'Spider-Man: Homecoming' defies expectations as a surprising pleasure

'Spider-Man: Homecoming' defies expectations as a surprising pleasure

'Spider-Man: Homecoming' defies expectations as a surprising pleasure

It's kind of hard to believe how great Spider-Man: Homecoming is. Instead we pick things up with a hilarious video diary Parker (Tom Holland) apparently made during his first big gig: helping Iron Man/Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) take on Captain America (Chris Evans) during last year's internal Avenger-versus-Avenger skirmish. The pair have great chemistry on screen, but are Tom Holland and Laura Harrier friends in real life? He and five other writers pulled together a screenplay that somehow works on every level. Donald Glover plays a small but memorable role, and it's fun to see him in a "Spider-Man" film after audiences rallied for his casting as the superhero several years ago.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is one of the most anticipated Marvel movies of this year.

"Articles like this need to be written so more people understand why we're celebrating when we see a movie like 'Wonder Woman, ' where female characters don't exist entirely as moons orbiting a male hero's storyline". Disney and Sony struck a deal in 2015 wherein Kevin Feige, president of Disney's Marvel Studios, would oversee the creative direction of the character while Sony would finance the new "Spider-Man" movies ("Homecoming" cost $175 million before marketing). We also see a teenager going through puberty, learning to be comfortable in his own skin, and trying to find his own way in life. "What the f-?" she manages to say, before the end credits kick in. Liz is the captain of the Scholastic Decathlon Team, which is clearly something she cares about deeply, and she seems to genuinely like Peter-whereas the popular girl in another movie might just be a "bitch" and nothing else.

When Feig created the short-lived, now-revered NBC series, the period high-school comedy boasted mostly unknowns, but one of its first actors to become entwined with Spider-Man was James Franco. We also get to watch Peter Parker grow from the tread on nerd out to prove himself to someone confident not just in himself but in his role as Spider-Man. Like, yes, in fact Peter does have to strip down out of his clothes before suiting up in allies. It knows you know who Spider-Man is. Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Jon Favreau again as Happy, all the high schoolers, including Zendaya, were really good, and of course there are some cameos.

An invigorating joy from beginning to end, "Spider-Man: Homecoming" lets you feel Spidey's nervous joy as he ducks into an alley to change into his uniform and swing across the rooftops, chasing the righteous thrills of the Manhattan skyline. Bokeem Woodbine from "Fargo" plays a fantastic henchman, and Tony Revolori nails high school bully Flash. When the Vulture, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), runs afoul of Spidey by selling insane weapons on his turf, our hero tries to clumsily defeat him while disappointing his date at the big dance. He shot down the suggestion that Tom Holland's Spider-Man would appear in Sony's Venom movie by saying.

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