Spider-Man 3D: Homecoming

Out Now On-Demand

In the second reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, a young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging superhero.

Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

Just when Doctor Strange looked to be squeezing the last drops from the dried-up Superhero Origin Story format, Spider-Man swoops in to doodle all over the blueprint. Homecoming is confident that you either know or don’t care all that much about how Peter Parker got his spider powers or that he had an Uncle Ben who died tragically. It skips all that to focus more on Parker growing into the role of an Avenger/actual adult – and it’s so much more fun because of it.

Tom Holland completely owns the Peter Parker role. Not only does he actually look like a teenager (as opposed to the fully-grown men who played him in the past), he naturally pumps out the character’s endearingly good nature and naïve determination to prove himself to his idol Tony Stark. It’s in his voice, his comedic timing, and his eyes which he probably stole from a loyal puppy.

As The Vulture, Michael Keaton gets a far better acting gig than other Marvel villain roles. His motivation seems simple at first: protect his successful thievin’-n-dealin’ business he grew from the underground up. However, when the film shifts its gears with a great plot turn, the character becomes more complex, and Keaton chews the resulting tension up like muesli.

The only significant let-down in Homecoming is its night-time action scenes. The lack of light in combination with frantic edits and a CGI overload make it difficult to spectate the spectacle (it’s probably worse in 3D). One of these scenes is the film’s big finale, so don't go in expecting a magical crescendo of a climax.

Fortunately, this Spider-Man isn’t about the big moments; it celebrates the small ones. Everyday Joes and Janes matter, collateral damage matters, Peter’s social life matters. It really says something when the two most intense moments aren’t explosion-heavy events with millions of lives on the line – they’re scenes involving an elevator and a conversation in a car.

TimeOut (London)


A welcome narrowing of the Marvel mega-verse away from alien invasions and globe-smashing supervillains and back towards something more intimate.

New York Times


Mr. Holland looks and sounds more like a teen than the actors who've previously suited up for this series, and he has fine support from a cast that includes Jacob Batalon as Peter's best friend.

FilmInk (Australia)


Spider-Man: Homecoming is fresh, funny and entertaining, but it ultimately works better as a teen flick than it does as a superhero movie.

Empire (UK)


The characters and scenarios are familiar, but this is a loose, cool, funny remix that makes them feel fresh again. Plus, it's mercifully short on life lessons from Aunt May.

Variety (USA)


The appeal of this particular Spider-Boy is all too basic: In his lunge for valour, he keeps falling, and he keeps getting up.

Hollywood Reporter


Hang in there, True Believers: Maybe it'll get better the second time around.

The Guardian (UK)


Spider-Man: Homecoming is so joyously entertaining that it's enough to temporarily cure any superhero fatigue. There's wit, smarts and a nifty, inventive plot that serves as a reminder of what buoyant fun such films can bring.

Newsroom.co.nz (Darren Bevan)


It's a geeky heady treat, albeit one that has a few foibles - but not enough to unpick the web that's been spun on screen.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)


It's refreshing, grounded, human and extraordinarily likeable. Bravo.

NewsHub.co.nz (Kate Rodger)


This Spider-Man is pleasingly diverse and inclusive, delivers a few memorable twists and more than a few big laughs.

RadioNZ (Dan Slevin)


Spider-Man has been sacrificed here for something bigger, but I’m not sure that something is worth it.