This movie re-boots the Spider-Man films with panache, thanks to a dynamic new star in Tom Holland, a great, funny script and the sprinkling of some favourite actors throughout. (Some minor spoilers follow).
Although the movie does skip the traditional Spider-Man origin story, thank goodness, it does give us a hilarious, rapid fire review of how Spider-Man got introduced back into the Marvel movie universe with his appearance last summer in Captain American: Civil War. Peter Parker, who in the comics promoted his own exploits by being a photojournalist assigned to cover Spider-Man, would instead, naturally in 2017, have his own YouTube channel.
The subtitle and the age of the character (15, a high school sophomore) show us that Marvel plans to keep this movie series firmly planted in high school, and I for one, can’t wait. All four of the major teen characters that Peter interacts with in high school are people of colour, including his nerd friend Ned played by the excellent Jacob Batalon, both love interests, and bully Flash Thompson, here played by Tony Revolori, who I am always delighted to see in movies since his breakout as the lobby boy in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Michael Keaton is quite good as a salvage contractor with a grudge who becomes the villainous Vulture. Speaking of villains, if you are a fan of Michael Mando (from Orphan Black and Better Call Saul) and, like me, could hardly believe that they cast him just to pitch him over the side of the Staten Island ferry before he even got a line of dialogue, don’t worry. He shows up in the first of two post-credit scenes to set up his presumed role as the villain in the inevitable sequel.