“SPIDER-MAN, Spider-Man, Does whatever a spider can” — the opening lines of the iconic Spider-Man theme tune.
It is fun, but not entirely accurate.
Most of us see a spider and we run for a pint glass to cover it up, but when Spider-Man dons his suit we flock to cinemas nationwide.
Spider-Man first came to life as a comic book character in 1962 created by the master of Marvel, Stan Lee.
Over the years Spidey has appeared in cartoons, movies and TV shows but it was in 2002 when he joined the big league of cinematic heroes. Directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, they made a trilogy that fans loved.
In 2010, it was decided to reboot Spider-Man with the appropriately named Marc Webb at the helm. Andrew Garfield stepped into the suit, proving to be an able Peter Parker.
In an unusual move, a third reboot was announced. Why would they do such a thing, you ask? Legal issues and money were involved.
To make a long story short, Marvel and Sony have been battling over ownership of the character and Marvel were keen to include Spider-Man in their mammoth Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sony let Marvel play with Spider-Man in 2015 in Captain America: Civil War, introducing Tom Holland as the infamous spider hero. Now, two years later we get Spider-Man: Homecoming — a Sony-owned, Marvel-made film (it is all very confusing to figure out).
But do we really need a third Spider-Man in less than 15 years? Initially, the answer would be no but, by Spidey, they have done a good job.
Following on from the devastating events of Avengers Assemble, New York is a mess and the city hires a contractor Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) to begin the repair job.
He hires men, buys machinery and sets to work but is confounded by the news that a newly formed body, The Department of Damage Control, is to take over all works due to the presence of alien material in the ruins.
Not receiving recompense, Toomes does not hand over some alien technology and he and his buddies set up an underground and highly illegal business of making alien weapons to sell to nefarious folks.
Skip ahead a few years and Toomes is a rich man. Business is thriving and his weapons are in the hands of bank robbers and other such criminals.
The film shows us some unseen events from Captain America: Civil War — Tony Stark’s (Robert Downey Jr) recruitment of Peter Parker (Holland) for the battle against Captain America and his Civil War supporters.
It zips ahead a little further. Peter assumes he is now an Avenger but Tony tells him he is not yet ready and packs the kid off to school. Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is made Peter’s point of contact with Stark and the boy must report to him if he needs anything.
Unhappy with his reduced role, Peter begins to sneak out at night to do some neighbourhood superheroing. He tells Aunt May, now played by Marisa Tomei, that he is on an internship with Stark Industries. He also uses this excuse to explain absences in school and to his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon).
It is all fine at first, stopping a bike thief here, a petty criminal there, but things escalate when young Spidey comes across an ATM robbery in action by thieves armed with some very impressive alien weapons.
From here on in he is in the big leagues but he has to deal with a disgruntled Stark, an inquisitive best friend and matters of the heart as he tries desperately to get noticed by the beautiful and smart Liz (Laura Harrier, pictured left).
The beating heart of Spider-Man: Homecoming is the sweetness of it all. This is a proper high school drama with a heap of action and superhero antics on the side. Saying this, it does not make it too young for adults — it is the opposite, in fact, it will do our older, cynical hearts some good.
There is a lot of humour, thanks to Holland’s great performance. He may have superhero skills but he is still a teenage boy with awkward hormones running in is veins. He bumbles his way around, gangly limbs crashing into things but he is convinced he is grown up enough to play with big boys.
There is a plenty of MCU to entertain Marvel fans, but having a Marvel encyclopaedia is not necessary to enjoy this sweet, fun film that will put a smile on the face of anyone who watches it.
Nationwide - tomorrow. ****