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Af­ter fac­ing di­min­ish­ing re­turns with the Amaz­ing

Spi­der-Man films, Sony Pic­tures Stu­dio fi­nally col­lab­o­rated with Mar­vel Stu­dios to re­unite Spidey with Cap­tain Amer­ica, the Hulk, and all of his other bud­dies from Mar­vel’s comics. In this first solo film for the new Spi­der-Man (af­ter a brief ap­pear­ance in Cap­tain Amer­ica: Civil War, the char­ac­ter is a high-school stu­dent (played with ex­u­ber­ance by Tom Hol­land), hang­ing with his pals and wait­ing for the call to of­fi­cially join the Avengers. Mean­while, a lo­cal crook called the Vulture (a mag­nif­i­cent Michael Keaton) is scoop­ing up alien tech and sell­ing it on the black mar­ket, prompt­ing Spidey to in­ves­ti­gate. Mar­vel Stu­dios’ mar­quee draw, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), also el­bows his way in as a men­tor fig­ure. Mov­ing Spi­der-Man into the Mar­vel Stu­dios sta­ble should have pro­pelled the char­ac­ter to greater sto­ries, but the movie feels con­fined by this tran­si­tion: The Avengers tie-in bogs the movie down, and Spidey’s ad­ven­tures — once vis­ually thrilling as di­rected by the sin­gu­lar Sam Raimi — now look and feel like ev­ery other Mar­vel movie. A de­light­fully di­verse cast and a lively spirit help lift this new web-slinger’s in­au­gu­ral ad­ven­ture, but hope­fully the real goods are yet to come. Rated PG-13. 133 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Dream­Catcher. (Robert Ker)

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