Spider-Man (MCU)

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (12)

D: Jon Watts

Sony/Columbia/Marvel (Kevin Feige & Amy Pascal)

US 2017

133 mins


Action/Adventure/Science Fiction


W: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers [based on characters created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko]

DP: Salvatore Totino

Ed: Dan Lebental & Debbie Berman

Mus: Michael Giacchino


Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes / Vulture), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark / Iron Man), Zendaya (Michelle 'MJ' Jones), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May Parker)


A rare dud from Marvel Cinematic Universe, although it could be argued that, with Sony still maintaining a huge slice of the production rights, this could be the result of a tug of war between two of Hollywood's major studios.

Tom Holland becomes the third person to play Spider-Man in just 14 years, following his cameo appearance in 2016's Captain America: Civil War and he dons the spider-suit again for his standalone adventure, unfortunately, with Spider-Man's iconic costume now becoming an invention of Tony Stark, this superhero instalment becomes heavily dependant on Iron Man.

The intricate web of storyline draws on other films within Marvel's Arsenal, with the titular character being taken under the wing of Tony Stark, who implores him to keep his head low and help out with local neighbourhood crime fighting, but the teenage superhero bites off more than he can chew when he attempts to stop an arms dealer who uses alien technology following the big battle at the end of the first Avengers movie. 

Spider-Man: Homecoming is far from being among the worst superhero movies of all time, but in comparison with other MCU films it is a huge disappointment. Tom Holland does a good job in the main role, but the supporting cast aren't great. I really didn't care for Zendaya's performance, whose character as the love interest I found incredibly unlikeable.

Fanboys will love it, everyone else will find it decidedly average.

6/10


Spider-Man: Homecoming
Spider-Man: Homecoming

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (12)

D: Jon Watts

Sony/Columbia/Marvel (Kevin Feige & Amy Pascal)

US 2019

129 mins


Action/Adventure/Science Fiction


W: Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers [based on characters created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko]

DP: Matthew J. Lloyd

Ed: Dan Lebental & Leigh Folsom-Boyd

Mus: Michael Giacchino


Tom Holland (Peter Parker / Spider-Man), Jake Gyllenhaal (Quentin Beck / Mysterio), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Zendaya (Michelle 'MJ' Jones), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan)


**SPOILERS**

The following review also includes including for Avengers: Endgame, which was released in the spring of 2019, and was practically the perfect way to wrap up this particular phase of Marvel movies, but knowing there was more money to be had, the studio released this just a few months later to draw a line under Phase 3.

Following on from events in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame (qv), as well as Spider-Man: Far From Home, the film begins with a tribute to some of the characters who were lost and dips into the aftermath of the events from both the Avengers movies. 

After this, the rest of the film is Spider-Man on holiday, as Peter Parker gets away from the friendly neighbourhood of NYC to go on a school trip around Europe, taking him and his school pals to Venice, Prague and London, where he plans to enamour MJ. However, romance plans are put on ice with the arrival of Quentin Beck and some elemental monsters, made up of land, sea and air, and Spider-Man is ordered to help defeat them by Nick Fury because no other superheroes are available.

The skirmishes all turn out to be a cunning ruse by Beck, who merely wanted to win Parker's trust so he could gain some Stark technology gifted to the young teenager after the death of Iron Man in Endgame.

Though the action scenes are well staged and engaging, with spectacular CGI effects, the premise really doesn't make sense in the respect that Spider-Man's superhuman abilities were totally insufficient for the task at hand and it was all to set up a plot twist which would be incredibly predictable to anyone who has ever seen a comic book movie. There's a few other twists along the way, but some were ruined by the marketing trailer and others are simply too dumb to talk about. Seemingly only there to "subvert expectations", which is just fancy talk for "poor writing".

Like the MCU itself, this film doesn't allow any plot developments to breathe as it sets up the next action scene and the characters are all merely chess pieces being placed around the board of play. Tom Holland is perfect casting for the superhero however, and there is a cute chemistry between himself and Zendaya's MJ (who is nowhere near as insufferably smug in this as she was in the previous movie). Jake Gyllenhaal also has lots of fun with his performance as Mysterio. Some of the jokes hit, some miss, and all in all it's a light, entertaining chapter to the Marvel series.

It's really no better or worse than Spider-Man: Homecoming and it's fair to say that any film in the series which followed Avengers: Endgame was going to be a little underwhelming by comparison. 

6/10


Spider-Man: Far From Home
Spider-Man: Far From Home