Spider-Man: Homecoming ★★★½

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Now that we have reached the sixth Spider-Man film and third Spider-Man reboot in 15 years, it seemed inevitable that the series would burn out. What could they do differently? I went into Spider-Man: Homecoming with middling expectations and came out rather happy.

To start things off, Tom Holland is fantastic as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. It helps that Marvel has finally decided to cast a teenager in a teenager's role instead of a thirty year old (there's even a joke about that in this movie). He plays the character with such charisma and really embodies the nerdy but heroic persona of Spider-Man.

Michael Keaton plays opposite him as the villain, Vulture. Given Marvel's track record with villains, I was not expecting much. But the talented actor is given a script worthy of his talent, for instead of a generic bad guy who wants to destroy the world, Vulture is simply an arms dealer who wants to provide for his family. It's such a refreshing direction to take the antagonist role in.

The script is jam packed with humor, and almost every joke lands. This is easily the funniest Spider-Man movie to date, with some even laugh out loud moments throughout. The opening scene retells Parker's introduction to the Avengers in Captain America: Civil War via his video diary, and its a very clever and unique way to open the film.

The most shocking thing here is that the Uncle Ben storyline is completely removed. This was a smart decision, as we have seen that done to death at this point. There is a reveal at the beginning of the third act that was quite surprising and added an interesting layer to the movie.

Where the movie falters in its tone. Because the majority of this is a comedy, as well done as the action scenes are, they hold no tension. There is never a sense that our hero will be defeated. The cinematography is often a weak link in these films, and its no exception here, as it's visually lacking and the action scenes are not shot with the same kinetic energy that made Sam Raimi's action scenes so engaging.

Tony Stark's inclusion in the story makes sense but the way he was incorporated left more to be desired. For starters, he seems to know when Peter is in trouble at any given moment and randomly shows up to save the day on multiple occasions. I also felt his father/son bond with Peter could have been better developed.

The decision to make the Spider-Man suit CGI in several scenes made the suit look distractingly fake at times. I was also not a fan of Zendaya's character, who was rather annoying and pointless to the story.

Despite its shortcomings, Spider-Man: Homecoming works far better than I would have expected. With a great hero, an interesting villain, and a witty script, this is a highly entertaining superhero adventure I will definitely revisit.

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