• Jules-Pierre Malartre

Spider-Man Homecoming Review


IMAGE COURTESY SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

Genre: Superheroes

Rated: G (PG-13)

Parental Guidance: Moderate to heavy graphic violence, disturbing images, not recommended for young children

Playing at: Cineplex Kirkland, Mega-Plex Spheretech 14, Des sources 10, Des Sources IMAX 3D, Cineplex Odeon Carrefour Dorion (in English and in French), Cinema 7 Valleyfield (in French); all listings subject to change.

Finally! A superhero movie that does not force viewers through the customary origin story. We’ve all had to sit through those pesky background stories – oft-times repeatedly for the same superhero. They seem rather useless for well-known characters that are part of popular culture like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, but no matter, viewers were still treated to the bitten-by-a-radioactive-spider origin story when Tobey Maguire put on the red-and-blue tights in the original 2002 Spider-Man movie. When Andrew Garfield took over from McGuire in 2012, we were once again treated to the redundant origin story. Tom Holland is the third actor to portray Spider-Man on the big screen, and filmmakers finally got the point.

This is not the only breath of fresh air blowing off of this latest reboot of the Spider-Man franchise – and that’s a good thing because the movie needs the touches of originality to make the two-hour film worth watching. Some critics are heralding Spider-Man Homecoming as the best superhero movie so far but in most ways, it is simply an organic outgrowth of the Avengers movies, predictably following the same patterns and popular gimmicks. Not unlike the James Bond movies of the Roger Moore era that relied on gadgets to wow viewers, Spider-Man relies heavily on the high-tech spider suit provided by Tony Stark to propel the movie forward. CGI effects do the rest.

Luckily, the work of the actors makes Homecoming a very human story despite its reliance on tech stuff and computer graphics. Holland shines while he’s mere Peter Parker, but the screen belongs to the Spider-Man suit in the action scenes. The Stark tech has gotten ridiculously improbable at this point. There is only so much tech that will fit in a skin-tight suit, regardless of how far suspension of disbelief will carry you. Spider-Man Homecoming makes it look like Marvel has run out of ideas when it comes to super-powered fight scenes.

IMAGE COURTESY SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT

Spider-Man Homecoming truly shines in the performance of its two main stars: Tom Holland and Michael Keaton. Those of us who have been enduring fans of superhero movies will remember Keaton’s seminal role in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989). Many other actors have played Batman since Keaton, but no performance has been as iconic as Keaton’s rendition of the dark knight, except for Adam West’s televised version in the ’60s. Keaton’s presence onscreen in Homecoming is what gives this Spider-Man reboot most of its revitalizing quality, not only because of his overall performance but also for the credibility he breathes into the role of the supervillain. Keaton delivers not only one of the most convincing onscreen supervillains since Heath Ledger’s Joker, but also the most relatable one. Keaton is convincing, not only as Vulture, but also as Adrian Toomes, a father simply trying to provide for his family. You can’t help but feel for Toomes,and even grant him a measure of respect. Keaton steals the spotlight away from Holland in all their scenes together.

Superhero fatigue has officially set in, but Spider-Man Homecoming will satisfy plenty of moviegoers still hungry for more CGI superhero antics.

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