As Peter Parker (Tom Holland) tries to juggle high school with serving as Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey, Jr.) apprentice, a new villain (Michael Keaton) emerges who’s taken advantage of alien technology. Another indie filmmaker gets a chance to shine in the Marvel factory. Jon Watts brings a humorous, light touch and a bit of cheeky teenage rebellion to this 3D adventure that thankfully avoids the oft-told origin story of Spider-Man. Instead, focus lies on his high school problems (including a girl he’s fallen for) and showdowns with Vulture, just your average salvage worker turned supervillain. Holland and Keaton are terrific and even the final battle doesn’t feel as formulaic as in many other Marvel flicks.
2017-U.S. 133 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal. Directed by Jon Watts. Screenplay: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daily, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers. Music: Michael Giacchino. Cast: Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Michael Keaton (Adrian Toomes/Vulture), Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Marisa Tomei… Zendaya, Tyne Daly, Gwyneth Paltrow. Voice of Jennifer Connelly. Cameos: Chris Evans, Stan Lee.
Last word: “The very first thing I made was a look book of what I wanted the world to look like, and what the kids should look like and the high school should look like. I lived in New York for thirteen years, and it should look like a school in New York, it shouldn’t look like a school in the Midwest in the ’50s. So I pulled a bunch of pictures of kids and documentary photos of kids in schools, and that was part of my pitch, and everyone was really into that and followed through with the casting, which is so, so cool, I love the kids.” (Watts, Slash Film)