Review / ‘Spider Man: Homecoming’ (M) *

THE screenplay by a coterie of nine writers for director Jon Watts is a promotion for an American comic-book publisher’s fantasy products.

The principal characters include a rich bad guy (Michael Keaton) who wants to be richer by building weapons with impressive and impossible capabilities for sale to ambitious people who want to dominate the planet. Robert Downey Jr plays a good guy with pots of money, wise in the ways of villainy and how to combat it, who flies around in a steel suit. And there’s teenaged Peter Parker (young English actor Tom Holland) who as Spider Man at age 15 is discovering the demands of becoming a hero while still at high school when his main concern should be how to ask a pretty girl to the class prom.

The film runs for 133 minutes. The acting is plebeian except for Michael Keaton skilfully wringing humour energy from a serious role. The gizmos and their deployments are the products of over-heated imaginations. The plot delivers characters and situations that are impossibly implausible, or implausibly impossible – take your pick; either way, they reflect the mindless pap on which kids, predominantly male, fed their imaginations before growing up, which in individual cases happens at an unpredictable age.

In short, a wildly escapist movie fantasy for adolescents of all ages.

At all cinemas

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