'Spider-Man: Homecoming' revitalizes the web-slinging franchise

Tom Holland stars as Spider-Man in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN™: HOMECOMING.

Spider-Man: Homecoming
3.5 out of 5 Stars
Jon Watts
Writers: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.
Genre: Action, Adventure
Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments

Synopsis: Tormented by the high school daily grind, Peter Parker waits impatiently for Tony Stark and the Avengers to call him back in for active duty.

Review: Going into the summer it felt like all the pressure was on DC's "Wonder Woman," but warm reviews and an impressive performance at the worldwide box office pushed the pressure over to "Spider-Man: Homecoming." Would Sony's deal with Marvel to bring the web-slinger into the Marvel Cinematic Universe lead to higher box office returns and the critical acclaim that the studio so desperately needs?

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is certainly better than "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," a film that was completely derailed by its desire to set up a Spider-Verse rather than delivering a solid story. "Homecoming" does sacrifice a bit of its running time to establish its place in the MCU, but not nearly as much as I feared. Tony Stark might be in the film, but he’s only a minor character. Of the familiar faces, and there are a few, it is Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan who plays the largest role.

What really works for "Homecoming" is its casting. Tom Holland is an excellent Peter Parker and Michael Keaton’s Vulture makes for one of the most memorable villains in the MCU. Not that the MCU has been particularly strong when it comes to villains, but Vulture is certainly a keeper.

The film doesn't feel nearly as unfocused as you might expect considering the grocery list of names that are credited as writers, but the dialogue doesn’t feel quite as sharp, particularly when it comes to Spider-Man’s legendary knack for puns. Still, a lot of the comedy works and there are a few surprises along the way.

Marvel said they wanted to make a superhero film built on a John Hughes foundation. They’ve more or less succeeded in that. I’m interested to see where the franchise goes next, particularly now that they’ve established who he is and his relationship with the Avengers.

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