Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
Cast: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Laura Harrier, Tyne Daly, Chris Evans.
It is easy to see why Spiderman is amongst the favourites of all the super heroes that have come and gone since the much heralded Golden Age of the genre; funny, wisecracking, prone to teenage angst, the fine line between the big picture and the tiniest detail always shown as brightly as possible, a young lad protecting his neighbourhood rather than taking on the world. Since his first appearance in comic book and on screen, through Saturday morning cartoon and posters on the wall, any young person and any adult who remembers the feeling, will always be entranced by Peter Parker and Spiderman.
It is a sort of home coming for Spiderman as for the first time, Marvel truly are able to go to town with a character much loved and respected and in Spiderman: Homecoming there is everything to play for and everything to love.
What does not go unnoticed by the long term fan of the comic books is the reference to one of the character’s most sought after and critically acclaimed issues of its long and illustrious run. The November 2001 issue of The Amazing Spiderman took the deep dark look at the sense of helplessness in the face of an insane act as Spiderman was confronted by the remains of the Twin Towers.
Comic books and Graphic Novels are not only there to serve as entertainment and the showing of right and wrong but they are they to reflect and comment on the political and social events of the day; the brave decision by Marvel at the time was echoed in the gripping scenes towards the end of Spiderman: Homecoming as it showed with a sense of real life dread the scene of an out of control plane skirting the skyline of New York.
In that one moment, rememberance, homage and respect is paid to those who lost their lives on that terrible day; that life continues, that whilst there is no superhero to always save us, even the actions of one person can change what could be decreed as inevitable and be seen as the hero.
With this the film gives hope to humanity in a way that The Avengers or any other cinematic superhero standing in the Marvel Comic Universe would not or unable to portray, that is not always the biggest and strongest that you should look to inspire but the unnoticed and the dedicated.
Whilst many will not have a particular beef or problem with the portrayals of the web-slinger by Andrew Garfield or Toby Maguire, there is a sense of natural beginning in Tom Holland’s performance, a presentation more akin to the outline placed before readers of Amazing Fantasy by the great Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditco when they first put the young Peter Parker in the Spiderman costume.
With Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr. and Zendaya giving excellent support to the young but agile performer, Spiderman: Homecoming is arguably one of the best yet in a long line of superhero films, the reason is simple, just an ordinary kid, not a God, not a war hero, a film that acknowledges its own past beautifully and sees the tremendous battle between right and wrong superbly played out and realised as one that it is always down to a single choice, not one that is always born out of evil but necessity.
Ian D. Hall