Rated PG-13

133 Minutes

Released July 7

 

Most of us during our teen years feel invincible – on top of the world, certain that we can do anything / that we can come through with fanfare on every challenge with little effort – until we attempt it and fall flat on our faces! That’s not only embarrassing…also extremely frustrating and humiliating. However, this is how we learn. In Spiderman: Homecoming, this “Spiderman/ Peter Parker” played by Tom Holland, is no exception to the rule, even though he has super powers. He goes through the kaleidoscope of emotional feelings that we all feel, on his way to finding the maturity to handle his powers with grace, honor and magnanimity.

This movie is a slice of life picture of Peter Parker in high school. He is on the intellectual decathlon team. He is supposed to be practicing with the team, though quite often he seems to be suddenly and inexplicably called away to handle certain emergencies. There are a series of very funny high school scenes that ring true to the sense of discovery and sarcastic humor with which kids handle that day-to-day milieu. Peter is part of a group of super intelligent misfit nerds. The young actors who play the members of this group all have exceptional backgrounds. My favorite character is “Michelle,” played by Zendaya, who is ready at any second with a precisely pointed ironic comment for whatever plot thread is unfolding. Zendaya grew up participating in Shakespeare productions at the California Shakespeare Theatre, where her Mom was a House Manager. This young actress had a career as a teen fashion model, attended Oakland School of the Arts and performed as a dancer. Laura Harrier, who plays “Liz,” Peter’s unattainable crush, gained her acting experience as a teenage series regular on the soap opera One Life to Live as a teen.

Holland, as Spiderman, can do front, back and side flips – so it’s safe to say that he probably did much of his own movement and stunts in his Spiderman role. A choreographer noticed Holland’s exceptional dance talent when he was still a child. Soon he won the lead role in the stage production of Billy Elliott in London. As a teen he received stellar reviews for his acting performance in the movie The Impossible opposite Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. Marisa Tomei as Peter Parker’s “Aunt Mary” is perfect – smart, caring and just a bit quirky. Michael Keaton (ironically a former “Batman”) as the evil “Adrian Toomes”/ “Vulture” shows that there is a conscience lurking beneath his vengeance.

Director Jon Watts has kept the style simple in his Spiderman: Homecoming. It is less an edge-of-your-seat adventure than it is a coming of age story that highlights the power of knowledge and science. The music score composed by the talented Michael Giacchino is superb. Fans of the Marvel franchise will be happy to see a continuation of the Captain America: Civil War story line. Spiderman: Homecoming has a little something for everyone in the comic book fan universe. Stay for the end credits – there are some fun surprises.

 

Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which is the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica. kboole@gmail.com. For previously published reviews see https://kwboole.wordpress.com

 

 

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