Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming is the Spider-Man film fans have been waiting for

The biggest cheer in Captain America: Civil War was for Spider-Man.

I remember looking around the cinema and seeing total, utter joy on people's faces, driving home to me the huge love fans have for this enduring Marvel super-hero. And with Spider-Man: Homecoming, its spirit, tone, delivery and heart, I realise this is the Spider-Man that fans have been waiting for.

British actor Tom Holland fits the bill nicely as our webbed crusader. He may be 21, but he's an incredibly authentic boyish teenager maintaining that perilous balance of cutesy and clever just fine.

After his awesome opening foray with the Avengers, Peter Parker's pretty sure he's got what it takes to go full-time. Iron Man feels differently.

The fact Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) installed a 'Training Wheels Protocol' in the new Spidey suit is a strong indication that the kid stays in the picture but that he's not quite ready for full Avenger status.

Peter is clearly far from stoked about that, launching an oftentimes messy mission to prove his mettle to Iron Man.

So, back to High School he goes, trying (and mostly failing) to concentrate on his classes and his friends while spending every other spare moment in the suit trying to find some crime to fight. He has googly eyes for a Senior, Liz, with best mate Ned doing his best to fuel the budding romance in-between bouts of trying to build a Lego Death Star.

All the main Spider-Man boxes are ticked. We have a little teen romance, we have a loyal funny side-kick, we have some suited-up swinging through the high-rises (not nearly enough in my view) and we have a bit of taking it to the bad guys (again, not nearly enough) and all to a rather relentless running commentary from Spider-Man.

The filmmakers resolve the constant one-way chatter with himself by upgrading the suit to give him his own Jarvis, not only giving Spider-Man someone to sound off with, but mining the master/apprentice relationship for maximum humour.

Michael Keaton wings it as the main bad guy - Vulture, assured in the role but oddly not as menacing as I'd have liked, perhaps due to the more-kid-friendly aspect of this kicking in again. Keep an eye out for Donald Glover too, who adds his laconic comedic presence in an almost-cameo, and gird your loins for what could be the funniest final lines of a superhero film ever (stay to the very end of the final credits for another cracker LOL).

TV3 Kate Rodger reviews Spider-Man: Homecoming

This Spider-Man is pleasingly diverse and inclusive, delivers a few memorable twists and more than a few big laughs.

Where the film didn't stack up against its predecessors was with the bigger action scenes. Dark, fast, blurred and hard to follow, they lacked the wow factor we've come to expect with Marvel.

Mixed reviews and box office for the two Amazing Spider-Man movies with Andrew Garfield meant Sony axed the planned trilogy and quietly shelved Spider-Man for a few years. I suspect I am a lone voice in the superhero wilderness when I confess I was disappointed by that.

I actually liked the Amazing Spider-Man movies, the first one in particular. I guess I just prefer the darker messed up kind of super-hero (so yeah, Nolan's Dark Knight is my bag).

I totally get why Sony and Marvel teamed up to bring Spider-Man into the lucrative MCU, a clever move for all parties. Marvel mainlines a younger truer audience for Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter-ego.

With no grim backstory of parental tragedy or spider-bites, this Spider-Man is all smart quips, puppy-dog cheerful enthusiasm and teenage bewilderment, full of promise for what's to come. And even I get that this is far more fun for the younger audiences.

Three-and-a-half stars.

* Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in cinemas tomorrow.

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