Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming - Movie Review (4/5 stars)

By: Hamza Shafique

Jon Watts’ Spider-Man Homecoming is a feel good high school drama infused with the usual Marvel cinematic universe energies. This movie is not the usual world ending, high on action, complicated super hero spectacular. Instead this movie deals with smaller teenage problems that may sound epic, when young. Spider-Man movies (especially the Toby Maguire ones) have always been small low key affairs focusing mainly on our super hero’s human side, his insecurities along with his struggle to maintain balance between his personal and super hero realities, in short focused on the famous dialogue of Uncle Ben, “with great power comes great responsibility”. So, when I heard Marvel Studios are going to take over Spider-Man and introduce him into Avenger’s Universe , my biggest worry was that Spider-Man will lose these human aspects from his storyline or if not completely lost, will focus less on them. But to my surprise screenplay kept those elements alive perfectly along with the Marvel Cinematic elements.

The screenplay team effort and Jon Watts’ direction, both are simply flawless and honestly as Spider-Man fan I couldn’t have asked for a better reboot. The narrative is simple and directed in such a manner that not even once you forget that our Spider-Man here is a 15-year-old high school kid, who has all the usual teenage issue and is also still recovering from his experience of Civil War/his epic moment where he stole Captain America’s Shield. Even with Spider-Man costume on, he behaves like a 15 year old and not like usual super hero which is very refreshing. Even the main antagonist “Vulture” appears as a human being and not some maniac on a world domination mission. Tony Stark role here is similar to the role of Dumbledore in Harry Potter, so he acts in the same wise, all powerful manner but with the usual quirkiness of Iron Man. In fact now as I think this whole film feels like more mature super hero version of Harry Porter. As I have mentioned earlier, Screen Play is the perfect blend of Avenger’s advanced universe and Spider-Man’s original teenage narrative and Jon Watts has done an amazing job as a director to transform it for the cinema screens. This movie is also very funny, packed with some really laugh out loud comic moments. I don’t want to say much as I really want you guys to fully enjoy the experience but one thing I will say is that, this film is not entirely as it may appear in the trailers, so expect a lot more comedy, drama, twists, high school moments and relatively less action.
Tom Holland is the star of the show. He stands tall in front of the Iron Man (which I am sure wasn’t an easy task) and has magnetic screen presence; his portrayal of Peter Parker is flawless and as an audience you connect with him at once. Michael Keaton as Vulture looks villainous enough to keep this whole experience believable. Robert Downy Jr. as usual and rest of the new cast members (including Peter Parker’s High school mates) are just right for the job they are hired for. Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds is annoying as he should be and I really enjoyed Zendaya as weird Michelle Jones.
Overall this movie is great and every element from the perspective of a high school comedy/drama with an added super hero element works perfectly. This Movie is so entertaining that even the after-credit scene is a delight and worth to wait for.
I really like how Marvel is recently exploring the dark dramatic pre-Wonder Woman DC style of film making where action is not the highlight of the project. Action is there, it is good but not as grand as we have seen from previous Marvel Studio Productions. So If you are expecting a giant ant man holding Iron Man in his hand or entire cities being lifted of the ground, you might be slightly disappointed. For me when the content of the movie is good then I am ok not having bright larger than life action sequences. This strategy worked well for Logan earlier this year and seems to be working fine for this one as well but still it’s a Spider-Man movie and even though I love the production already, but I would have enjoyed it even more if the last action sequence was done in the usual marvel manner, which means in slightly brighter surroundings, with crisp visuals and with choreography where audience can really register each and every stunt properly. Deducting 0.5 stars for that and going with Solid 4 stars.
I would like to thank Novo Cinemas for inviting me to UAE screening of Spider-Man Homecoming and making it possible for me to write review in advance for you all. I will recommend you to book for IMAX at Novo for this one to maximize the experience and do it fast as they told me that they are already fully booked 
Me being Spider Man at the UAE screening organized by Novo

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