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Spider-Man Homecoming


Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Jon Favreau, Laura Harrier, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Evans, Angourie Rice, Zendaya

Director: Jon Watts

This is really Spider-Boy or perhaps SpiderGuy, as our hero, the diminutive Holland, is 15 and still at school in this yarn which, with its accent on the comic, is, although overlong, also quite fun at times, as the youthful Spidey frequently gets bashed about by the bad guys and his attempts at perfect landings seldom fail to come a cropper.

Storyline gives us the invaluable Keaton, bringing his Batman/Birdman characters to the dark side, as Toomes, a collector of alien junk who has gone independent after having his contract taken over the government and now sells galactic weapons of mass construction to international villains, flying a giant mechanical vulture as his own enforcer.

Peter Parker (Holland) meantime is still studying and, with the help of his tubby friend Ned (enthusiastic newcomer Batalon), creating weird scientific inventions, when he falls heavily for mixed-race hottie Liz (Harrier), even though she's a foot taller than he is. But Toomes' and Peter's paths are soon destined to cross, in more ways than one too, thanks to a humongously ingenious twist towards the end.

Things finally get exciting with sequences both aboard a crippled pleasure cruiser, and a malfunctioning lift within the damaged Washington Monument. The director handles both well, ensuring fun and tension at the same time.

There are brief appearances from Paltrow's Pepper Potts and Evans' Captain America, with a rather longer contribution from Downey as Peter's mentor Tony Stark. Having Holland as Spidey is a bit like seeing Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher, but the English actor, at least pecced up in the gym, actually turns in a decent job; maybe next time they'll give him a gf his own size.

'I'm just going to be myself,' he tells Ned at one stage. 'But Peter,' replies his friend. 'No one wants that.'

David Quinlan

USA 2017. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by Arri.
133 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 30 Jun 2017