Review – Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) .. MCU Spidey finds steady footing! [+72%]

Tom Holland as Peter Parker brings to the screen an innocent charm that renders him instantly likable. While the first two Spiderman films directed by Sam Raimi still remain one of a kind in revolutionizing the iconic comic-book character, Homecoming hits pretty close to home in terms of entertaining the viewer.

Treat Homecoming as a puzzle piece in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one shouldn’t have too much of a problem spotting out the various characters and Easter eggs. The writers have attempted to tell Parker’s story from a fresh perspective, incorporating some of the super- villains in a highly intriguing manner. The main antagonist in this film is Adrian Toomes / The Vulture (played by Michael Keaton) who is apparently not on the same page with Tony Stark for taking over their ‘city clean- up’ job and putting him and his crew in a tight spot. This leaves Adrian with no choice but to salvage some of his findings and sell them off secretly on the grey market. Peter has been playing witness to some of the rather-petty crimes that are taking place in the city via the application of certain deadly weapons. He therefore readies himself to take necessary action against the baddies in order to prove to his mentor Tony Stark that he is indeed a true-blue member of The Avengers and not some random cameo-player.

What I liked most about the Jon Watts film is the way it strikes a decent balance between Peter Parker the high-school nerd and Spiderman the superhero. Emphasis is given to Parker’s personal weaknesses and sincere efforts have been made in the writing department (that includes Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Chris McKenna, the director Jon Watts himself and two others) to merge the figuring-out-teenage part with the larger-than-life element. Some characters seem to have gone through a modern re- imagining. Take a look at Flash Thompson for instance. This Flash ain’t the hunk you have seen in the comics or the earlier film versions. What we get instead is a relatively complacent geek who picks at Parker whenever he gets a chance to. No time is spent detailing the origin story of how Peter Parker became Spiderman. This is a Spidey film that strictly coheres with the Civil War storyline and moves forward keeping in mind the universe already established since 2008. As such, we have advanced technology replacing the age-old Spider sense and slick features added to the Spider suit (customized by none other than Tony Stark!)

The female characters ‘Liz’ played by Laura Harrier and ‘Michelle (MJ)’ played by Zendaya are neatly integrated into the screenplay and add the much-required dose of tenderness to the film. The sidekick character of Ned (played by Jacob Batalon) gets a little annoying with his excessive mouthing of “that’s awesome!” and “this is crazy!” but even he gets to redeem himself in the latter half during one of the set-pieces.

Keaton is fairly competent in the role of Toomes and his Vulture costume looks intimidating. Downey Jr. arrives at significant junctures in the film, both to emotionally inspire Parker and to physically help him out (erm, blame them trailers for spoiling some of the effervescence of the set-pieces!). Favreau as Happy Hogan is lively as always while Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts shows up quite late in the second half but succeeds in stealing the one scene she is in. Marisa Tomei (who still looks absolutely gorgeous in her 50s) plays Aunt May this time and nails it (wink!).

A horde of super-villains (Vulture, Shocker, Prowler, Scorpion) are either seen occupying solid roles or teased brilliantly for the sequels. The Washington Monument set-piece stood out for its first- of-a-kind setting that portrays Parker as suffering from ‘vertigo’ and concludes in uproarious fashion. The latter hour picks up pace and packs in a couple of delightful twists (one that arrives right at the very end of the film). The post- credits achieve new heights in hilarity.

Cinematography work by veteran Salvatore Totino is free-flowing and while music by Michael Giacchino takes a cue from Alan Silvestri’s work in the MCU all the while adding his own take on the vintage Spiderman theme.

Verdict: Another triumph for the MCU!

Watch the trailer here:

 

Check out my other reviews:

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