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Spider-Man: Homecoming Delivers the Goods

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Mixing a John Hughes-like coming-of-age comedy and the modern superhero blockbuster turns out to be a great idea.

Kyle Smith writes We’ve seen a lot of dark superhero movies (including most of the DC ones) and a lot of smarmy ones (Guardians of the Galaxy, Deadpool) in recent years. But rarely, these days, do the movies about men in tights deliver a moment as winsome and whimsical as Lois Lane’s “You’ve got me. Who’s got you?” in 1978’s Superman: the Movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is essentially a John Hughes comedy interspersed with bits of action, has the same light-hearted feel, and it’s easily the cleverest, most inventive, and funniest of the six Spider-Man features to date. It’s also the first of the six that at no point struck me as boring.

Tom Holland, a springy 21-year-old former gymnast and dancer most audiences first encountered when Spidey made a brief appearance in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, is absolutely terrific as Peter Parker, the nervous 15-year-old Queens high-school student dealing with changes to his body that are, let us say, somewhat more pronounced than those faced by his peers. Holland, like his predecessor Andrew Garfield, is a Brit, and like Garfield’s predecessor Tobey Maguire he is a wide-eyed runt full of awed disbelief about his newfound gifts. Garfield made the mistake of playing the character as cocky, and his two films have mercifully been wiped off the slate as Spider-Man, thanks to a surprising sharing arrangement between his proprietor Sony Pictures and Marvel’s masters at the Walt Disney Co., has now joined the other characters in the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe.

[Read the full story here, at National Review]

This opens up lots of storytelling lines: In the early stages of Homecoming, Peter, having returned home to Queens after his Avengers adventure, is still undercover as an ordinary high-school student studying for an academic tournament of nerds in Washington, D.C. He isn’t sure whether he’s an Avenger (he isn’t) or what he’s supposed to do next (nothing, says Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, who has a prominent role). In possession of an Iron Man-like Spidey suit that contains all sorts of gadgets he can barely operate, Peter disobeys orders, dons the forbidden outfit, and goes looking for wrongdoing he can right. Alas, he is unschooled in crime-fighting and not very good at crime-detecting. He attacks a supposed car thief who is merely trying to get into his own car, which sets off an alarm, which makes … (read more)

via National Review

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