The Tobey Maguire movies (mostly “Spider-Man 2”) have been entertaining; most people complained that Andrew Garfield was too old to play Peter Parker; and most recently, we have Tom Holland, a 21-year-old actor, who did a fabulous job playing him in last year’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
This year, in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Parker wants to prove to Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) that he is not a little kid anymore, and he can become an Avenger. But in the meantime, he constantly calls Stark’s annoyed assistant Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) about how he fights thugs in Queens.
The latest bad guys Spider-Man fights have dangerous weapons made from the alien technology they found after the Battle of New York (the first “Avengers”). Their leader is Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a family man and former salvage company owner, who wants revenge on the rich and powerful for making him and his crew look like scum. If Stark can have all that cool technology, so can Toomes. And he has a flying armored suit making himself known as “The Vulture.” That’s right. Keaton is “Birdman” again.
The only person who knows about Spider-Man’s identity, other than Stark and Hogan, is Peter’s geeky friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), who now becomes his tech guy. There’s also the would-be romance between Peter and Liz (Laura Harrier), who has a crush on Spider-Man. And if his Aunt May (Maria Tomei) found out about his superhero identity, then she’d force him to give it up.
Some of the battles left me a bit in a tizzy, but still “Spider-Man: Homecoming” improves on the last three “Spider-Mans,” including the Andrew Garfield movies. Holland, a young actor from “The Impossible” and “The Lost City of Z,” is perfectly cast as Peter Parker. I did say he is 21-years-old.
The movie (directed by Jon Watts and written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein) shows how he is more focused on stopping the bad guys than his school activities, and it also represents how the poor want revenge on the rich. Keaton’s Vulture character is that example. And when you see Holland and Keaton together, it’s either emotional or action-packed. You decide.
“Now what about Robert Downey, Jr. as Iron Man?,” you might be asking. He’s here for a good reason: to want Parker to be better than him in judgement and character. And he has an Iron Man avatar for when he isn’t in Queens.