Marvel Studios finally get their hands on the Spider-man franchise following the character’s appearance in the most recent Captain America offering. Would Tom Holland’s performance in those few scenes translate to his first stand alone movie?
Actually, yes they do.
I have never been the biggest of Spidey-fans. I had watched the first two Tobey Maguire installments, but the Andrew Garfield era passed me by entirely.
I was a little skeptical about how a third iteration of the character would come across, despite being steered by Marvel Studios and not Sony (the Clooney Batman scenario!) but Civil War gave me hope that FINALLY we would get a good Spider-man.
I am definitely glad I had hope. This incarnation of Spidey really takes the character back to its roots. We get a Peter Parker who looks like he should be a high-school student (even Tobey never quite pulled that off!) and with it comes the struggle of a teenager coping with amazing new abilities whilst at the same time dealing with growing up, girls, and fitting in at school.
This is a Spider-man that is infinitely more relatable to the up and coming generation of Spidey-fans, and will press all the nostalgia buttons for those who have been fans for a lot longer.
We get drawn in with flashbacks to Civil War seen from Parker’s perspective and smartphone, and a glimpse into the burgeoning relationship with Tony Stark. There are a few scenes in the film that feature them both, and these for me are massive highlights. It almost paves the way for the old guard to hand over the baton to the new guard, and opens the door to the next phase of movies from the Marvel stable.
As expected there is a lot of amazing action to digest and get excited over. The final sequence between Spidey and The Vulture was well crafted and suitably destructive, but kept things at the right scale for the scope of the film.
The pacing was great, although the first act was a little slow. The second and third more than made up for that though, and you definitely feel like you got enough bang for your buck!
Tom Holland stood out as the new Peter Parker. A lot may have been said about Marvel and Sony not casting a POC and introducing Miles Morales to step in line with the comic book canon, but I feel that there is still some mileage in Parker, and hopefully this tranche of films will allow for Morales to be brought in later. I wasn’t too sure about Michael Keaton as The Vulture. The back story about how he came to be was a bit of an over-reach and contributed to the slow start. His performance was good, but the character arc could have been better.
Whilst I applaud the studio’s attempt to be more diverse in their casting, it did seem like the supporting cast of characters was paying lip service to being PC, but although he was relegated to ‘nerdy sidekick’, Jacob Batalon had some great moments as Ned.
All in all it as a solid first entry into the new Spidey saga, and I am looking forward to the next.
3/5 sticky Spidey-webs