It's time for the portrait of the superhero as a teenager.  Spider-Man: Homecoming is the latest summer superhero film, with a whole lot of high school drama as well as superheroics.

Homecoming wisely skips the very familiar origin story and jumps into the life of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) after the events of Captain America: Civil War.  Peter is bored by stopping petty crimes and wants more action, even hoping to join the Avengers.  But he's being watched and mentored by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), who want him to remain "a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man."  They also give him a "super suit" with numerous setting and a talkative A.I. named Karen.

When a gang is stealing and selling advanced and alien technology, Spider-Man sees a chance to prove himself by taking down the gang and keeping it a secret from his handlers.  But the gang is led by Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), who dons a truly frightening high-tech Vulture costume to step in when his gang is threatened.
All of this is accompanies by plenty of high school drama.  Peter lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), who he doesn't want to know he's Spider-Man.  Peter's friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) finds out he's Spider-Man and geeks about it all the time.  Peter has a crush on Liz (Laura Harrier), is bullied by Flash (Tony Revolori), and always seems to run into sullen Michelle (Zendaya).  And Peter thinks if he becomes an Avenger, he can completely skip school to be a full-time superhero.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is pretty good.  Tom Holland perfectly captures a teenager whose duties as a hero keep interfering with his personal life, and one who's learning as he goes along.  Michael Keaton is a suitably creepy villain, and the high school characters are all solid.  The action is done well, and there's plenty of comedy, from Peter's nervousness to Captain America's very square recorded PSAs played for high school students.  I do think the movie spent a little too much time in high school, which made the film feel a little long.  But Spider-Man Homecoming is a worthy addition to the Marvel cinematic universe.

Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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