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Macclesfield Express - - MACCLESFIELD PEOPLE -

JAMES Burgess is a 27-year-old per­for­mance, drama and theatre grad­u­ate. The for­mer Fallibroome High School pupil has at­tended the BAFTA Film Awards in London ev­ery year since 2009, meet­ing stars in­clud­ing Dame He­len Mir­ren, Chris­tian Bale, Joseph Gor­don-Le­vitt and Emma Thomp­son.

James lives on St Ives Close in Mac­cles­field. You can visit his web­site at jab­film­re­views.blogspot. com. Spi­der-Man Home­com­ing, 12A, 133 mins. Marvel Stu­dios. Star­ring: Tom Hol­land, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr, Marisa Tomei, Donald Glover, Lo­gan Mar­shall-Green, John Favreau, Chris Evans, Tony Revolli and Gwyneth Pal­trow. Rat­ing: THE sixth movie, third re­boot in 15 years and third cast­ing change af­ter in­ten­tion­ally meek Tobey Maguire with Sam Raimi (2000-2008) and the nervy, cap­ti­vat­ing An­drew Garfield (2010-2015) with the aptly named Marc Webb – (500) Days Of Sum­mer.

Garfield still re­mains my favourite ac­tor in the role, but cru­cially I think the orig­i­nal Raimi Tril­ogy (2002-2007) are far bet­ter films than any that have fol­lowed sub­se­quently.

This has very lit­tle to do with Maguire’s per­for­mance, iron­i­cally enough and has far more to do with his al­ways ex­cel­lent, con­flicted, soul­ful foil – James Franco as Harry Os­bourne, who worked with Raimi again, play­ing the tit­u­lar ma­gi­cian in 2013’s out­stand­ing re­vi­sion­ist ori­gin-re­boot Oz: The Great And Pow­er­ful. Not to men­tion a ma­ni­a­cal­ly­cack­ling Willem Dafoe as his fa­ther in that tril­ogy – the fan­tas­tic, glee­fully venge­ful fa­ther and ju­nior of Green Goblins!

Now, with Sony’s stu­dio-head Amy Pas­cal and pro­duc­ers Matt Tol­mach and Avi Arad to change up that iconic red and blue web­slinger who’s adorned many a bed­room wall, bill­board or bus the world over, it’s 21-year-old Tom Hol­land (19 when he was cast).

Hol­land is very strong in the role; per­for­ma­tively, emo­tion­ally and phys­i­cally, without ever feel­ing ner­vous or phased by be­ing the webbed fig­ure­head and not only play­ing the messy du­al­ity of Peter Parker/Spi­der­Man, but also join­ing as Marvel’s prop­erty for the first time, ow­ing to Dis­ney and Marvel not want­ing their most icon­o­clas­tic char­ac­ter to lose his spun strand of comic-book cre­den­tials.

As much as I love the uni­verse cross­over with the Avengers, post-credit Easter-egg cameos (Downey Jr. – tired, Pal­trow – un­der­used and Chris Evans – funny), Jon Watts’s film doesn’t re­tain the grandiose po­tency of Raimi’s tril­ogy, which the char­ac­ter had ten­fold when he was on his own.

Its ra­tio of grand-scale set pieces to zippy com­edy is frus­trat­ingly un­bal­anced. There’s too much high-school angst, not enough ori­gin de­vel­op­ment or chance for Hol­land to show nearly enough pathos.

Michael Keaton is ef­fort­lessly ter­rific as the vil­lain­ous Vul­ture, chan­nelling his in­ner Buf­falo Bill. My favourite scene has a huge, yet small-scale, do­mes­ti­cated twist with moody cin­e­matog­ra­phy and tense rev­e­la­tion dur­ing a de­cep­tively con­vivial ex­change at traf­fic-lights.

There’s a well-staged van heist, a high­light scaled up Wash­ing­ton mon­u­ment with Michael Gi­acchino’s trade­mark tin­kly, per­pet­ual score. Slight, but very en­ter­tain­ing.

Spi­der-Man: Home­com­ing

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