Spider-Man: Homecoming

There’s little point in me adding to the cacophany of noise surrounding super-hero films, but, briefly, I’ve been at a point for about four or five years now where I’m going to see them out of habit, knowing what I’ll get and leaving resonably happy for the most part (it helps, of course, if the film doesn’t suck hard on the withered, hairless, gnarled scrotum of Gollum). It’s a bit like returning to the same tried-and-tested sandwich place for lunch: you know there’s probably better out there, but it’s comfortable, and nearby, and it’ll do, and occasionally it can be pretty damn good, anyway. Spider-Man: Homecoming, which features Tom Holland as the latest incarnation of Peter Parker/Spidey, successfully brings its protagonist back into the high school milieu (given his age, Andrew Garfield pottering about by the lockers was ridiculous) and cements the character’s place within the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. You get the usual three big set-pieces (the best of which takes place in and around the Washington monument) and the ever-watchable Michael Keaton plays villain Vulture, though his descent from ordinary, upstanding citizen to threatening, murderous gang leader doesn’t quite ring true. Holland is fresh and bright and Robert Downey, Jr.’s supporting turn as Tony Stark/Iron Man still just about cuts it, though I’m beginning to tire of the smug shtick. I guess Spider-Man is feeling a little well-worn, too: this is the seventh film to feature the character in 15 years, and I guess it’s some achievement that watching it is a fun, light experience that doesn’t leave you pining for Sam Raimi. (***)