The creators of Spider-Man: the Return home I remembered something that the creators of almost all of the other recent superhero movie have been forgotten. Who have remembered that if you’re going to tell a story about someone in a clingy suit who can throw cars around like frisbees, then you should probably be fun for the whole family. That’s not to say that the films of superheroes may not be used to talk to us about the international arms trade, or to examine why the allies fall out and turn against one another. But sometimes they should return to their comic-book roots, and offer stylish, buoyant entertainment for the children and for their parents – and that is what the last Spider-Man movie.
Directed by the little-known Jon Watts and written by many writers of name, opens with an orchestral arrangement of the web-slinger 1967 cartoon theme song (“Does whatever a spider…”), a flurry of finger-clicking jauntiness that turns out to be a declaration of intentions. This is not a drama about 15 demigods swearing by some kind of cosmic destructive device, such as blockbusters Marvel so often. It is a warm, fast-paced coming-of-age comedy about a loveable group of teenagers – one of whom has been bitten by a radioactive arachnid.
The paper fits Tom Holland as comfortably as his red-and-blue spandex
The ‘Return to home’ subtitle has two meanings. In the first place, there is the high-school dance, annual Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tom Holland) may or may not attend. Second, there is a Spider-Man the arrival in the movie universe of the other Marvel movies. In their previous outings – the Sam Raimi trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, and the two Marc Webb attempts with Andrew Garfield – Spider-Man existed in a separate reality of Thor, the Hulk and his fellow Avengers, because Marvel had sold the rights of the character to another company, Sony. But when the last of the Webb / Garfield the movie underperformed, Sony agree that Marvel Studios take over Spider-Man, which is the reason why the one that appeared last year in Captain America: Civil War.
Don’t worry, despite the fact that Spider-Man: the Return home does not get bogged down in the Avengers’ complicated mythos. But there are amusing allusions to Captain America, and there are appearances by Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), who sees Spidey as the son he never had. Peter is thrilled by this attention. More of a Spider-Boy to Spider-Man, he is portrayed, charming, as a gauche, geekily enthusiastic young man with a pubescent squeak of a voice. And while the characterization is not very faithful to the comics, he immediately feels definitive. Holland, a fresh-faced British actor with a perfect American accent, was only 20 years old when they filmed the movie, and the role that fits him as perfectly as his red-and-blue spandex.
‘Superbad with superpowers’
If Peter idolises Tony Stark, not everyone is as star. The villain of the piece is Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a blue-collar contractor who is employed to clean up the debris after the Avengers’ of the city of demolition of the conflict, only to have the job snatched from under the nose by a company co-owned by Stark himself. Understandably, the aggrieved, Toomes builds a gigantic and remarkably sinister set of robotic wings, and enters the business as the Vulture. Fortunately, he does not want to destroy the earth or rule the galaxy. He only wants to feed his family for the rescue of the pieces of foreign technology and the Iron Man armor, and then upcycling in ray guns that can be sold to criminal gangs. Its combination of tooth bearing of wildness and humble, everyman gruffness makes him one of the most memorable baddies in the Marvel rogues’ gallery – and that’s even before you remember that Keaton starred in both Batman and Birdman. It is to the film’s credit, also, they do not refer to the previous functions. Spider-Man: the Return home is not interested in the manufacture of arc of postmodern fun for the adults. You are interested in making really funny jokes for all.
Adrian Toomes’ combination of tooth bearing of wildness and humble, everyman gruffness makes him one of the most memorable baddies in the Marvel rogues’ gallery
Of course, the plot leads to a climax fight between Spider-Man and the Vulture, but in the meantime, our hero has a lot of other, smaller battles to keep you busy. He struggles to control their own superpowers, as well as the gizmo-filled uniform that Stark had designed for him, so there is a lot of joyful sequences in which he bumbles around the streets of New York city and in the suburbs, knocking down the houses in the trees and crashing through the fences of the garden. He is without a doubt the most human of Marvel’s superhumans.
And then there is the high school to think about. When Peter is not in the fight against crime, he has to deal with the other students in his team, Academic Decathlon, that is to say, the divine Liz (Laura Harrier), the wry Michelle (Zendaya), and the resentful Flash (Tony Revolori, the bellboy from The Grand Budapest Hotel) – a non-white set that makes Spider-Man, the majority of the mestizos of all the movies of superheroes. Also in the team of friends of Peter nerd, Ned (Jacob Batalon), who quickly learns that his best friend gets up to every night, and whose banter with him gives the film the sweetness and humor of John Hughes-ish teen comedy: Superbad with superpowers.
It is a pity that Ned has no more to do, though Peter’s Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) is even more seriously is used: despite the subtitle, Spider-Man does not leave home very often. The problem is that Watts and his colleagues have crammed too much into its two-and-a-quarter hour movie. As fleet-footed as it is in comparison to most of the blockbusters of superheroes, it still has too many characters and too many action set pieces, none of which is as spectacular as the Sam Raimi equivalent. As their desire of a protagonist, then, Spider-Man: the Return home tries too hard and sometimes stumbles. But taking into account that it is the sixth Spider-Man film in 15 years, and which features the third actor in the main role, it is amazing that it is as distinctive and enjoyable as it is. You might even say that it is a wonder.