There was never any doubt that my cinematic target for the July 8 weekend would be the latest version of Spider-Man. Of the three film versions, this is the closest to the early issues of the comic book. I vividly remember reading those early stories in 1963 and always wondered why Hollywood had not tapped them for plots.
This is the same version of Spider-Man who appeared in last year’s Captain America: Civil War; in fact, the film opens with a recap of the battle in Berlin between the various factions of the Avengers. I was very pleased that the film made no mention whatsoever of such tired plot elements as Peter Parker’s responsibility for his uncle’s death, the Green Goblin, etc., etc. The film goes back to the very first super-villain Spider-Man ever confronted, the Vulture.
The young actor who portrays Peter Parker is better than Toby Maguire or Andrew Garfield ever hoped to be. He is as annoying as any nerdy teenager ever seen in a movie and comes very close to the original character created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Robert Downey’s Iron Man appears several times in the film, but Michael Keaton steals the show as the Vulture. Keaton is no stranger to super-hero movies, and his version of the Vulture is very nuanced.
The Captain America film implied that Tony Stark found Peter’s Aunt May interesting. That sub=plot has a major twist at the end of the film; in another closing scene, Aunt May develops an unfortunate potty-mouth that does not fit the comic book version at all.
Be sure to stay through the closing credits; there are two “cookies” (or “Easter eggs”)waiting for you. I saw the 3-D version and strongly recommend it because of the breathtaking stunts.