Spiderman: Homecoming

Casting Tom Holland as the surprise element, Spiderman in Captain America: Civil War was one of the high points of that movie. A short cameo, that was delightful and punchy.

And now he comes into his own - with Spiderman: Homecoming signifying bringing Spiderman back into the Marvel universe, Tom Holland delivers an absolutely fizzy blockbuster of a superhero flick with his winning, earnest performance as the lead man, even sidelining Robert Downey Jr's wisecrack mentor act as the Ironman, biding his time to bring Spiderman in as the newest team-member on Avengers.

Peter Parker, not withstanding his special web-slinging prowess, is also a regular kid, finishing high-school, crushing on his long-legged academic decathlon team-mate (Laura Harrier) , staying ahead of his clue-less hot Italian aunt ( Marissa Tomei!!) who lourbes him and is best friends with the loser-nerd of the school (Well, who also happens to be a crack computer whiz!) But after his "mission" with Tony Stark - that he slyly calls the Stark Internship at school and home, he is itching for some serious action that involves something more than just being the friendly "neighborhood" Spiderman.

He gets lucky when he witnesses an ATM robbery - a gang of robbers armed with high-tech weapons made of the alien technology - and intervenes, enmeshing himself into the plans of Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton who plays an excellent antagonist as 'The Vulture'). Adrian vows to kill the pesky spider-suited intruder and what follows, is a series of heists-gone-wrong edge-of-the-seat adventures including an amazingly graphic scene of a ferry cracking up right through the middle even as Peter is stretching his webs and himself, to hold it up, to save the passengers. And the harrowing fight sequence in mid-air involving the Vulture and the Spiderman on the Stark airplane.

The movie works, is a refreshing return to small stakes adventures where the entire galaxy is not being ripped apart - but an honest small-town contractor who becomes an arms-thief so to support his family, is being rebuffed by an earnest teenager who still believes in black and white and noble purposes. The humor is consistent with Peter and his school friend Ned's awkward dorky moments. In addition, Zendaya's amazing portrayal of Michelle and her nonchalant jokes delivered deadpan without an expression cracked me up. Tom Holland is perfect, playing the troubled teenager perpetually caught in that arc of "Should I be what the world wants or should I just be myself?". Also despite the big-ticket action sequences brought on by CGI, what really touches your heart is the human element of the story.

A villain who loves his family and is ready to give his nemesis a chance to live, as he saved his daughter's life. A regular teenager coming-of-age with his usual share of heart-issues, school pranks and 'parental'-problems. A plucky, never-say-never kid in truly believable emotional stress and moments of extreme physical peril.

There is a lot to like in this movie. All heart and angst. Spiderman: Homecoming is Marvel Universe giving us yet another surprise ( as they did with Guardians of the Galaxy a couple of years back) Headlined by a winning performance by Tom Holland ( I am watching this Irish movie called Pilgrimage and he's brilliant in that!) Spiderman is a winner, unassumingly grounded, homely and extremely likable. Just like the friendly neighborhood web-slinging superhero. 


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