Spider-Man is back. Think you’ve heard this story before? Five times, in fact, plus that darned Broadway musical. Don’t want to hear it again? You do, trust me.I
In “Homecoming,” Spidey aka Peter Parker has been taken over by Marvel. He wants be an Avenger, and Tony Stark aka Robert Downey Jr. Is more than willing to help.
Luckily Tony has a willing player in Tom Holland, 21 year old Brit phenom who’s both fresh faced and chiseled. Holland unlike Andrew Garfield seems like he wants to be there. He matches Tobey Maguire’s joie de vivre and gusto. He’s very accessible and fun to watch. An excellent choice and one who will wear well for more installments.
The rest of the cast is outstanding, too. Michael Keaton plays the Vulture, and there’s a great plot twist– right out of “Crazy Stupid Love.” The funny inside wink is that Keaton is really playing a variation of “Birdman,” his alter ego from the movie of that name which almost won him an Oscar. It’s a neat joke. Marisa Tomei is Peter’s Aunt May, although now she’s called May, there’s no reference to Uncle Ben (who lost his life in the original Spider Man story). Tomei is a young Aunt May, but then again Peter is supposedly just 15 in this movie.
Peter’s pals are well cast, too, including the notable presence of Abraham Attah, now 17, who made his movie debut in “Beasts of No Nation” two years ago. Attah came here from Ghana, grew about a foot, and stayed in the US. I remember when we first met him at a “Beasts” screening he was in awe of New York and the US. His whole life has changed. He has a lovely serene presence on screen. I hope he has a wonderful career and life in the US.
We can’t leave out singer Zendaya, who plays “MJ” and is not yet Peter’s love match. That may develop in future chapters. Right now he’s hung up on Liz (very engaging Laura Harrier) and his antagonistic buddy is Flash (Tony Revolori). Jon Favreau returns as Happy Hogan from the “Iron Man” movies, as does Gwyneth Paltrow (just a cameo).
Jon Watts did a great job with “Homecoming,” so he’ll move up on the Marvel food chain. (He’s already working on the sequel.) Amy Pascal, who was ousted from Sony, gets the last laugh as she returns as producer with the studio’s first real hit in three years.
That’s it for right now. We now have a ton of positive reviews for “Homecoming,” releasing on July 7th. Meanwhile we have no reviews for “The House” opening tomorrow with Will Ferrell. Hmmmm…