Directed by: Jon Watts – Starring: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal
As anyone who has read my earlier reviews of comic book adaptations will know, I am somewhat a fan of the genre. However, even I feel that basically three different versions of the Spiderman story in the last 17 years is too much! It’s the same story over and over, and even total geeks only have a certain amount of tolerance for this kind of thing..
However, including him as part of the bigger Marvel Cinematic Universe has really opened up the story somewhat, and Tom Holland is supremely likeable and awkward as Peter Parker.
And having Tony Stark a.k.a Iron Man as his mentor proved a fabulous pairing – Holland and Robert Downey Jr were a great pairing!. I’m assuming everyone has seen Avengers Endgame by now, so I can say without fear of spoiler repercussion that I’m still devo by Iron Man’s death, so opening this film with a recap of the heroes we lost was pretty emotional.
The Avengers loom large over this story. If you’re still reeling from Endgame, it’s honestly a lot to process. But thankfully, Holland’s take on Spidey is a somewhat comedic one, so there are plenty of laughs in amongst the serious stuff.
Obviously (like us all) Peter is still reeling from Tony’s death, so when Nick Fury (Jackson) introduces him to Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal – the spelling of whose name always instils fear in me!) he gravitates towards him. This bonding is aided by the fact that Beck is also Mysterio, and he is battling an evil force known as the elementals to save the earth, giving Peter a sense that he is a kindred spirit.
It also turns out that Peter conveniently has a summer school science trip, which allows most of this action to take place in various European cities! And in the midst of these battles, he is trying to woo his classmate, MJ (Zendaya) and be a somewhat normal 16-year old.
If you’re not a fan of super-hero films, don’t worry, because this owes as much of a nod to John Hughes and his coming of age teen flicks as it does to Stan Lee. There are some deliciously awkward moments that everyone will relate to. Although it has some amazing effects, and a couple of great action scenes, it also has a lot of heart and humour.
It’s a part teen-romance and a part superhero flick. All the cast do a great job, and although the story is a bit rambling at times (and Peter Parker absolutely could have “found himself” in Queens without all the Mission impossible style zig-zagging around Europe) it is very entertaining. There are a few plot points that are literally – well – pointless. And some of the more slapstick humour is overdone. But on the whole, this is a decent and entertaining super-hero movie, that will only serve to make you miss the fallen Avengers more!
Oh, and if you haven’t checked out Tom Holland’s performance on Lip Sync Battle, get on that! It’s amazing!
In Cinemas Now! Trailer below: