Walking into a movie you always wonder as to whether or not what you are about to see is good or bad. I remember my sense that All The Kings Men (2006) was going to be a bust, you could read on the faces of the actors as they came onstage before the film, something was amiss. Their absence in the cinema when the lights came up spoke volumes.
I have been very open with my feelings about all of these comic book adaptations (why is no one adapting Classics Illustrated?) and that opinion has not changed. However when a good one comes out I will celebrate with the others.
Ok, I admit it, and I loathe being wrong, but the new Spider Man movie rocks!
It is everything fans of the web slinging super hero hoped it would be, and superior to all the previous Spider-Man films, with the exception of Spider-Man 2 (2004) long considered one of the elite super hero films. Alfred Molina was an incredible Doc Ock, and the films effects were downright epic, winning an Oscar. Tobey Maguire was an exceptional Peter Parker and Spider Man.
A fan of the first three Tobey Maguire films, I disliked Andrew Garfield as Spider Man, and resented the fact they again went back to the beginning to tell the story. There is a bit of that here, not enough to be annoying, but enough to be let known they are again kick starting the franchise, for the second time in fifteen years.
Peter Parker is a teenager in the film, having already been bitten by the spider that transfer powers to him. His suit is designed by Tony Stark/ Ironman (Robert Downey Jr.) and the young lad is still trying to figure the suit out, as well as his powers, but he has figured out how to swing between buildings, soar to the tops of them and send out gooey spider web stuff so suffice to say he is learning. Fresh back from his adventure with The Avengers he hungers for more and being young seeks it out where he should not.
Marisa Tomei, as Aunt May, completely rocks the part of a librarian. She may be too hot for the part, actually! On a serious note, she is exceptional. When is she not?
So Peter (Tom Holland) is an Avenger apprentice according to Stark, though we did see him in action in Captain America – Civil War (2016). Holland brings a bouncy sarcasm to the role, a smart ass suddenly blessed with great powers, more like Downey then the two men who went before him, but he is fun, interesting and obviously having a blast. It works. It all works. Like a kid in a candy store he cannot quite believe his good luck, his powers, and the suit…he wants more and who can blame him?
Vulture (Michael Keaton) is the villain of the piece, and credit Keaton with giving us a scary bad guy who is a real threat to the city. Keaton, with his eyes lit up in a great role is terrific, a genuine bad guy who means it when he threatens to come after Spider Man’s family. When his eyes narrow and he utters a threat, he is deadly serious, make no mistake, and Keaton brings such intensity to the part, enough to be frightening.
Downey Jr. has always been marvellous as Tony Stark, the smug, arrogant billionaire who is also Iron Man, and here he is no different than before, a mentor of Peter. He must see in the kid what we do, a mini me of Stark really, bursting to get out.
The picture has some have to be seen to be believed action sequences that like Spider-Man 2 (2004) are truly epic, and of course is action driven. But the actors excel in their roles giving the film a beating heart and a soul. Holland might be the best Peter Parker yet, the best Spider Man yet, not sure about that, I just know he was great, fun to watch and entirely believable. Keaton continues his career renaissance with yet another great performance that is a wonderful display of economic acting. This guy knows how dangerous he is, and anyone he speaks with sees it in his eyes, so a threat from him is indeed something to take very seriously.
It all works, much to my surprise.