A soaring success: Review of Spider-Man Homecoming by Rashid Irani
The web-slinger’s latest big-screen outing is fresh, funny and fairly exciting.
Director Jon Watts, crafting his first blockbuster behemoth, displays a flair for both the whizz-bam-pow stuff as well as the requisite emotional elements.
As indicated in the title …Homecoming sees Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) back at high school, in New York. The awkward adolescent strives to juggle his newfound arachnid-esque powers with the everyday problems that beset a sophomore.
Right off, he is thrust into the thick of action as he confronts a bunch of bank robbers in Avengers masks. Persistently vulnerable, Spidey foils their attempt but leaves plenty of collateral damage in his wake.
Nonetheless, he is determined to join the ranks of the heroic super-group, which includes Iron Man and Captain America; even some practical advice from Tony Stark (the ever-delightful Robert Downey Jr) won’t deter him.
In one particularly charming interlude, he communicates with his high-flying protégé through the remote-controlled Iron Man suit while whooping it up at an Indian wedding. Clearly a sop, the sequence will nonetheless leave desi audiences grinning from ear to ear.
Among the downsides, the script is tonally inconsistent and impeded by hokum homilies. The new romantic subplot involving Spidey’s classmate (Laura Harrier, a poor substitute for Kirsten Dunst from the 2002-2007 trifecta) grates on the nerves. And Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei is given little to do in her role of the concerned aunt.
On the other hand, there’s a corker of a third-act twist involving the antagonist (a manic Michael Keaton). British newcomer Holland is top-notch. And Captain America (Chris Evans) flits through a couple of scenes, including a laugh-out-loud end-credits coda.
All in all, a fun watch. Here’s hoping Jon Watts will rekindle the franchise’s flame again. And soon.