Source: Sony/Marvel Studios
Orange County School of the Arts

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ – Not just a superhero movie

Spoilers ahead!

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” opened in theaters July 7 and got a massive, positive reaction. It has a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, certifying it fresh.

It tells the story of the iconic character of Peter Parker (Tom Holland), who is shown making his way through sophomore year of high school while balancing the responsibilities of being a superhero. It is the first Spider-Man movie within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, adding even more weight onto Peter’s shoulders because he lives in a world where the Avengers exist.

Through the whole movie, Peter’s ultimate goal is to become an Avenger and prove himself to Tony Stark, while maintaining his friendships and relationships with the people surrounding him in his high school life. It’s not only a superhero movie, it has so many different aspects that make it as amazing as it is.

Diversity 

The film consists of a very diverse cast, portraying what a real high school in Queens, N.Y. would actually look like. It stars Holland, Laura Harrier, Jacob Battalion, Zendaya and Tony Revolori, all playing widely-loved characters from the original comics.

The importance of this diverse cast is that it makes plenty of people feel like they have a place and are in a way, represented.

Relatable characters + storyline
spider man homecoming photos one Spider Man: Homecoming   Not just a superhero movie
Source: Sony/Marvel Studios
Peter is not the jock or popular kid, he’s a normal 15-year-old boy, just like so many other high-schoolers out there. He has to go through the struggle of talking to his crush, Liz Allan (Harrier), being made fun of by the usual Spider-Man universe bully, Flash Thompson (Revolori), having to deal with the fact that he has to miss out on school, hanging out with his best friend, Ned Leeds (Batalon), and perform his responsibilities as a member of Midtown School of Science and Technology’s Academic Decathlon Team to deal with Spider-Man’s responsibilities. Being the same age as this version of Peter Parker and his friends, I can speak for many people when I say that there were many characters that any high schooler could relate to.
Comic relief

The comedy throughout this film keeps it very light-hearted and reminds us that this is the world through a kid’s eyes. There are several moments where you can hear Peter through the mask saying funny and witty jokes or lines, reminding the audience that he’s still the same 15-year-old kid through that mask and suit, keeping everyone connected to him.

In interviews, both Holland and Zendaya have said that if you stripped away all the superhero parts of it, you would still have a solid high school, coming of age film, and that is very true!

This movie also speaks up on important topics and has themes that everyone should take to heart.

Family connection

First, there is something different about the antagonist, Adrian Toomes, better known by his super-villain name, Vulture (Michael Keaton). He was revealed as Liz’s dad, making for a huge plot twist because Liz is Peter’s big crush, and her dad is his worst enemy. His main incentive for his business is to keep his family safe and make sure they live good lives.

One of his lines in the movie is, “I’ll do anything to protect my family.” Because of this, the audience feels for him and it is easy to see that he’s just an ordinary guy trying to get by. In a way, he is similar to Peter and how he lives as well. They both have to hide their secret lives from their families, and they would do anything to protect them, showing the strong relationship between them and their relatives.

 Spider Man: Homecoming   Not just a superhero movie
Source: Sony/Marvel Studios
Peter is also extremely close with Aunt May, his legal guardian. He struggles to keep the Spider-Man secret from her because he knows that if she ever found out, she would freak out and be extra protective over him. He doesn’t want to stress her out after all she’s been through. He has her best interest at heart and wants to protect her at all costs.

Speaking up

Second is about Zendaya’s role, Michelle, or MJ. She is also on the Academic Decathlon team, and the movie is filled with her witty one-liners and statements. One line that stood out was when the team went to the Washington Monument after winning the Nationals competition. Mr. Harrington asks Michelle if she wants to ride the elevator to the top of the monument with the team and she replies that she doesn’t want to because she wouldn’t support something built by slaves. This line was extremely smart and important because it easily and effortlessly educated the thousands of people who watched this movie and shed light on an important topic.

Female roles

There are very strong and independent female characters in this movie. There are Liz Allan, Michelle, and Aunt May.

For starters, Liz is a senior at Midtown and is the captain of the Academic Decathlon Team. She participates in school events such as planning homecoming and is extremely passionate about her education. Her role is different from many others in superhero movies because she’s independent and not the typical damsel in distress. On top of that, she is one of the most popular girls in school. This breaks the stereotype of nerdy and smart kids being “loners” or “not cool.”

Michelle is also a very intelligent and independent character because although she wants to be closer with Ned and Peter, she’s very content with herself and has a care-free vibe around her, with confidence to say all of her witty comments.

Lastly, Aunt May is such a strong woman because she has been raising Peter on her own for a long time and does not have anyone around to help. She independently brought up a kind and caring boy and makes sure she’s the best parent she can be for him.

Importance of education

The film highlights the importance of a good education, seeing that most of the main characters are on the Decathlon Team. Peter, Ned, Liz, Michelle, and Flash are all great examples for kids and teenagers to look up to because they display being extremely intelligent and passionate about their education as being cool. Many kids grow up without positive on-screen role models who value their education and want to take it as far as they can, which is why this aspect is very important.

c d7rhlxoaamhoz Spider Man: Homecoming   Not just a superhero movie
Source: Sony/Marvel Studios
Doing what’s right

It is shown that Peter would rather do what’s right rather than what would make him an avenger faster. This is displayed in the final fight scene where Vulture’s wings are about to explode. Rather than gaining an easy victory and calling it a day, he chooses to save him and do what he believes is right.

Because Peter grew up without a strong father figure, he did that to save Liz from ever having to experience that. He recognized that Vulture is just a dad trying to maintain his family’s life. Peter’s humility was clearly shown in this scene and should inspire people to do the right thing.

During the scene where Peter is under the rubble after trying to attack Vulture, we see him at his lowest point. He screams for help and doesn’t think he’ll make it out of there. The audience is again reminded that he’s just a kid trying to do the right thing, even if it doesn’t work out sometimes. He then gathers all the strength he can to push through and finally escapes. Holland’s performance in this scene was breathtaking and deserves all the praise it’s been receiving from critics and audiences alike.

Peter’s arc 

Tony Stark’s role in the film made a huge impact on how Peter lived his life and the way he carried all of his responsibilities. After the ferry incident happens, Tony tells him that if he’s nothing without the suit, then he shouldn’t have it. The arc of Peter’s character is brought up all through this line.

In the end, he proved to himself that he didn’t need the suit to be Spider-Man because all he needed was what he can already do alone, with good intention at heart. He didn’t need the suit to make it out of that rubble, all he had was himself and his strength.

Overall, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is an inspiring, fast-paced and hilarious superhero/high school movie that is worth seeing.

2 Comments

  • Reply Paige McAllister August 1, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I really loved reading this article. You did a great job of describing the details deeply, and it really made me want to read more. I absolutely loved the Spider-Man Homecoming movie, and I loved how you pointed out that there are so many connections that the audience can make to the movie. Thank you so much for writing this article, I can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Reply jesse jones August 1, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    This is really good! Spiderman Homecoming is such an amazing movie and this article has shown some of the obvious reasons why that it is, and it surely opens people’s eyes to why this is more than just a superhero movie. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s