Spider-man Homecoming: High school hi-jinks

The movie screens have been filled all summer with a glut of special effects “blockbusters.” I’ve seen enough in the last several months to last me a lifetime. I will say again, Wonder Woman was worth the trip; the rest range from mediocre to downright bad. This latest Spiderman sequel passes the “mediocre” test, but not much more.

Once and for all, and for the last time, Tobey Maguire is now and always will be Spiderman. Andrew Garfield, who replaced Maguire in the third sequel, and Tom Holland, who appears in this version, are simply pretenders. Not even an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr., Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, and cameo appearances by Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Connelly can save this one.

We’ve all seen movies where the first five or ten minutes make no sense, and then slowly things come together and logic prevails. In this case, while the story does begin to form, the opening sequences leave unanswered questions, and I left the theater scratching my head as to what and how among other things.

Spider-man Homecoming

Entertainment Rating: ★★

Rating: PG-13: one or two minor profanities

Possible Oscar Nominations: None

We all know that Peter Parker becomes Spiderman because he was bitten by a radioactive spider. Well, chuck that idea. We (eventually) learn his super powers come from the suit itself, and all the “webs” he weaves come from some sexy little gadget on his wrist. In the aforementioned opening scenes, we see Robert Downey Jr., playing Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) hanging around with our young hero. In due course, we find out that “Spidey” is serving an internship under him, learning the “trade” so to speak. While he is being mentored, his instructions are to stay close to home and just be the friendly “neighborhood” Spiderman.

How he and Stark ever met is never disclosed and of course, high school sophomores cannot always be relied upon to follow instructions. Tom Holland is likeable as a (barely) fifteen-year-old Superhero, and Michael Keaton gives us the best performance in the film as the evil one. The climactic scenes begin during Peter Parker’s high school homecoming dance, thus the title of the movie.

This film bears no resemblance to the previous five versions of Spiderman. And while I agree a fresh approach is never a problem, this one doesn’t work very well. I found the most entertaining parts were when young Mr. Parker was not in costume, just being his nerdy teenage self.

And oh yes, dragged by three of my grandchildren I went to see the latest Transformers. This was the fourth sequel; I managed to miss all of them up to now. Even after threatening a lawsuit to the theater’s management, I couldn’t negotiate a refund. If you have ever taken my advice one way or the other, don’t bother with this one. You’ll have a much better time taking the grandkids to Culvers, which, by the way, we ended up doing anyway.


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