There is soooo much I loved about this film. Wait. Let’s backtrack. I need to tell you I am a bit of a geek. Well a geek in disguise these days – you would never outwardly know by how I look or my job. But this film allowed my inner geek to shine. I should tell you I know all the words, not just one verse to the 70’s cartoon tune of Spiderman. There I said it. Now you know.
Now if you are still reading this you must be interested in what I have to say about this film. It had me on board for several reasons. It features Tony Stark Aka Iron Man played by Robert Downey Jr and I do love a bit of Avengers and it is known I have a soft spot for Robert Downey Jr too (Gosh what if he reads this review? Oh well I’m in the UK what are my chances of meeting him anyway?!). The opening credits played an updated version of that 70’s tune and I found myself singing the words (this is how to play spot the geek in the cinema!). And its genuinely funny and full of action. What more can you ask from Marvel?
The story is of Peter Parker (who we all know is Spiderman), but he is still a kid in school. He is not taking photos for newspapers to our knowledge in this film. In fact, there is no suggestion of any interest in photography so that might not even feature in future storylines. The film opens to some guys doing a clean-up of some old salvage equipment, some of it is alien in origin. Adrian Toomes has overstretched himself to get a crew together for the job when Anne Marie Hoag, played by Tyne Daly (Yes that one from Cagney & Lacey!), and her team of Damage Control come and take over. Toomes loses the contract and the money he was expecting but secretly keeps some of the equipment he has and uses it to make weapons to sell on the black market. Toomes is played by Michael Keaton (yes, fellow Geeks this really is Batman as a baddie!) and you can feel for him in his situation. He later makes a speech about how those in their rich tower blocks don’t understand what its really like for the real workers on the ground trying to scratch out a living. It feels very current and resonates in our austerity lives here in the UK. Eight years down the line, Toomes has developed The Vulture outfit to help him to steal from the Damage Control teams to keep the lucrative business he has created afloat.
Meanwhile Peter, is drafted into the Avengers by Stark but then left to go back to school. Of course, after that excitement it is all a teenage boy can think about. Peter starts to look out for crimes he can prevent or stop, and one night after some robbers steal an ATM he realises the weapons are advanced and yet when he tries to let Tony Stark know via Happy they don’t listen. He returns home to find Ned his best mate in his bedroom. As Peter is still dressed as Spiderman there is no need to deny it but Ned is rather excited about this and can’t stop asking him questions.
The girl he likes is called Liz and Peter knows her from the Decathlon team who are going to Washington DC for the national tournament. Peter is on the team so travels with them but really only because he thinks he has found the bad guys hideout. When he finds out that the piece of alien-ware Ned is looking after can become a bomb, he tries to warn Ned but Ned and the rest of the team have gone up the Washington Monument where the alien-ware explodes and they are all stranded in a lift. Who can help? Our friendly neighbourhood Spiderman!
I don’t want to give too much of the story away but this is a feast of a film. Tom Holland plays Spiderman and is perfect as the geeky kid who is smart, skilled but still can’t work out how to get a girl to like him. His best friend is Ned, played by Jacob Batalon who later is known as ‘the guy in the chair’ cause every film has a guy in a chair telling you where you should go. It has really lovely moments such as the expected upside-down kiss (will they? - won’t they?) and I just love Jon Favreau as Happy (I loved that irony. Iron-ey get it?!!).
This film has a real story. Not just a love story or a story about growing up but a story with bad guys and twists and turns. It is full of action and you are never left looking at your watch wondering how much film is left. With an excellent story, script and fantastic credible cast; this is everything a Spiderman movie should be. The real test is would you go and see it again? For me the answer is a resounding yes! Well done Marvel. This is one to be proud of. And yes, your friendly neighbourhood Spiderman will return!
PS. Its Marvel. I don’t need to tell you fellow geeks to stay right to the end of the movie – do I?