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Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.
When I was a youngster back in the 70s, I couldn't miss an episode of "The Amazing Spider-Man" on Saturday mornings. That was the animated series. When the live action TV show came out in the late 70s, I was equally hooked. I had Spider-Man "Underoos" and I dressed up as Spider-Man for at least a couple Halloweens. I think it's safe to say that the famous web crawler was my absolute favorite superhero when I was a kid. Love me some "Spider-Man".
Then, superheroes fell out of fashion for a while...quite a while. It wasn't until Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" (with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst) came out in 2002 that we saw a major re-birth of Spidey. Frankly, when that movie came out, I thought it did a pretty good job of portraying my childhood favorite, including Maguire's portrayal. Not to say that the sequels were as good as the first, but I was really quite shocked when a new incarnation of Spidey was released in 2012 as "The Amazing Spider-Man" with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Again, maybe not the best version of Peter Parker, but still I thought it was pretty good...even the sequel. I really didn't think we would see another Spider-Man re-boot just a few years later when Tom Holland took over the role in "Captain America: Civil War".
Needless to say, I was more than a bit skeptical to see another movie version of Spider-Man, especially so soon after the Andrew Garfield version. And, when Tom Holland made his appearance as Spider-Man in "Captain America: Civil War" (in a relatively small way), I was not blown away. But, I guess he just needed some room to breathe because his performance in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" was entertaining as hell. His zany, teenage angsty approach to the role just came off to be more believable than those performances that came before. He felt like a real teenager that fell backwards into the life of a superhero and just wanted to be accepted...both by his high school classmates and his superhero peers (e.g. Tony Stark/Iron Man). I think Tom Holland did an excellent job and I'm looking forward to seeing him again and again as Spidey...but who knows...maybe they'll reboot again in a few years.
Even though special effects have come a LONG way since the Tobey Maguire iteration, they're still not perfect. It's still pretty obvious when the webcrawler is being portrayed by computer generated animation. It didn't ruin the movie for me...mostly just kind of annoying. On the flip side, the alien tech in this film was really cool. Those special effects were on the money and it really played to the Sci Fi geek in me. Frankly, I thought MIchael Keaton's "birdman" in this movie was a HELLUVA lot more entertaining than the one that won the Oscar. I thought Michael Keaton did a pretty good job and it makes me wonder if this is the first real superhero/villain role he's had since Tim Burton's "Batman". Other enjoyable performances worth mentioning were: Marisa Tomei (always a treat), Jon Favreau (a favorite of mine since "Rudy"), Zendaya (made a big splash in "The Biggest Showman" this year), Bokeem Woodbine (I'm still chuckling over his performance in "The Big Hit") and Martin Starr (I know I'm not the only fan out there of "Freaks and Geeks").
I thought this was a really creative twist on the rather tired Spider-Man origin stories that have come before. And, tying the bad guy into that story line was also a nice touch. I really enjoyed the "quippy" dialog, even when it was just Peter Parker/Spider-Man talking to himself. I thought the writing was exceptionally well done and my hat is off to the myriad of writers that worked on this movie. Of course, it takes a great director to pull it all together and turn it into something that really works and I think that Jon Watts showed us what he's capable of and I think we'll start seeing him behind a lot more big budget projects in the future...if that's what he wants to do.
I certainly recommend this movie to anyone who is a Spider-Man fan, a Marvel fan, or a superhero fan, in general. It's pretty clean, so I don't see any problem letting some of your younger kids sit and watch. I was highly entertained by this movie and really look forward to the pending sequel.
I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.