Spider-Man: Homecoming

I'll bet this third time's a charm. At least this ebullient PG-13 version is my favorite. I like to experience an upbeat story, an upbeat character, and an upbeat ending, so this is just the ticket. If only they would cut down on the endless blowie uppie stuff and mass destruction; I find myself yawning.

Director Jon Watts ("Cop Car"), working with a script by a committee, has crafted a satisfying action/comedy that is a cut above the average super-hero rubber stamp. Oh sure, there will be plenty of Computer Generated Imaging, but c'mon... It's Spider-Man! What sets this one apart is the spot-on depiction of a teenage boy who has a powerful adulthood staring him in the face. His exploits and bungles are the product of his youthful exuberance, nothing more.

Here is part of Watts' cast:
  • Tom Holland ("Captain America: Civil War") is back again as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, a typical high school kid who had an accident with a nasty spider and life would never be the same. We saw his first cameo in "Captain America" and he is eager to become a fully fledged Avenger.
  • Michael Keaton ("The Founder") Adrian Toomes/Vulture is the perfect villain. He felt ignored, exploited and helpless, so he has taken matters into his own hands. "The world is changing and I will change, too."
  • Laura Herrier ("4th Man Out") Liz is the object of our awkward hero's affections. She turns him into a tongue-tied buffoon, even though she is gracious and kind.
  • Robert Downey Jr. ("The Judge") Tony Stark/Iron Man is, by turn, intrigued and frustrated by this näive upstart. He sorely felt his own father's presence (or lack thereof) when he was growing up, so has some idea of what Peter might need. Kind of a tough love.
  • Marisa Tomei ("The Big Short") is Peter's Aunt May. Tony Stark starts to flirt with her but quickly realizes that is inappropriate.
  • Jon Favreau ("Chef") Happy Hogan keeps Tony's life on an even keel. He handles messy details and would really appreciate a promotion.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow ("The Avengers") Pepper Potts keeps coming back, if only in a cameo.
  • Jacob Battalion ("North Woods") is Ned, Peter's burly high-school chum. Ned is the indispensable friend every teenager needs and dreads.
  • Stan Lee (All the Marvel movies) This time he is a crabby neighbor shouting out of his tenement window.
The set pieces on the Staten Island Ferry and the Washington Monument are too long and waay over the top, but the recorded public service announcements Captain America delivers to high-school students are a stitch. This ensemble is guaranteed to dazzle and entertain. Make no mistake, this is Entertainment, NOT Art!
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Take a peek. It might cheer you up!
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