Is third luck the charm when it comes to our favourite web-swinging schoolboy hero?
Well apparently it is.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as we all know is Spider-Man. For this outing Peter finds himself waiting for an all important phone call for his next Avenger’s ‘retreat’, but unfortunately for Peter it never comes. Returning to the mundane daily life does not cut it for Peter anymore, so decides to battle minor crimes in his neighbourhood, until one bank robbery alerts him to something much larger at work than he could have anticipated.
The major reason this film works well is because we are not going through Peter’s origin story for the third time – there is only so many times an audience will endure one particular superhero’s story. The battle to balance school and being Spider-Man is the main driving force of the film, resulting in the best bits of comedy but also a refreshing take on our superhero. In the past, Spider-Man’s life at school has been pushed aside to make time for his web swinging, however, by building on his school life only emphasises the naivety and youthfulness of Marvel’s latest hero, which is at the heart of the film.
Michael Keaton plays supervillain, Vulture, a family driven man with a cruel demeanour, making a headstrong villain. Keaton does a fine job, and does create an element of sympathy for his character, which is short-lived once he goes up against our young hero. Although lacking in ‘scary’ CGI like many other Marvel villains, Vulture is confidently one of the most terrifying villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Yes, that might be due to Keaton’s spectacular sinister grin, but it is merely that this man goes up against a young boy, with a vengeance to kill him in cold-blood for messing in his plans. Vulture blindingly goes into a fight with the protection of his family being the sole thing in his sights, even if that means killing Peter, a boy with aspirations to only do good by the world. Keaton does not need his supervillain costume to create that essence of unease, with one scene between him and Peter being particular unnerving, no wonder Peter looks like he has seen a ghost!
Peter’s extended, dysfunctional school family is what differentiates Peter from those before. He generally feels targeted when his school friends are in peril and goes into a desperate frenzy to save them rather than save the usual damsel-in-distress we have become accustomed to in MCU. We root for him as he has a genuine care for those in his life, not just an unhealthy obsession with one girl in particular – if anything his love interest, Liz (Laura Harrier), is pretty much a forgettable character who has very little to do. It is Zendaya’s character Michelle, audiences will remember more. With very little dialogue, her witty remarks provide some of the best humour and scene stealers. Without much purpose in the film except for a comic role, Zendaya does very well to make it memorable and unique.
If you are bored of Spider-Man I would give this a shot either way. It is a safe, refreshing take of the hero, but framed within your typical Marvel film.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is out in all major UK cinemas.