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Columnists Teri Bayus

New Spider-Man A Homecoming of Age Film

Spider Man is finally the Big Screen superhero I hoped he always would be: that is a coming of age story wrapped with an origin story.
This latest incarnation under the Avengers umbrella is “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and I do believe this is the most perfect of all the Web Crawler’s movies. The creators treated the superhero as he should be treated — an awkward teen trying desperately to fit in, while understanding his superpowers and trying to help. This movie was very much a PG version and I love that about it.
It is not violent for the sake of violence or trying to turn a dirty laugh. To ensure a coming of age feel, the cast had to watch a John Hughs movie marathon to prepare for the tone of the movie, and it served them well. It was the prefect teen movie.
Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man was perfection. The script did well to not make fun of his naivety, but explore the funny side of being a 15-year-old boy with super powers.
The bad guy was justifiably bad without being ridiculous and the twist at the end was a nice surprise. Cameo appearances by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Happy (Avengers director, Jon Favreau) made it tie in nicely with the Avengers franchise without having to borrow from them.
Spider-Man stood alone and I finally found myself rooting for him. In early inaugurations the webbed guy just seemed like a crybaby. For the fans, this is the first time that a Spider-Man film will include another superhero character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and her closing line was the best in a long time.
The Plot: After the events in “Captain America: Civil War,” we see that Peter Parker (Holland) is trying to balance his high school life and trying out the Spider-Man suit that was made by Tony Stark (Ironman’s secret identity) to fight crime in his neighborhood.
Despite being powerful and quick, Parker is cocky and urging to become an avenger, despite the protests of his superior Happy Hogan to stay grounded. Parker does his best to keep his regular life on check, especially under the eyes of his Aunt May and Ned, the one friend who knows his identity, (played perfectly by Jacob Batalon).
While Parker is stopping an ATM robbery, he notices that the crooks are using high tech weapons and manage to get away. When he encounters them again and tries to intervene, Spider-Man’s naiveté gets him hurt and has to be rescued by Ironman.
Parker traces the weapons back to a salvager/engineer, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) who has used a combination of alien and Stark technology to build himself a set of mechanical wings to become, The Vulture.
Spider-Man is trying to impress Stark, while he attempts to stop the bad guys and keep up his high school image.
Holland is hands down the best Peter Parker we’ve ever had. He manages to balance the nerdy awkwardness of Tobey Maguire’s version, with the witty, charismatic turn of Andrew Garfield, giving us the best of both worlds.
He manages to be extremely likable even at his most whiny and hormonal, which is absolutely a hard task to fulfill. He also manages to inject some real emotion behind it all as well.
Him being crushed under the weight of concrete hits hard because he appears like a kid scared and alone, finally realizing how out of depth he really is. Spider-Man having to run across a field because there’s no buildings to swing from was a stroke of genius in the comedic department, and although Ned suffers from a lack of character development, he serves as a great source of comic relief throughout.
The humor of Homecoming was also a big yes. Marvel has definitely doubled down on the more colorful and light-hearted side of superheroes, and Spider-Man: Homecoming continues that trend naturally and effortlessly. It’s a funny movie from one-liners to visual cues, to small references. And yet none of it feels shoehorned in an Avengers Universe.
If you are not into superhero movies, but love coming of age films, please enjoy Spider-Man: Homecoming with the whole family. I loved every frame of this film.

 

<em>Teri Bayus can be reached at: livewell@teribayus.com or follow her writing and ramblings at: www.teribayus.com. Bayus also hosts Taste Buds, a moving picture rendition of her reviews shown on Charter Cable channels 10 and 2.</em>

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