adored. His alter-ego – Peter Parker – is a kid in high school, showing that you don’t have to be rich, or scientifically tested, or a god from another world in order to be a hero.
Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man’ (2002) and ‘Spider-Man 2′ (2004), which starred Tobey Maguire as our hero, are without doubt the best superhero movies of their time- before the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2008 with Iron Man.
Since then though, no has managed to capture what made the teenage hero so great in the comics on the big screen. Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 was a disaster. Then came ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ (2011) and ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ (2014), which starred Andrew Garfield in the title role. These films were full of action, but they failed to really capture Peter Parker.
Marvel managed to strike a deal with Sony to bring Spidey to the MCU; much to the delight of fans. Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea) was cast in the role and made his debut appearance in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, which was met with applause and cheers.
Now we have ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming‘, the first of a planned trilogy starring Holland.
The concept of this movie is to see Peter Parker struggle at balancing his heroic antics with everyday school-life. Unfortunately, the heroic action doesn’t look authentic and the school-life scenes are like watching paint dry.
Holland puts in an accomplished performance, as does Micheal Keaton (Birdman) as Adrian Toomes aka. The Vulture. But they can’t save this film on their own, and are let down by the supporting cast.
Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and Michelle (former Disney star Zendaya) are hardly used, whilst Ned (Jacob Batalon) becomes increasingly like the friend that follows you around and never leaves you alone. The relationship between Holland and Batalon again seems staged and just wants to be more than it should be. The humour between the two failed to spark any kind of laughs.
On the bright side, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark was used sparingly throughout the film, which worked well. We have had so many collaborative movies recently in the Marvel Universe it’s seemed a lifetime ago since we had a standalone caper.
But there is one big issue that can’t be ignored. Director Jon Watts (Cop Car) has decided to take the movie and aim it at teenagers. It is a high-school movie and unless you are a die-hard Spider-Man fan, there is nothing to appeal to anyone over 25 years of age.
This adaptation is the best for 13 years since Raimi’s delicious sequel, but on the Marvel chain it slides down even below ‘Thor: The Dark World’.