Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming ★★★½

The world doesn't need another Spider-Man movie, but Homecoming does its best to avoid the beats we're used to. Peter Parker is already Spider-Man, so it isn't an origin movie. Uncle Ben is already dead, so we don't need to go through that grief again.

The biggest difference, and where the film's charm comes from, is how inadequate Parker is at being a superhero. He's a gawky, shy nerd who's faster with his wit behind the mask, but no less awkward. He's ill-equipped to face Michael Keaton's Vulture, and no less suited to chatting to girls at school.

School actually feels like school this time round since Tom Holland's youthful face makes it much easier to believe Parker is only 15 years old. The time spent with him and his classmates is a lot of fun since it's Marvel straying further from their established plot points, wandering further into unexplored genres. There are times you miss the kids from Stranger Things cuz it reminds you of how funny it can be watching youngsters react to things.

Someone else will have to decide whether Homecoming solves Marvel's villain problem - I'm such a big Michael Keaton fan that I couldn't possibly say. There's a disgruntled morality behind his motives, and it feels much more rooted in the real world rather than cosmic fights or negligible goons.

I'm not sick of Marvel yet, but it's been a while since I've been surprised by them, and nothing comes close to solving that problem here. It's as fun as any other entry in the MCU, it won't win anyone over, but the already converted will be happy. I liked that Parker didn't really know what he was doing, and I think there's enough of that kind of heart here to be just interesting enough to warrant a cinema trip.