Well, this one ticked all the boxes and then some. This is the best one from the Marvel Studios so far. It isn’t so much a question of what they did right: more like how did they manage to get everything so right. The script was tight, light and laden with with comedy, awkwardness and surprisingly sad moments which captured perfectly the best and worst parts about growing up. And that’s what this movie was about: growing up, standing tall and taking responsibility for your own screw-ups.
I’m glad they didn’t rehash the old ‘radioactive spider bite’ story; there really is no need. If you know Spider-Man then you know the origin; if you don’t then go with it; it doesn’t matter all that much here.
For me, Holland is the best Spider-Man so far. He brought the right kind of wide-eyed ‘wahooo!’ to the whole story, and was actually convincing as a fifteen-year-old kid (Maguire was okay, Garfield just about pulled it off, but Holland is in a league of his own), still growing into his own skin and now having to deal with super powers on top of everything else.
Also worth a mention is Jacob Batalon as Peter Parker’s (you know that’s Spider-Man’s real name, right?) best friend, Ned. Quite a comedy partnership they have there, and of course there’s Robert Downey Jr. reprising his role as mult-billionaire philanthropic asshole, Tony Stark. And this is his best appearance in the role so far; not bad going given that he was only in it for about twenty minutes, give or take.
Michael Keaton? Best super-villain of the bunch. Surprisingly human with a streak of cruel desperation. One of those criminal masterminds you can really get behind.
I could go on and tell you that the special effects were stunning, the fight sequences were edge-of-your-seat stuff and the direction was superb. This film was much more than the sum of its part. It was for young children, fully grown adults and everything in between.
And somehow., they managed to hit every diversity target along the way. Those familiar with Spider-Man from the comic books may be a little surprised (perhaps dismayed) at some of the changes, but I think a fresh take is good, otherwise, what’s the point? If you’re going to make it exactly like the comic then I might as well save a tenner and just buy the comic.
I’m struggling to find something about it I didn’t like…
Nope, I got nothin’. Ten out of ten!