In Batman Returns, there’s a slow-dance ballroom scene between Selina Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) where they inadvertently reveal themselves to each other as Catwoman and Batman, when they repeat the same comment and response that they had uttered while battling each other on the rooftops of Gotham.
There is a similarly smart revelation in the original Spiderman movie, when the Green Goblin’s alter ego realises that Peter is Spidey.
In Spiderman Homecoming, Michael Keaton plays a villain with similarly bat-like wings as his Gotham City role. And although there is a similar revelation, it requires a little more, less likely, guesswork. There are, however, more impressive reveals in this movie, and winks at previous incarnations of the superhero in both the comics and movies. Meanwhile, the movie also deserves praise for taking Spiderman in new directions, with input from Stark Industries and its technologies.
Other Marvel movies play the humour more heavily. There are funny moments, but to say that it’s all belly-laughs as a pejorative is entirely unfair. There is a little less struggle than we’ve seen in previous Spiderman movies, less teenage angst. But digesting it after watching, that’s a little unfair too. If you demand satisfaction in your superhero schlock, and you’re already a fan of the Marvel movies, you probably won’t be disappointed in terms of emotional fulfilment, resolution, and whatever else.