‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’: A Review and Analysis

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My Review and Comparison to Past Spider-Man Films

Ever since the start of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’ve been waiting for years for Spider-Man to join the Avengers. No one thought that two movie studios would be nice enough to collaborate and give what the fans desire. In 2015, Sony and Marvel Studios did what no one thought was possible; they finally let our favorite webslinger into the MCU.

The delight I felt when Spider-Man was introduced in Captain America: Civil War was palpable and I was seriously fan-girling knowing that he will have his own standalone movie as a part of the MCU. I only had one question in mind though, how would this new Spider-Man movie be any different from the past Spidey movies?

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The first Spider-Man movie starring Tobey Maguire was wildly known for its interpretation of the origin story. You know, being bitten by a genetically-altered spider, the battle with his most iconic foe, the Green Goblin as well as his romance with Mary Jane. In fact, one of the most iconic moments in this movie was the kiss in the rain while Spider-Man was upside down scene.

While the second reboot entitled The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield was known for the “untold story” of Peter’s childhood but what actually set it apart from the last Spider-Man installment was his saga with Gwen Stacy. By making Gwen into Peter’s intellectual equal, there was a connection that we didn’t see when he was clumsily courting queen bee MJ in the earlier movies.  We can’t deny the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone but although Emma did a fantastic job being Gwen, she’s no MJ so we all know how their romance tragically ended (both on screen and off screen, lol).

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In Spider-Man: Homecoming starring Tom Holland, there was no genetically altered spider, no back story, no Mary Jane and no Gwen. Otherwise, it depicted the events after the Avenger’s airport ruckus or what Peter calls as his “Stark internship”.  The movie introduced Peter Parker as a 15-year old student who vlogs, a member of the decathlon team and has the usual unrequited crush for a popular senior student. As Peter struggles with his regular teenage problems such as house parties and the homecoming, he also tries to balance this with fighting minor criminals and proving himself to Tony Stark by deciding to take down the Vulture on his own.

What made this movie different from the previous versions though is not that this new Spider-Man has Tony Stark for a mentor nor that he’s an incoming member of the Avengers but the fact that he was exactly how comic book fans wanted him to be – literally a boy pretending to be a (Spider-) man. Aside from that, they finally got his goofy and sarcastic-villain-irritant characteristic right. I would easily say that this is my favorite Spider-Man movie so far.

Peter’s Classmates

You may or may not know this but Peter’s classmates are a big part of the movie as well. If you’re a long-time Spider-Man fan, you would notice their familiar names – Ned Leeds, Liz Allan, Flash Thompson and Betty Brant.

  • Ned Leeds is Peter’s best friend (Trivia: The actor that played him is pure Pinoy) and ends up being one of the few who knows Spider-Man’s true identity. Fan Fact: In the comics, Leeds becomes the Hobgoblin but this doesn’t seem likely to happen in this movie version.
  • Liz Allan is Peter’s love interest in the movie and was also a minor love interest of both Peter and Flash in the comics.
  • Flash Thompson is and will always be Peter’s high school bully.
  • Betty Brant is one of Peter’s classmates who got a jump on her journalism career as a reporter for the school news channel. In the comics, she works for the Daily Bugle.

Is MJ = Mary Jane?

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One of the most surprising and baffling moments in the movie was the part when Michelle (played by Zendaya) revealed to the decathlon team that her friends refer to her as “MJ”. It’s no mystery that she may play as the new love interest of Peter but what got everyone wondering was whether or not  she will be the new “MJ” aka Mary Jane aka the future-wife of Peter Parker. I, for one, won’t be happy if this new MJ ends up being drastically different from our fan-favorite redhead so I stalked the internet for answers.

We may all now sigh with relief because Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige confirmed that Michelle is not Mary Jane. Michelle is her own character in her own right. It seems Marvel is sitting on the “MJ” fence, waiting to see how fans would react before committing.

Additional Fun Facts:

  • The first post credit scene showed Vulture in prison and suddenly run into the guy he met in the ferry for the weapons deal. That man is Mac Gargan and if not for the evident hint of his large neck tattoo, I probably wouldn’t be able to piece together that he will someday become the Scorpion.
  • Everyone who watched Homecoming would probably remember the guy that Spider-Man interrogated in the parking lot. His name is Aaron Davis, who will not only become a villain called the Prowler but is also the uncle of Miles Morales. In case you didn’t know, Miles Morales became the Ultimate Spider-Man after Peter was killed by the Green Goblin in the comics.
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