Marvellous Homecoming

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 08 Jul 2017 10:44:57

Spider-Man: Homecoming

By Farina Salim Quraishi

Four reboots, 10 movies and 12 appearances..., yet the web of fascination spun by this friendly neighbourhood superhero remains as strong and catchy as ever, never mind the fact that majority of these outings were simply milking the hit idea. Skeptics were quick to write off the new reboot, Spider-Man: Homecoming as soon as Tom Holland was chosen to be the new Spidey, which was hardly surprising as the last Spider-Man movie, starring Andrew Garfield, came in less than three years ago. But against all notions and presumptions, the latest installment of Spider-Man delivers on all counts and how! Brimming over with freshness and earnestness, peppered ever-so-lightly with the endearing chutzpa of Iron Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a complete joyride from start to finish.

Starting off after the mayhem of the first Avengers film, Spider-Man: Homecoming is set in New York city, which is busy cleaning up the mess left in the wake of Chitauri attack. Salvage company contractor, Adrian Toomes is still working hard to get things in order, when he is told to take off by the Department of Damage Control, led by Tony Stark. Enraged over his livelihood being snatched away, Toomes doesn’t turn in the scavenged Chitauri technology and instead develops dangerous arms with it to further his sinister agenda.

Around the same time in Queens, 15-year-old Peter Parker is still basking in the after-glow of knocking out the shield from Captain America’s hand and punching out a few demi-gods in the superheros’ battle in Berlin (Captain America: Civil War). Itching for more superhero action, Spider-Man is harassing the life out of Avengers attaché Happy Hogan, but to little effect. Navigating real-life challenges of school, exams, love-life and livelihood, to clock around his disastrous Spidey spells, Peter Parker has trouble adjusting to normal life. The sage advice by Tony Stark to become a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, rather than trying to match his might with Avengers, is something that leaves Peter Parker on the crossroads of life.

Considering the fact that Spider-Man’s multi-generational fan base knows the story of the web-slinger all too well, writer-director John Watt does away with the familiar details and wastes little time in getting down to business. And business here has little to do with saving the world, and more to do with trials and tribulations of a gifted geeky teen.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is much about the heart and head of Spidey as much it is about spinning and swinging, and after so many insipid attempts, the franchise finally has a solid story to raise a multi-film structure. Sans emotional baggage, the movie is refreshingly all about anxieties and uncertainties of being a teen superhero, well aware of that fact that ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. It’s humour is in the right place too, making one smile - ruefully at times - as the loveable antics of Spider-Man remain heart-warming throughout (starting with a superhero film made by the hyperventilating Spiderman himself!). Also, breaking away from the tradition of big-ticket Hollywood actioners, the stunts in Spider-man are downplayed, more entertaining and seldom overwhelming!

The soon-to-be franchise rides brilliantly on the shoulders of young wonder Tom Holland, who manages to steal the thunder from the high and mighty Tony Stark himself! The 21-year-old Tom Holland is perfectly cast as the new-age Spidey, who goes from being a nerdy and clumsy boy to a hero of substance. Holland has an infectious charm, as was obvious in his scene-stealing appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and the young star takes his act to the next level with this film. Acing the toughest of scenes effortlessly, Holland is in superb form -be it in the flashes of stubbornness, bouts of rebellion or even battling truck-loads of self-doubt. And when his bright eyes well up with huge unshed tears, you just want to reach out and hug it alright!

The brilliant voice-over by Tiger Shroff in the Hindi version is absolutely spot-on. A marked change from his usual nasal tone, the Baaghi star gets Spider-Man’s mannerisms verbally right.  Iron Man, with his brief appearances, brings the house down - if the shrill catcalls and enthusiastic applause are any indication!! Playing the reluctant surrogate dad to Peter Parker with ‘Tony Starkish’ swagger, Robert Downey Jr lights up the screen with his presence.

Michael Keaton -with his icy stare and smirk - is chilling as Adrian Toomes aka Vulture. Playing a villain, with shades of grey, Keaton is a mean formidable addition to the Marvel World. The movie also stands tall on the superior supporting characters, be it of Aunt May, Happy Hogan, loyal friend Ned, love-interest Liz or even enigmatic nerd Michelle Jones, all actors shine in their small roles. Moreover, this superhero movie has done away with the ‘Oh, so white’ trend and racial diversity stands out brilliantly, this without the ethnic actors coming across as caricatures.

With enough spirit and soul to make us root and hoot for him, here’s the favourite neighbourhood web-slinger we have been all waiting for. And after enjoying every minute of the amazing 2h:13m movie, one can’t help but say, Welcome Home Spider-Man!

The Hitavada Rating: O O O

(PS: Don’t be in a haste to leave the theatre once the lights turn on, least you miss two fantastic post-credits scenes, which sure will leave you longing for more!)

OOOOO   Excellent OOOO Very Good OOO Good              OO Average   O Poor