‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is not just another rehash, it’s a film of it’s own.

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Spider-Man: Homecoming
 is set several months after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Peter Parker, with the help of his mentor Tony Stark, tries to balance his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens, New York City while fighting crime as his superhero alter ego Spider-Man as a new threat, the Vulture, emerges.

If you think it was a franchise that had been done to death, much like DC’s Batman, it’s the friendly, neighbourhood web slinger in Spider-Man. It wasn’t long ago that we saw Andrew Garfield’s incarnation in The Amazing Spider-Man
in 2012 and it’s sequel two years later in 2014. Before that, in the early noughties, we had the hilariously bad and over the top Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire and to be honest, nothing will be able to beat those incarnations of Spidey, from Peter Parker attempting to figure out his web slinging powers atop a New York City building or the ever hilarious emo dancing incarnation.

What makes Tom Holland’s take on the famous character is that he makes it feel fresh and new, without rehashing the “Uncle Ben” story, assuming you know the tale already. And going into this film, it would honestly be a surprise if you didn’t. With the effects up to the ever excellent Marvel standard, Holland brings a humourous new light to the character that’s a mix between Maguire’s and Garfield’s. The film has both it’s serious and humours moments, doing well to balance them out.

This new series proves that it’s going to be a winner and it’s so good to see that Sony has finally lent the character back to its original owners. Now, if only they’d do that with the X-Men franchise, we could finally get some more Hugh Jackman as Wolverine as Jackman has stated that if Wolverine was apart of the MCU, he would continue playing his character. I mean, who wouldn’t want that? He’s like the Robert Downey Jr. to the Tony Stark — Jackman isn’t just playing Wolverine, he is Wolverine.

Anyway, getting distracted here.

The good thing about Homecoming is that the MCU have had a good amount of time previously to get the ‘superhero genre’ right and with the successes of Deadpool and Logan proving that superhero films have grown so much into their own genre, Homecoming is amongst some of the first to becoming more interesting if they were more than ‘just another superhero movie.’ Homecoming also wasn’t as dark as it’s previous Spider-Man’s as well as many other superhero films of late, which was nice because we got to see a younger, more childlike version of the character really growing into his own skin and really acts as a coming-of-age film. It was a nice little break from all the seriousness of the MCU up until this point and now we have Thor: Ragnarok for a little more comedic relief before delving back into Black Panther and the Infinity Wars duology.

The film’s efficient and lets the actor’s act, which is a rare thing in blockbuster movies because it’s usually, for example, just Tom Cruise running away from things or an overabundance of effects driven sequences where where we don’t get any emotionality and when we do, it feels fake and forced. Homecoming is a definite step up in Marvel villains where Michael Keaton’s Vulture is as compelling and as complicated as he should be. And as the saying goes, you either die a hero or live long enough to a villain. Thank God Keaton did in his case.

It was also really nice to see some familiar faces like Chris Evans’ Captain America/Steve Rogers popping up in school training videos and in the *spoiler alert* post-credit scene where he mocked all of us who stayed until the very end; Gwyneth Paltrow’s Pepper Potts appearing for a few seconds at the end of the film; along with Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan and Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark having no more than about ten minutes screen time in total.

Though it may feel like you’re tired of seeing that there’s another Spidey film, this one’s no doubt worth your money and time.

Film-O-Meter: 8/10.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is another severely lacking film in the MCU.

Avengers: Age of Ultron tells the story of when Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry, and its up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

This reviews contains spoilers. Don’t say you haven’t been warned. And you might hate me for this review too, but lets see about that.

This instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a vast improvement from the last Avengers outing. Both of these films were an enjoyment to go and see. They were “fun” films. But the 2012 Avengers seemed to be full of one liners and that’s probably all that it will be remembered for. That and Loki being a badass.

This second outing definitely improved on story but I did feel myself getting bored at parts. I didn’t seem to enjoy the party sequence as much as I should’ve (and I’m not sure if it’s just me but I don’t really understand why it really necessary…what needed to be achieved could’ve been done so in a different way).

There were four things that kept me going throughout the film, and three of those things disappointed me. The first was Stan Lee’s cameo, which was the only thing that didn’t disappoint me (and as it shouldn’t in any of the Marvel films). He appeared in the party scene and had to be escorted out after trying a a thousand year old liquor that Thor provided and becoming really drunk as a result. Now, this is the part where it gets annoying.

The second was that on the imdB page for the film, Tom Hiddleston was listed as being apart of the film as a minor role reprising Loki. I spent the majority of the film trying to look for him only to find out through a friend that his scene had been cut. Even with only a bit part, it would’ve made the film that much more enjoyable.

The third was *spoiler alert* the death of Quicksilver//Pietro Maximoff *end spoiler* (played by the handsome Aaron Taylor-Johnson). We could’ve seen so much more from his character as it is clearly different from the character portrayed in the X-Men franchise. He only had a small part while he was on screen and he felt underdeveloped and underused as a character. The only small part that he had to open up as a character felt fake and unbelievable. I’m not sure if it was just the acting or the script, but it definitely wasn’t right.

The forth and final annoyance that I had was the mid-credit scene where *spoiler alert* Thanos appears and states that he “has to do it himself.” *end spoiler* It’s almost as pointless as the duck credit scene in Guardians of the Galaxy.

All of this being said, the introduction of the three new characters in The Vision, Wanda Maximoff (Scarlett Witch) and twin Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) were well introduced but Wanda’s character was developed the most out of the three. Her psychic powers are much more complicated then expected. Out of the entire cast, her story seemed the most interesting. She goes physically goes through such an emotional trauma when she uses her powers and we as an audience are definitely taken through that emotional journey with her. Her character was definitely my favourite part of the film.

The films action, dialogue, and emotion has definitely been fine tuned and each of the characters have definitely found their places. The CGI was a little off at times but that aside, it’s one of the better films of Phase Two in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with its leader be by Captain America: The Winter Soldier).

Film-O-Meter: 6/10.

Entertaining, despite its flaws.

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Captain America: Civil War
 tells the story of a political interference in the Avengers’ activities that causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

With the two new additions of Black Panther and Spiderman, who were impeccably cast if I might add, they were swiftly brought in with cheers from the crowd and finally for once, actually portraying a comedic but not cringeworthy Spiderman who had more of a major role than originally expected or shown in the trailer. Black Panther’s backstory was brought in with believable backstory and great motivation to show why he’s doing what he’s doing without the need to oversaturate him in the film.

The action sequences didn’t make you feel tired or overwhelmed, and that’s a big deal especially if you saw it at midnight like I did and didn’t need anymore reasons to fall asleep halfway through the film. Like all the reports that I’d been hearing, the airport sequence was by far the best sequence of the film providing adequate screen time for each of the characters, often making you laugh so hard you were in stitches, and providing a building entertainment.

Marvel continues to prove itself in creating thoroughly entertaining films in a booming franchise unlike the multitude of failures to create a franchise that DC has struggled with for many years – with the exception of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.

Even though the Captain America solo films got off to a shaky start, they continue to prove themselves as tentpoles for the franchise and probably some of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Infinity War is definitely in good hands and have more faith they’ll do more good with the next Avengers film than the failings of the previous outings.

Film-O-Meter: 9/10.