Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is a high school student with amazing powers. As he keeps his identity secret underneath his Spider-Man suit, Parker is desperate to become one of The Avengers. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) keeps telling him to be patient and wait for his time to join the team, but skilled and determined Parker won’t let up. Despite being warned to not try too much, Parker takes on The Vulture (Michael Keaton), a weapons trader with authority issues.
RATED: M for action violence
AUDIENCE: Although this is the third time in 15 years that Spider-Man has been spun in a new movie format, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a highly enjoyable superhero blockbuster. So, it will easily appeal to fans of Marvel comic creations, big-budget extravaganzas, and high school dramas.
WHAT’S GOOD: The decision to NOT retell the entire “origins story” of how Peter Parker became Spider-Man is a mercy for audiences already highly informed about where he came from. Young actor Tom Holland is tops as nerdy but nice Peter Parker and shaping this Spider-Man around an adolescent coming to terms with responsibility – and the doubts of others – is rich and potent. The action and special effects are as engaging as we expect, without drowning out the swell story or deafening our senses.
WHAT’S NOT: Despite everything Spider-Man: Homecoming does right, when it comes to helping us forget there have been so, so, so many Spider-Man movies already this century, it cannot entirely defeat the mild undercurrent of familiarity and repetition. The saga of Parker trying to become an Avenger does also get a bit laboured and old, and Michael Keaton’s bad guy could have had more screen-time (to really flap his villainous wings).
SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING: I was shocked that during a superhero spectacle, I actually felt inspired to be a stronger and bolder Christian. Peter Parker isn’t a follower of Jesus but he is a young bloke who, even in the face of adults justifying their own terrible behaviour (and threatening Parker’s life), continues to want to a fight a good fight. Without any major role models in his life, Parker demonstrates a moral backbone that extends from taking on dangerous bad guys to treating the girl he likes with respect, decency and no overt sexual innuendo. Amazing, Spider-Man! While I can find it hard to be the kind of committed Christian I think God would love me to be, that’s no reason for me to not dig in, get bold, and forge ahead – no matter what is going on around me. You know, like how Peter Parker stands up to the forces of evil whenever they confront him.
RELEASE DATE: Now showing