Verdict - Holland for the win
Its dull, its long, its weighed down by a heavy sense of de-ja-vu and yet Spiderman homecoming makes an impact and leaves you with a smile. All thanks to the winsome Tom Holland playing the goofiest superhero in history with an infectious charm and naivety.
Starting at where Spiderman debuted in the last Avengers movie (and hence giving the actual origin story a bye bye) Homecoming neatly integrates this new Avenger into the larger MCEU- Peter lives in a world where Captain America (now referred to as a war criminal) teaching school kids essential morals and how their bodies are changing, to school girls bantering about who they would like to marry amongst the Avengers. This thread of school kids dealing with changing bodies and discovering their new selves is in fact a beautiful motif director Watts uses to bring forth a super hero who is discovering not only his new Stark sponsored suit but also his inner mettle as a masked crusader fighting crime at large. So we have a bumbling falling failing super hero who is so nervous he can’t talk yet so pure at heart that he knows he has to stand up to what’s wrong come what may.
Tom Holland, cast perfectly as the new web-slinger, is what this franchise was waiting for. Sincere, nice hearted, torn between the pull of a high schooler’s childhood and the shine of being an Avenger (having tasted blood in the last movie) Holland gives us a character we root for, we care for and are worried everytime he gets himself into trouble be it falling off a crashing plane or trying to save a steamer split right in the middle. It is his innocent charm that keeps one engaged even as we sit through one dull action sequence after another stretching the running time unnecessarily. Even Keaton as the menacing villain in this edition is not a well written character, salvaged only by the actor’s histrionic capabilities. The film worked amazingly every time Tony Stark and Peter are in the same frame and are charting the course of this newest Avenger’s future.
What also works is that along with the super hero’s homecoming to marvel, we are introduced to the possibilities of the next set of spider man movies in this edition. Zendaya as the icy eye rolling class mate of Peter, Tomei as his aunt, all evidence tantalizing plot points which hopefully will take center stage in the next stand-alone Spiderman movies and given the amazing actors playing these rolls, one can’t but get excited. The 3D is fun, the laughs come at a decent frequency and you are dished a scrumptious action film. While this is not exactly the blockbuster one had hoped for, it is not a bad one at all either!