Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

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Jon Watts directs Tom Holland, Michael Keaton and Jacob Batalon in this friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man teen comedy actioner. 

The first tentpole of the summer to exceed expectations and the Spider-Man movie to feel like the comics I read as a kid Spider-Man movie. Yoinks! Absolute fun whether revelling in the awkward fumbling of high school relationships or the awkward fumbling of being superhero trying to run when you haven’t quite figured out how to crawl. Spidey is at his best when he is just helping out and cracking wise in Queens. The bigger set pieces are colourful rumbles but not quite as engaging. The wise move to introduce his sweet superhero obsessed best pal Ganke from the Miles Morales comics (he is called “Ned” but it is unmistakably Ganke) is a master stroke in both comedy, storytelling and making it all human. He’d be the highlight of this incarnation… if it wasn’t for Keaton’s brilliant intimidating villian turn. People often write the Vulture off as a third string baddie but I remember him vividly from my youth. The crazed old guy swooping down at Peter Parker. Keaton’s eyes full of menace, his hair wild and his craggy face determined… that manic, seductive rhythm of his voice, full of intelligence. “You wanna get nuts?! C’mon let’s get nuts!” A battle of the generations, leading to one of tensest face-offs in comic book flick history. You get goosebumps at his and Spidey’s most intimate scene. He joins Ledger and his own old adversary Jack Nicholson in the pantheon of great superhero bad eggs. Why? Because it is both a committed performance and feels like a genuine threat to our hero rather than a plot requirement. And as such, he raises this genre flick up on a par with the best too. More from everyone, please.

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