Spider-Man: Homecoming (Jon Watts, 2017)

What's it about? Remember when Spidey turned up briefly in the last Avengers film? Well, this more or less picks up his story in the third (THIRD!) reboot of the Spiderman series in less than 15 years.

Is it any good? A cheerful and fun film with a nice turn from Tom Holland in the lead role as the awkward student struggling with both school problems and his superhero ambitions. In the early stages, this sets itself up well as a friendly neighbourhood high-school flick - there's a few references to John Hughes films and director Watts has cited downbeat coming-of-age dramas such as The 400 Blows and River's Edge as personal inspirations. Not that this is ever as good as any of those films, but at least it's trying hard to use its power responsibly and it aims itself well at a teenage audience. However, a fundamental problem is that its DNA is inextricably spliced with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so it gradually takes on the characteristics of the other films in the franchise and not all in a good way. It's overlong with at least one set-piece too many, increasingly CGI-reliant, and predictably climaxes with two apparently indestructible foes smacking each other about. What a pity it didn't focus more on the motivations of blue-collar villain The Vulture (the excellent Michael Keaton) which could have expanded on the interesting theme of collateral damage caused by super-hero antics. But to raise such criticisms is to struggle weakly against the vast, inescapable, money-generating MCU web, which isn't broke, so requires no fixing as far as its creators are concerned.

Anything else I should know? Naturally, other Marvel characters make appearances here, notably Iron Man and Captain America, and there's the usual list of Marvel in-jokes to look out for. Sadly though, the famous theme music was rather underused, although they did use the version from the old TV series over the opening credits. But here's Michael Buble bashing out a rather stonking version of the song. Feel free to sing along.

What does the Fonz think? A diverting spin-out.

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