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Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man: Homecoming ticketstubHey look, another Spider-man movie! Hey look, a Spider-man movie that isn't an origin story!!! Now there's something to be excited about. What makes this version of Spider-man different, (besides the lack of an overt origin story) is that he actually appears to be a kid in high school, and in fact, a fair bit of the movie takes place in high school. I'm not a real stickler for the importance of movies adhering to their source material, but the character and setting do feel more honest when portrayed as a teenager doing teenager things. In this case, Peter Parker's real drive isn't to save the world, it's be accepted by the Avengers, and by Tony Stark in particular. He wants them to take him seriously, he wants them to not treat him like the kid he clearly still is. In the process of trying to prove himself, he stumbles across a gang of arms dealers selling weapons made from alien scrap. Peter's struggle is between being the normal "good" teen trying to get through high school and hopefully attract the attention of the girl he's crushing on, and, as they say, using his powers for good. He wants to help and protect people, and he doesn't like being kept on the sidelines where he feels wasted and useless.

Yes, okay, but is this a good Spider-man movie? I would give an emphatic yes on that. In fact, I think it may be the best Spider-man movie yet. It is a little slow, and it's not huge and stakes don't feel near apocalyptic, but I kind of like that. We tight focus on Peter and his beginnings as the Spider-man. He still seems kind of clumsy and he is clearly still trying to figure out the ins-and-outs of being a superhero. There's some comedy and maybe a tiny dash of campy-ness, but mostly it feels sincere. It also makes numerous connections to the Avengers, so it has a bunch of comfy touch points along the way. This is an easy recommend for me.

4/5