Spider-Man: Homecoming is a teen movie that speaks the Superhero language: Spoiler Discussion

As is usual, you want to make sure that you’ve seen the movie before you read this. It gives away a couple plot points that got pretty big reactions in my theater.

Alright, cool.

So, Liz (Laura Harrier) is based on Liz Allan, Peter Parker’s first girlfriend in the comics. But we find out that there’s been one minor change to the character.

In Homecoming, she’s the daughter of Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), who Peter has spent quite some time getting wrapped up in the business of. We find this out when Peter comes to pick up Liz for Homecoming and is greeted by good ol’ Adrian at her door.

Not only is this scene played amazingly by both Holland and Keaton, the slow dance as Keaton begins to realize who he is and as Parker tries to wriggle out of the way, but it’s also an example of what works so well about this movie.

Who hasn’t been nervous meeting your SO’s parents? Who hasn’t felt a little scared or threatened? Wouldn’t it be worse if they’d already tried to kill you in a giant mechanical bird suit?

It’s using the language of superherodom (the threat of a supervillain to a superhero) and imposing on a teen movie trope (meeting the parents) to create that blend of stakes that’s both personal and writ large all at once.

 

I also just want to go ahead and shout out a scene I’ve been waiting forever to see in a Spider-Man movie, and that would be the “Lifting off the Rubble” scene.

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Probably one of the most iconic superhero images, Spider-Man trying to prevail against all odds and push himself to his limits is kind of his whole thing, and this classic piece of Steve Ditko art has always been one of the most legendary moments of that. Homecoming‘s reenactment of this scene is its most genuinely affecting moment and perhaps Holland’s finest bit of acting in the film.

 

I’m also surprised to see they’re letting Aunt May find out this early. It’s an interesting path to take with Avengers: Infinity War coming up.

 

The Captain America post-credits scene is quite possibly my favorite of these so far. A Ferris Bueller-homaging meta joke that’s actually well worth staying for.

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