Spider Man is a blast of colorful and fast talking fun
I won’t lie, my mileage with these MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) films has been dragging and as a pretty adamant defender of the Tobey Maguire trilogy, I was setting the bar for yet another reboot of the Spider Man property pretty high.
The team of 6 (yes, it seriously took that many to write this) screenwriters wisely subvert the typical origin story and invest most of the considerable running time focusing on what makes this version of the web slinger so easy to watch. And it really is pretty entertaining with the immensely charming Tom Holland wise cracking through Queens, saving people’s bikes from being stolen and giving old ladies directions. Spider Man is a blast of colorful and fast talking fun, told on a smaller scale than an Avengers movie but with larger implications than your average origin story.
A common thread in all these marvel movies has been the poorly written and ill-conceived antagonists, but I can report that the super thief Adrian Toomes is not only well written and acted, but also a perfect foil for the young hero. Played sensitively by Michael Keaton, Toomes is allowed to be much more sympathetic and surprisingly funny as a blue collar worker turned criminal. Most surprisingly, though, is Robert Downey Jr, dialing back Iron Man’s humor and instead serving as Spider Man’s father figure in a performance that contributes heavily to the emotionality of the film. Now, the story resolves a little too predictably for me, with a neat and tidy ending, making way for the inevitable sequel, but this is a Marvel film after all.
But most of the people are in the theater because they love this character. They’re here for Holland, and any lingering doubts from his appearance in civil war will all soon be put to rest. After meeting the new Spidey I’m excited to see where the filmmakers take him next, and with the rave reviews and solid audience reception I hope the filmmakers will be emboldened to take this character in a new direction for future installments.