Spiderman: Homecoming, rated PG-13

Starring Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey, Jr.

Austin Family Critical Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Austin Family Family-Friendly Rating: 4 of 5 stars

The latest movie in the Marvel Comic Universe, Spiderman: Homecoming is like most of the other superhero installments from Marvel: well made, full of charismatic movie stars and completely similar to everything that’s come before it. Granted, it’s a little strange to see a third Spiderman within 15 years, with Sam Raimi’s Spiderman (2002) dominating the summer box office before the MCU was fully realized.

If I seem a little hesitant on embracing Spiderman: Homecoming, it might be because the definitive Spiderman movie already exists – Raimi’s Spiderman 2 (2004), which, until Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008), was arguably the best superhero movie of its time. Similarly to The Dark Knight, however (which also provided us with the definitive Batman), the only reason to provide us with new Spiderman and Batman movies is, quite simply, more money. At least the Guardians of the Galaxy are new on the scene.

There is one major reason to see Spiderman: Homecoming, though, and that’s Michael Keaton. The Oscar-nominated actor has a lot of fun as Vulture, the film’s villain, and there’s a certain glee to be found seeing him back in a superhero movie.

Tom Holland, who was excellent in this year’s The Lost City of Z, is a very good Spiderman – he’s younger than any incarnation we’ve seen before, so we’re truly seeing Peter Parker in his teenage years. Robert Downey Jr. is along for the ride as Tony Stark/Iron Man, always a welcome presence (although I long for the day when Downey Jr. is back doing great work in non-superhero fare).

Overall, the film is considerably better than 2012’s The Amazing Spiderman (starring the excellent Andrew Garfield, who shouldn’t shoulder the blame), but there are simply too many other interesting movies out there – even of the superhero variety (Wonder Woman, for one). So, while there’s nothing inherently “wrong” with Spiderman: Homecoming, at many of the same cinemas you can see movies like Dunkirk, War for the Planet of the Apes, The Beguiled, The Big Sick and Baby Driver.

Spiderman: Homecoming is rated PG-13, and it should be suitable for anyone over nine years old.

Jack Kyser is a graduate of Austin High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

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