Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

B SDG Original source: National Catholic Register

No one almost destroys the universe or the planet, or even demolishes a large European city or a sizable chunk of a New York borough, in Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming.

That’s not to say there’s no significant property damage, but compared to the excesses that have become de rigueur in the Disney-owned Marvel Cinematic Universe, Homecoming is a downright low-key affair, entirely appropriately for a hero who’s a high-school sophomore.

Directed by Jon Watts. Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Laura Harrier, Bokeem Woodbine, Donald Glover, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Chris Evans. Sony/Marvel.

Artistic/Entertainment Value

Moral/Spiritual Value

0

Age Appropriateness

Teens & Up

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Caveat Spectator

Stylized action violence and menace; frequent crude language and brief, unnecessarily crude sexually themed humor.

Even the villain runs a relatively small-scale operation intentionally under the radar of the high-powered titans who now protect the planet from existential threats. What he’s messing with is something the Avengers would be interested in if it came to their attention, though he might be a little beneath their direct involvement. Is he out of the league of a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? That is the question.

Tom Holland, who debuted as the webslinger in Captain America: Civil War, is easily the most winsome big-screen Spider-Man to date — or, rather, the most winsome Peter Parker.

I still think Garfield is the best version so far of the man in the mask — but when the costume is off, I’ll take Holland in a New York minute, and specifically in a Forest Hills, Queens minute.

Homecoming doesn’t top Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, pitting Tobey Maguire’s Spidey against Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, as the best Spider-Man movie to date, and one of the best comic-book movies of all time.

But Raimi’s trilogy, whatever else it did, wasn’t very interested in fleshing out the title character in either of his dual identities. Maguire’s Peter Parker was basically a stand-in for Spider-Man fans, down to the gag in Spider-Man 2 where he learns to his chagrin that Aunt May has sold his comic-book collection without telling him. (The horror!)

The rebooted Amazing Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man 2 movies, directed by Marc Webb, weren’t as good as Raimi’s films, but the character played by Andrew Garfield was more interesting than the one played by Maguire. If Garfield’s Peter Parker had an oddly stalkerish side, the second film in particular offered the best big-screen realization to date of Spider-Man’s masked public persona and the heroic role-playing it involves.

Make Mine Marvel, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man, Superheroes & Comic Book Movies