SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. (M, 133 MINS) DIRECTED BY JON WATTS
Were you surprised to hear that Marvel had tapped Taika Waititi on the shoulder to take the reins of the latest Thor instalment? Yeah, me too. But after a bit of thought and a typical reviewer’s case of 20/20 hindsight it seemed sensible with a whiff of inevitability about it.
Marvel have a brief but proud and wildly successful tradition now of picking directors based on their ability to establish a credible character out of incredible circumstances, and – maybe even more importantly – to tell a goddamn joke.
And by that criteria, Taika, with Eagle vs Shark, Boy and
Hunt For The Wilderpeople on his showreel, was a prime candidate for Marvel ascension. Forget about the fact that he’s never made a film not set in New Zealand before, let alone Asgard. By Marvel’s algorithms, Taika is going to do just fine.
And compared to Spider-man: Homecoming helmer Jon Watts, Taika is wildly over-qualified.
Watts has exactly two other feature films on his brief CV. One is called Cop Car, and the other is called Clown.
I can’t say I saw anything in Cop Car that made me immediately think Watts would be anywhere within shouting distance of the shortlist of directors to be handed the keys of the latest instalment of one of the world’s most money-printing-est extant franchises. Which is what the Marvel slate currently is. Naturally, I was wrong.
Watts and Marvel co-head honcho and creative overlord Kevin Feige have crafted a Spiderman reboot for the ages. And they’ve done it by taking the film back to its comic book origins.
It’s set in the present day – and also in Marvel’s present, post
Civil War and years after The Avengers and The Battle of New York – but this Spidey is gratifyingly true to the kid-centric
British actor Tom Holland is a convincingly adolescent Peter Parker in Spiderman: Homecoming.