Continuing on from my review in the previous post, here are the fun stuff I noticed in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and more of my reactions to the plot.
The movie opens right after the events of The Avengers, which came out in 2012, but jumps to 8 years later for the present day scenes. Which makes it super confusing, because it’s clearly not 2020.
But, if you calculate from Iron Man onwards, which happened in 2008 (which Happy confirms at the end of the movie when he says he’s been keeping the engagement ring in his pocket since 2008), it might make sense. The events of The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2 and Thor happened in the same week (they call it Nick Fury’s Big Week. Go look at the infographic that the article links to!), which happened six months after the events of Iron Man, so that puts them in 2009. We don’t know how long the gap is between the end of Fury’s super busy week and The Avengers.
Plus, there’s the events of Captain America: The First Avenger which came out in 2011. Steve crashed into the ice in 1944, and he was frozen for “almost 70 years” before they found him (Fury’s exact words when Steve meets him the first time at the end of The First Avenger). If he woke up in 2011, it makes sense to call a gap of 67 years “almost 70 years”. If he had woken up in 2009, that would have made him asleep for only 65 years. The Avengers happened shortly after Steve woke up, so if we take it that he woke up in 2009, the timeline for Homecoming makes sense. But if the decade is only at its midway point, it’s weird to call it “almost 70 years”, even though I know it can be rounded up, because there are still a ways to go before it hits 70.
Anyway, it’s a puzzle.
“Identity theft, we have you covered.”
During the ATM robbery scene, Peter confronts the robbers in Avengers masks while standing in front of an ad saying “Identity theft, we have you covered.” I thought the visual irony was so funny! And definitely deliberate. (You can see it in the trailer below at the 0:16 mark.)
Avengers Tower will be no more!
It gave me a pang to hear that Tony sold Avengers Tower! It’s where so many memorable things have happened, including crucial scenes during the Battle of New York in The Avengers, and where Ultron was born and Jarvis became Vision in Age of Ultron. But having a skyscraper occupied by superheroes in the middle of movie-disaster magnet and population-centric New York City is admittedly an unwise idea.
Ned drops the Lego Death Star
We’ve already seen Ned drop the Lego Death Star in the trailers, so it isn’t new, but that shit takes at least one day to build, even for a fast builder, so it’s no small feat to drop it. :-O I bet Jacob Batalon (who plays Ned) was under pressure to do it right the first take.
Ned was very funny (the man in the chair!), and for the teenage tone of these movies, he makes more sense as Peter’s best friend who would of course geek out when he finds out his best friend is a superhero, than the rich kid whose father is the Green Goblin.
Hot Aunt May
Aunt May, played by the lovely Marisa Tomei, is young and hot in this new reboot, and people keep hitting on her! That’s a refreshing departure from the past movies too. And of course Peter is very uncomfortable with that, because teenagers (and kids in general, whatever the age) feel awkward about the love lives of their parental figures.
What’s Spider-Man without a tall building?
I love that they included a scene of Peter running across the park because there were no places to swing from! I have never considered a scenario before where there is nothing to swing from, because the previous movies have never explored that. But now I realise that Peter would practically be useless in, say, the plains of Dakota.
Peter keeps taking off his clothes to change into his suit rather than wear his suit underneath. Great idea, cause I wondered in the previous movies if it wouldn’t be hot to wear so many layers. The movie keeps it real by having him lose his backpack and Aunt May has to keep replacing them, but what about his clothes? I don’t recall seeing him try to keep them properly.
Donald Glover’s Spider-Man campaign
Donald Glover’s fans campaigned for him to be Spider-Man back in 2010 when they were casting The Amazing Spider-Man (which went to Andrew Garfield), so it was great that he could be in this movie! Even though he is now too old to play Spider-Man, his character’s nephew, who is hinted at in the movie, is Miles Morales, the first black Spider-Man in the comics, whose creation was probably inspired by Donald Glover’s campaign, so it all comes full circle.
Also, Danny Pudi, who was in the TV series Community with him and plays his best friend Abed, had a cameo in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so both Troy and Abed have been in a Marvel movie, which is cool.
The suit’s interrogation voice is so funny! They were totally making gentle fun of Christian Bale’s growly Batman voice.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Peter calls Michael Keaton’s Vulture “Hey, Big Bird” and “Bird Guy”, which is funny because Michael Keaton played Birdman (which in turn mirrors his real-life career of playing Batman almost 30 years ago). Did the filmmakers purposely seek out Michael Keaton so they could make the bird references?
Also, with regards to the other title of Birdman, I swear there was an audible gasp in the theatre when we found out Michael Keaton is Liz’s dad! We were all expecting to see Peter picking Liz up for the homecoming dance and being nervous while interrogated by an overprotective dad and other normal teenage worries, but we’re suddenly plunged back into the superhero story line when his two worlds intersect. I felt horrified for Peter’s night being ruined so abruptly, but more so for Liz because her dad is a supervillain and she didn’t know!
Unfortunately, the movie commits the cardinal sin, in my eyes, of setting Spider-Man’s and Vulture’s battle on the airplane almost completely in the dark, where we can barely see anything that’s happening. I hate it when movies do that. If you’re not going to show me what’s happening clearly, please speed up that sequence so I don’t waste my time *not* seeing the generic actiony things happening on screen.
Peter’s love interest
Which reminds me, when I read the news about Zendaya being cast in the movie, I expected her to be Peter’s love interest. I was very surprised to see almost nothing of her in the trailers (was she even in the trailers?), and for the trailers to showcase a completely different girl who did not look like Zendaya as the possible love interest. I even thought I had remembered wrongly how she looked.
Then I watched the movie and realised that Liz was his love interest, not MJ. But the ending explains everything perfectly.
Tony and the Avengers
We find out that Tony is still making weapons for the Avengers — clues that we’ll see these new weapons at work in Avengers: Infinity War — even though he is separated from more than half of them. Further confirmation that he loves his superhero family, despite their current rift.
It was wonderful to see Pepper reconciled with Tony too. I’m glad that happened, because he was so alone after Captain America: Civil War. :'( I still believe that Civil War wouldn’t have turned out the disastrous way it did if Tony hadn’t felt so guilt-ridden and upset without Pepper as his rock of emotional stability, and most of his team going against him just made it worse.
Peter and the Avengers
In the end, Peter learns that he doesn’t need to be an Avenger to do great things, and perhaps it’s better to enjoy being a teenager while he can. (At least, that’s how I saw it.) And so despite wanting to be an Avenger for almost the entire movie, he rejects Tony’s offer (for now, until Infinity War inevitably draws him back in). When he was trapped under the warehouse rubble and was shouting for help, I felt awful for him because it hammered home that he was so young and he shouldn’t have to face such things! But then he proves that despite all that, he is worthy to be an Avenger when he fights off his fears of being inadequate and gathers his strength to get himself out of that predicament.
I thought it was nice to see Cap pop up in PSAs (public service announcements) throughout the movie, but it only became funny to me when we find out in the end credits scene that he recorded a ton of them, and all in one shot. 😀 He must have done them right after the events of The Avengers (cause he was wearing his old suit), but before Winter Soldier (when he started going on secret missions for Fury and had on a different suit).
That’s all from me, but here are more Easter Eggs from Homecoming, if you want to read them! (The comments section in the article has more from readers too, though not all of them may be true.)