[Photo Provided by Sony Pictures Releasing]

Film Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming

09:23 July 05, 2017
By: David Vicari

Yeah, I know that Peter Parker/Spider-Man is supposed to be a wide-eyed teenage kid. I do. Really. But Tom Holland's performance in this role in Spider-Man: Homecoming is so grating that I wanted the villain to win. Sitting through the film is like being on a long road trip and stuck in the backseat with a relative's obnoxious kid who is hopped up on sugar.

This comic book movie has nothing to do with any of the previous Spider-Man pictures. It's part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it is intertwined with the Avengers series of films. You will remember that Holland's Spidey made a shoehorned in appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Homecoming takes place after the events in that movie.

Peter, still walking on air after his adventure with the Avengers, is back at home in Queens, New York and going to high school. He has a major crush on the popular and cute Liz (Laura Harrier), but he's also anxiously waiting for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr. who looks like he just doesn't want to be here) to call him back for another mission.

It took six (credited) screenwriters to concoct this half-baked collision of super hero action and teen comedy. Neither of which is very good. As written, romantic interest Liz is one-dimensional, and the subplot of Peter tracking thugs attempting to sell super-sonic alien weapons on the black market has no urgency. Then there is the objectifying of Marisa Tomei's Aunt May, which is kind of creepy.

Now, Peter/Spider-Man is supposed to be a novice in the super hero business and here he is portrayed as an imbecilic klutz as opposed to the adept web-slinging the character displayed in Civil War. Why the regression? 

In a clever bit of casting, former Batman and Birdman Michael Keaton is now the villainous Vulture. The charismatic Keaton is the best thing about this movie, so it is a shame that he doesn't have lots of screen time. His character makes sense – he's a blue collar worker battling a corporate entity. You may just find yourself rooting for him instead of the annoying “hero”. 

** out of four

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