After bursting on to the screen in a scene-stealing performance that was one of the highlights of Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland returns to helm Spider-Man: Homecoming, the third reboot in a 15-year period for the character.
Tonally, Holland’s interpretation stays truest to the comic books, and despite some generic superhero set pieces, Homecoming feels deliberately low-key.
Audiences worn out from the globe-trotting wake of destruction left by The Avengers: Age Of Ultron will welcome the coming-of-age high school drama found here. Holland is less a Spider-man and more a Spider-boy; his Peter Parker struggles with the challenges of adolescence even more so than wanting to prove himself to Iron-Man Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr).
As Adrian Toomes (aka The Vulture), a blue-collar worker whose salvage company has been driven out of business, Michael Keaton delivers one of the most relatable screen villains in years and the film plays strongest whenever he is on screen. Less a criminal mastermind with designs on world domination, Keaton plays Toomes convincingly as a man who’ll do whatever it takes to continue to provide his family with the lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is yet another web-sling in the right direction for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
SCOTT JACKSON Three and a half (3.5) stars