Young star Tom Holland spins a new web of life for Spidey – after the last incarnation was effectively ended with the disastrous Andrew Garfield sequel.
Props have to be given to this collaboration between Sony and Marvel Studios, with the combo doing a top notch job of incorporating a teenage Peter Parker nicely into Marvel’s Cinematic Universe – and it will be exciting to see how the web-slinger is infiltrated into Avengers: Infinity War after this satisfying first solo outing for Holland.
He builds nicely on his stand-out cameo in last year’s Captain America: Civil War as Parker attempts to balance high school life – with friends Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Michelle (Zendaya) and potential love interest Liz (Laura Harrier) – and his alter-ego crime-fighting superhero career
Under the watchful eye of Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr) bodyguard Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) the youngster gets impatient waiting for the emergency call when Stark requires his services, and when a new villain known as Adrian ‘The Vulture’ Toomes (Oscar-nominee Michael Keaton) emerges – a man who takes on a mechanical-winged presence after he and his team salvage alien technology from previous Avengers battles – he takes matters into his own hands to prove he can make the grade despite being ‘wet behind the ears’.
But when things get out of hand and people’s lives are put in danger – with those close to him like Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May on The Vulture’s radar – Parker has to dig deep within himself to stop Toomes escaping with Stark Industries-owned loot, and tackle the likes of Bokeem Woodbine’s Shocker in the process.
For fanboys there’s a few nods to tertiary Marvel characters such as Michael Chernus’ Tinkerer and Donald Glover’s – who plays Lando Calrissian in the forthcoming Han Solo spin-off – criminal Aaron Davis, who eventually becomes Prowler, as this leaves nice Easter eggs for the earmarked 2019 sequel.
But the real winner here is Holland, with his innocent ‘butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth’ style being the perfect foil for a pleasingly consistent humorous undertone, and even though there’s some naysayers that might imply there’s more Peter Parker than the wall-crawler, this comprehensively moves the character in an engaging new direction within this adolescent backdrop.
It might be a competently-solid ‘friendly neighbourhood’ more than a truly ‘amazing’ Spider-Man with this inaugural outing – but with Holland headlining this version of Spidey he could excitedly stick around for a long time.
CAST: TOM HOLLAND, MICHAEL KEATON, ROBERT DOWNEY JR, JACOB BATALON, JON FAVREAU, MARISA TOMEI, LAURA HARRIER, BOKEEM WOODBINE, ZENDAYA, DONALD GLOVER, TONY REVOLORI, MICHAEL CHERNUS, LOGAN MARSHALL-GREEN, GWYNETH PALTROW, CHRIS EVANS & THE VOICE OF JENNIFER CONNELLY
RUNNING TIME: 2 HRS 13 MINS
DIRECTOR: JON WATTS
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