Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Three Rewatch: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Back on the old site, I wrote a few articles following a rewatch of the Marvel Cinamatic Universe. This is a new one

Title: Spider-man: Homecoming

Director: Jon Watts

Writer(s): The writing teams of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, Watts and Christopher Ford, and Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers.

Characters created by: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, Joe Simon

US Release Date: July 7, 2017

Budget: $175 million

Worldwide Box-office: $880.2 million

Returning characters: Spider-man, Iron Man, Happy Hogan, Aunt May, Captain America, Pepper Potts

Summary : Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons.

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Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with arresting Captain America, but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger. Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man.

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One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity.

297309cc-76a5-483f-b290-7468d69c5be1-8e2f7632-fda0-4ed8-9d92-01e172f2f04d-screen-shot-2017-07-07-at-43520-pmOn another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker saves Davis before being caught by Toomes and dropped in a lake, nearly drowning after becoming tangled in a parachute built into his suit. He is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against further involvement with the criminals.

Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker. Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament.

When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz.

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Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers before admonishing him for his recklessness and confiscating his suit.

Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Liz is Toomes’ daughter. Deducing Parker’s secret identity, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters.

 

He dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes’ lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz, but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker escapes the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes continue fighting, ending with Parker saving Toomes’ life after some unstable material explodes, and leaving him for the police along with the plane’s cargo.

After her father’s arrest, Liz moves away, and Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full-time. Stark returns Parker’s suit, which he puts on at his apartment just as his Aunt May walks in.

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MCU Continuity Nods: Kenneth Choi, who previously played Jim Morita in Captain America: The First Avenger, plays Jim’s descendant Principal Morita. In the Principal’s office, you can see photos of the Howling Commando, which hints that they are related, and he is his grandson. Toomes and his team are cleaning up after the events of The Avengers and use the salvaged alien technology to power their weapons. Hogan is shown packing up Avengers Tower to move items to Avengers Compound, which is seen at the end of the film. Pictures of Howard Stark, Abraham Erskine, and Bruce Banner can be seen in Peter Parker’s school. The gym teacher mentions that Steve Rogers is “probably a war criminal now,” alluding to his situation at the end of Captain America: Civil War . The plane towards the end of the movie, is fitted with retro reflective panels to reflect light, making it invisible. In Iron Man 3 when Harley told Tony Stark that he should make a suit with retro reflective panels to: “go into stealth mode.” It is possible that Diamondback purchased the weapons that he used on Luke Cage from Toomes. In the background, you can hear their teacher discussing the Sokovia Accords. One of the items Spider-Man finds in the Damage Control storage facility, is an Ultronbot’s head, from Avengers: Age of Ultron

Easter Eggs: Donald Glover is Aaron Davis, the uncle of Miles Morales, a version of Spider-Man, in the comics. Glover voiced Morales in the Ultimate Spider-Man television series, and campaigned to portray Spider-Man in a film in 2010. Davis the villian known as The Prowler.

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Anne Marie Hoag is the head of the U.S. Department of Damage Control, which was a separate comic book series about a private repair and reclamation company, specializing in dealing with damage caused by superheroes and supervillains. In the comics, Ned Leeds is the villian called Hobgoblin. Herman Schultz and Jackson Brice, play both versions of the Shocker from the comics. Michael Chernus plays Phineas Mason, known as the Tinkerer, and Michael Mando appears as Mac Gargan who becomes the Scorpion. While Happy is overseeing loading the plane with objects from the Avengers Tower, he references Thor’s belt, but is unable to pronounce it’s name “Meg-… Meg-… Thor’s magic belt!”. The real name for the belt is Megingjörð.

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The scene in which Peter, through sheer force of will, lifts the machinery pinning him down after The Vulture forces the structure to collapse on him, is a nod to a scene in The Amazing Spider-Man #33, in which he does the same thing. Cindy Moon is better known as in the comic as Silk.

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In the comics, Tony Stark built Spider-Man an “Iron Spider” suit, colored red and gold, like the one offered at the end of the film. The female newscaster on the schools news show is Betty Brant. Betty is J. Jonah Jameson’s secretary at the Daily Bugle.

Stan Lee Cameo: a New York City apartment resident named Gary who witnesses Parker’s confrontation with a neighbor.

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Infinity Stone: None

Post/mid Credits Scene: An incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s real identity, which Toomes denies. Captain America films a school video.

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My Take: It was great to see a young Spidey, especially learning how to be a hero, and screwing up. One of the great things about the comic was that Peter had to balance both sides of his life and how that would sometimes come into conflict.

The film clearly took inspiration from John Hughes films. I’m also glad that we didn’t get an origin story. We know what happened and Uncle Ben isn’t even mentioned. Some felt that Marissa Tomei was too young to play May. Personally, when my nephew turns sixteen, I will be the same age as Tomei. It works for me. I also was worried there would be too much Tony Stark, but he wasn’t in it as much as advertised.

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Micheal Keaton’s version of the Vulture is an interesting change of pace. He’s a blue collar guy being pushed out by the One Percent. The twist that he was Liz’s father should have been obvious, but it still took me by surprise.

Next up: Thor: Ragnarok