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MOVIE REVIEW

Spider-Man: Homecoming also known as “Spider-Man: De regreso a casa,” “Homem-Aranha: De Volta ao Lar,” “Homem-Aranha: Regresso a Casa,” “Köngulóarmaðurinn: Heimkoman,” “Pókember: Hazatérés,” “Spider-Man: Povratak kući,” “Spider-Man: vrnitev domov,” “Spider-Man: Η επιστροφή στον τόπο του,” “Zmogus-voras: grizimas namo,” “Örümcek-Adam: Eve Dönüs”

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Teens Adults
Genre:
Superhero Sci-Fi Action Adventure Reboot
Length:
2 hr. 13 min.
Year of Release:
2017
USA Release:
July 7, 2017 (wide—4,348 theaters)
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Relevant Issues
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high school crushes

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

how to deal with bullies in a godly way

issues involved in leading a double life, keeping secrets from family and friends

courage / bravery / self-sacrifice

humility versus pride

Dock spider. Photo copyrighted.
Spiders in the Bible

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

Where did man’s darkside come from? Fall of man to depravity

Why do so many people take on a life of crime?

Why is the world the way it is? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty?) If God is all-knowing, all-powerful and loving, would he really create a world like this? Answer

Teen Qs™—Christian Answers for teenagers
Teens! Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.
Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
Aunt May (Marisa Tomei)
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Liz (Laura Harrier)—Peter’s love interest
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Featuring: Tom Holland … Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Michael KeatonAdrian Toomes / Vulture
Robert Downey Jr.Tony Stark / Iron Man
Marisa TomeiAunt May Parker
Jon FavreauHappy Hogan
Gwyneth PaltrowPepper Potts
Jacob Batalon … Ned, Peter’s best friend
Zendaya … “MJ”—Michelle Jones
Laura Harrier … Liz Toomes, Adrian’s daughter—Peter’s love interest.
Tyne Daly … Anne Marie Hoag, head of the U.S. Department of Damage Control
Donald Glover … Aaron Davis, a criminal
Tony Revolori … Flash Thompson, Peter’s rival and classmate
See all »
Director: Jon Watts—“Cop Car” (2015), “The Onion News Network” (2011-2012)—a parody television news show with lots of fake news and a far-Leftist slant, launched by The Onion, which New Republic called “America’s Finest Marxist News Source” taking “on a decidedly darker—and more subversive—bent”)
Producer: Kevin Feige
Amy Pascal
See all »
Distributor: Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures

Introduced in Marvel’s “Civil War” (2016), Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is a brash young ‘up and coming’ super-hero who was called up into the big leagues to help Iron Man tackle half of the Avengers. Picking up soon after the events of that film, Peter continues to play a waiting game, hoping that one day Iron Man will need him again. Meanwhile, he does what any 15-year old in high school does—crush on a Senior girl (Liz played by Laura Harrier), and build Lego starships with his best friend Ned, while also playing ‘friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’—fighting small time crime in Queen’s New York.

Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) is a former salvage operator who acquired some alien technology left over from the Avenger’s clash in New York, back in 2012 (“Marvel’s The Avengers”) and now uses those weapons as ‘The Vulture,’ covertly leading a criminal organization. During one of his gang’s bank heists, Spider-Man happens across them—surprised by their over-powering weaponry and their leader, he barely escapes with his life.

Now out to prove he is Avengers material, Peter decides to track and take down The Vulture’s team, all by himself.

Sony’s third launch of the Spider-Man franchise relies on the audience’s familiarity with the super-hero, and, therefore, no origin story is provided. There is no explanation about how he received his powers, other than a comment about a spider bite, nor why he decides to fight crime, aside from his desire to stop “bad things from happening” and help “the little guy,” which was said in the film “Civil War,” not here. By not covering how he started, the film deftly avoids portraying a torment-filled, guilt-driven Peter Parker, instead focusing on the life of one lucky kid who is both a full-time high school student and rookie superhero. The result of this approach to the material is that “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is the most light-hearted, and, in many ways, the most fun Spider-Man to date.

However, inappropriate content tarnishes the final product.

Objectionable Content

LANGUAGE—The Lord’s name is taken in vain 10 times—“Oh my G*d” (5), “G*d” (5), plus “d*mn” (7). Crude and inappropriate language includes: “What the f*ck,” the middle finger signifying the f-word (displayed by the girl Michelle), and the last thing said in the movie is a cut-off f-word (the audience laughed, indicating that the implied word is clear. Perhaps most disturbingly, this almost finished f-word comes from AUNT MAY. Twice the word fri**in is used (a euphemism for the f-word). During a party scene, Peter’s jealous teammate plays DJ and gets the party-goers to sing Peter Parker’s name, only he has substitutes the word “penis” for “Peter”—5 times. Other vulgarities include: “a**-h***” (1), “a**” (4), “bu**-sh**” (2), “sh**” (2), “cr*p” (4), “scr*w” (5), “s*cks” (1), “b*strd” (2), “b*lls” (slang for gutsy) (1), and a curse is ‘bleeped’ out.

NUDITY—The high school team Peter is on decides to go to swimming party, and there is a brief scene of some of the girls in bikinis—but no prolonged views. Peter, having just changed out of his costume, is caught in boxer briefs and shirtless by Aunt May, who just tells him to get dressed. Later, Peter is again seen in his boxers.

LUST and LASCIVIOUSNESS—Learn why it is important for followers of Christ to understand the evils of lust and lasciviousness, strongly promoted in many modern societies as the acceptable norm.

SEXUALITY—Teenagers flirt, and sexual innuendo comes both from adults and teens. Aunt May is the subject when Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) talks about her wearing a skimpy outfit, and, later, a local business owner exclaims how “very hot” she is. However, what is implied by students in the movie is far worse. At Liz’s party, one of the young girls talks about what she would do (physically) with one of the Avengers, saying she would, “‘F’ Thor.” This is not something you want to have to explain to your youngsters, let alone hear yourself.

PORNOGRAPHY—How can I tell if I’m getting addicted to porn? Answer

TEMPTATIONS—How can I deal with temptations? Answer

Equally disturbing is a scene where high schooler Ned is on a school computer helping Spider-Man. He is caught by a teacher and lies, saying he is watching “porn” (pornography). Parents of younger children should be livid. Why introduce this subject in a movie clearly marketed to include kids and young teens. For many reasons, porn is not a laughing matter, or in any way acceptable.

VIOLENCE—Mostly bloodless, there are numerous fights involving high-powered weapons, usually directed at Spider-Man. Guns are used and sniper rifles aimed, but they are not shown hitting their targets. Cars and buses are thrown about, and explosion rips through the top of an elevator threatening the lives of its occupants, including kids. Another weapon cuts through a ferry, full of people, and some criminals are seen pressed toward drowing by the cascading cars. A powerful laser cuts through a bank, as well as a grocery store across the street, almost killing the owner. Spider-Man is dragged behind a van he is pursuing and later is in great distress after being almost buried alive. Toomes, as The Vulture, punches and claws Spider-Man at close range and drops him from a great height.

A henchman is the victim of the film’s most grisly death, when he challenges The Vulture. While most of the violence can be characterized as ‘comic-book’ variety, this instance is particularly gruesome, and parents of younger children need to be doubly concerned because of it.

HISTORICAL REVISIONISM—On a separate topic, but one that warrants mentioning, there is a scene at the Washington Monument where Michelle (Zendaya) claims it was built by slaves, although there is no historical evidence to support this. As for why Director Jon Watts chose to make up history for a comic moment, one needs to look no further than his experience with The Onion News Network, which openly parodies today’s news, while presenting it ‘jokingly’ as fact. Unfortunately, many will see this film and believe this blatantly political bit of revisionist history.

Copyright, Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures
➤ What is HUMILITY? …and why is it so important for Christians? Answer

➤ In what many ways did Jesus Christ become very humble when He came to Earth? And why did He do this? Answer

What is GOODNESS?

What is RIGHTEOUSNESS?

How can I know what is RIGHT and what is WRONG? Answer

Lessons

HUMILITY—As with most Marvel heroes, Spider-Man exemplifies some positive virtues, and the lack of virtue in the main villain is instructive, as well—contrasting the selflessness of Spider-Man to the rage and embrace of evil by Toomes (The Vulture).

SELFLESSNESS—Although we know nothing about Peter’s upbringing, from this film, it seems that he was raised with a somewhat humble heart. He also looks out for the well-being of others and the ‘greater good.’ Whether he is faced with the choice of going to a party or investigating a crime—or, in another instance, when he is confronted with choosing between enjoying his Homecoming versus chasing down a villain, Peter repeatedly makes the right and selfless decision, just as the Bible advises us all.

“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
—Philippians 2:4 ESV

➤ That’s called LOVE—a much misunderstood word in our world. Learn why it is vital for followers of Christ to understand this word and what God requires of us.

On the other side of this coin, we have Peter’s prideful teammate, who, in the midst of a disaster, isn’t thinking of others, but only of himself and his trophy.

Spider-Man’s good heart is perhaps best demonstrated when he has the chance to walk away from a fight as the victor, but chooses instead to risk his life and come to the aid of his enemy, just as Holy Scripture encourages us to do.

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great…” —Luke 6:35

RAGE—Toomes is quick tempered and we see from the beginning that, even though he has a legitimate business, he lets his anger rule over his emotions—turning to a life of violent crime. By the time he crosses paths with our hero 8 years later, he no longer thinks twice about killing a man. This unbridled emotion is warned against by the Word of God.

“Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” —Proverbs 29:11

“But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” —Colossians 3:8 NIV

SIN—One of the consequences of sin is how it changes our perceptions and how easily our conscience begins to accept things we would never have considered before. The best example of how far The Vulture has fallen is when he accidentally kills a henchman, but shows only surprise and no regret, whatsoever.

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” —1 Timothy 4:1-2 KJV

Kudos to Tom Holland (Peter/Spider-Man) who plays the central character with an enthusiasm and innocence that is a welcome change from the norm. The nods to the previous films, along with entertaining scenes that appear literally ripped from the comic books, mostly overshadow the flaws in the script.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” while mostly enjoyable, walks a fine line between being closely faithful to the original source material—that was geared toward kids and young teens—and straying as far as possible from being family-friendly, in order to acquiesce to the deteriorating morés of contemporary society. For this reason, the latest re-launch of Spider-Man is an unwholesome film, especially for young children who depend on their parents for wise discernment.

Violence: Heavy / Language: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—This film, in my mind, is the best Spider-Man movie, to date. Despite not focusing on Peter Parker’s origin story, the main character was very well developed and “real.” In the way of idealistic themes, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” focuses on maturity, responsibility, and strength (and not just in the physical sense, either). There are some mildly offensive moments throughout the film, such as language and violence. However, it is important to note that this is not a children’s movie, and it is rated PG-13 with reason. I deem the reviewer’s evaluation of this movie to be a bit severe.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 5
—J., age N.A. (USA)
Positive—Spider-man/Peter Parker has always been one of my favorite superheroes, partially because his story is relatable: he’s an average nerd—smart yet dorky—who uses his newfound superpowers to make his world a better place. Rather than fighting invading aliens or the newest supervillain, Spider-man spends most of his time helping everyday people: assisting a little old lady across the street, returning a stolen bicycle, etc. He never thinks these deeds are beneath him; he simply yearns to do the right thing and make a difference in others’ lives on any scale, large or small. And if it means that he must risk his life to save others, Spider-man doesn’t hesitate.

Under the mask, Peter Parker may be terrified—he IS fifteen, after all—but he fights on. As John Wayne famously put it: “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway.”

Additionally, Spider-man never returns evil for evil, fighting defensively rather seeking to inflict damage on those who have hurt him. He stands for justice, but unlike other superheroes, he never metes it out himself; he simply ensnares the bad guys in a web and leaves them for the proper authorities. By exercising both courage and self-control in his pursuit of right, Spider-man/Peter Parker is a true hero. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Christina, age 24 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—The movie delivers on action and good vs. evil, as we expect. The limits are pushed to the PG-13 max; the f-word is never fully mentioned, but your kids may be wondering (or may know) how to fill in the blank after the letter “f” is voiced.

About 2 minutes of language and America-hating comments could be left out of the movie, and it would leave a half-decent film behind. Compared to the first “Captain America” movie or “Wonder Woman,” where a sense of patriotism is imparted, this movie’s writers, intentional or not, infuse an undertone of rebellion and disdain for America—not throughout the entire movie, but just enough to make a their plug.

So, “Neutral,” at best, leaning toward “Negative,” is all that I give this. Parents should think about not taking their young kids to this, not that it’s any better for older kids, either. Definitely not one to rent and see again. I love America, understanding it’s not perfect, and pray for it and its folks.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—DH, age 50 (USA)
Neutral—Ultimately, I found “Spider-Man: Homecoming” to be a very solid film. It was entertaining, fun and had a great cast. But, combining the moral viewpoint with views on the film’s production, it was more middle of the road in comparison to the previous “Spider-Man” movies. There are moments here that really should have been left on the cutting room floor.

The “porn” joke was unacceptable. True, he was lying, but couldn’t he have come up with a better excuse (honestly)? I also didn’t appreciate the “F. M. K.” moment, Zendaya giving Peter the middle finger once, as well as the film literally ending with an unfinished f-word by Aunt May. Not to mention ***SPOILER*** the moment, itself, is very anti-Spider Man (at least in comparison to the previous movies). Aunt May never finds out about Peter’s secret identity, apparently they are not going to stick with that idea. ***END SPOILER*** See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Blake Wilson, age 22 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I did not expect that I would have to give this move a negative review when I walked into the theater but that is the reality of what Marvel has produced! I really enjoyed the social media aspect of Spider-Man/Peter Parker’s view over the events of the past “Captain American: Civil War” though out the movie… I found it original and not overly done. The language was somewhat tolerable at first, but became excessive as each character seemed to be given an expletive line at some point during the film. I could have tolerated the language, if not for the three scenes in the film that I feel really crossed the line. Beware spoilers below:
  • The use of the middle finger by Mary Jane.
  • The scene where Spider-Mans best friend was searching for an excuse to why he was in the computer lab during the homecoming dance, and he gave a long pause, and he loudly blurted out “I WAS LOOKING AT PORN.”
  • Then the final scene in the film where Peter gets caught by his aunt in his spider suit and she shocking yells out “WHAT THE FU…” the rest of the F-bomb was cut out as the last line in the film before the credits.
I feel like Marvel really skated the line of “PG-13” with this film and got away with exposing kids to adult humor and situations that could be damaging to their spirit.

I expected a generally clean action-packed film, but I feel like this is a introduction for children to a R-rated film with a few good actions scenes and Spider-Man bumbling around like he just discovered he had powers yesterday. I would not recommend this film to any children under 17, in my opinion, because of the language and dirty jokes a child will be exposed to… possibly introducing a curiosity that would not have been there without viewing this film! Remember Romans 8:13 and 1 Corinthians 6:18-20… God bless you all…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—A.W., age 41 (USA)
Negative—Love watching superhero movies with my son, as they are usually devoid of a ton of bad language and such. This one has more language than I would have cared for, including the scene at the end where “May” (he doesn’t call her Aunt May—much prefer a more mature character in this part), yells out “what the fu…” and it is barely cut off. Of course, everybody knew. Besides the fact that I don’t like the word, it ruined an otherwise great scene. Had she fainted or something, it would have been better.

Didn’t hate the movie, but was really not counting on the language and the porn comment, as mentioned in earlier reviews.

I will say this, though. My son is almost 17. I saw parents in this movie with four year olds. I don’t understand why people take a 4 year old to a PG-13 movie… makes no sense.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Michelle, age 45 (USA)
Negative—Boring, boring, boring. Oh, did I mention… boring?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
Janene Bever, age Over 40 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—“Spider-Man: Homecoming” was a film that I was looking forward to watching for a very long time. I thought this new Spidey had a great appearance in the last Captain America movie (“Civil War”), so I was expecting a great, fun, family movie! While I enjoyed the film, I was very disappointed and frankly disgusted by the language, jokes, and sexual innuendos that I did not see in the other Avenger oriented films. The male’s private part was mentioned countless times, there was a humorous reference to pornography, and a female character dropped an F-bomb in the very last second of the film. In addition, many characters covered essentially every curse word throughout the movie—including characters that have never used profanity in previous Marvel movies.

While there were no sexual or intimate scenes portrayed, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, despite their kissing scenes in “The Amazing Spider-Man,” gave viewers a more appropriate and cleaner story to witness. I am 16 years old, and I don’t even feel like telling my friend’s that I’ve seen this movie because I don’t want anyone to think or have the impression that I advocate the dirty jokes and language used in this film. I’d like to mention that I play varsity softball, so I’m not a wimpy girl complaining because she heard a few “ungodly words.” I thought Spider-Man was supposed to be someone kids could look up to, but, really, this “Spider-Man” plays a role in the social media dragging teenagers away from doing what’s right.

1 Peter 2:9 says that God brings us out of the darkness into the light. This movie is dragging kids back into darkness. Peter lies, skips classes, ditches his homecoming date, and makes himself look more like a trouble maker than a superhero.

This Spider-Man appeared to be more of a wimp than the previous two performances. Furthermore, the plot was pointless. No one’s lives were in danger, but Peter was desperate for attention. He caused all of the damage, and after breaking relationships, he managed to clean up the pointless mess he created. Also, Tony Stark intervened in basically any time Peter might have had heroic moment, except in the last scene. Peter got himself into a mess that wasn’t his job to fix, and throughout the movie, you’ll get to see him make it worse.

I found it uninspiring, and I wasn’t emotionally moved at any point. I understand that movie makers were probably just trying to give Marvel fans entertainment until the next huge movie, but they would have been better off without ruining Spider-Man’s image. People still clapped at the end of the film, but not with the same intensity as they have in previous Marvel movies or the recent “Wonder Woman” movie (great film, by the way).

There were a lot of young children—I'd say as young as 5, if not younger—that were exposed to the disgraceful elements of this film, and unfortunately more parents will unintentionally or intentionally make the same mistake. I’m sadly going to have to give this movie a big thumbs down, and hopefully future Marvel movies coming out will make up for this blunder.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: no opinion
Dominique, age 16 (USA)
Positive—I absolutely loved this movie! In my opinion, the best by far! As for issues: they didn’t have to put the porn joke in the movie. And, for me, that was all the negative points. I recommend this movie for everyone older than 10.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Amos Van Blankers, age 14 (Netherlands)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Movie Critics
…the best screen Spider-Man so far… hugely endearing… barely in control of his powers and appealingly lame…
Nick De Semlyen, Empire [UK]
…it represents a creative misstep for the studio… a reboot that smells of corporate strategy… overeager cluelessness displayed in this occasionally exciting but often frustrating film…
John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
…lighter and airier than most superhero extravaganzas… The movie's key asset is its star—the picture flies along on Holland's youth and his skittering high spirits. …
Kurt Loder, Reason
…Tom Holland plays Peter Parker as Marvel’s first YA superhero. That’s the novelty, and limitation, of this mildly diverting reboot. …the story of a savior who’s still mucking around in the business of being a kid. It’s almost as if he’s his own fanboy. …
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…a laid back, earthbound story of a teenager struggling to figure out his place not only in his peer group but within the superhero fraternity of the Avengers. …
Adam Graham, The Detroit News
…slack and spiritless… the web-slinger's gizmo-heavy John Hughes homage is too cobwebby for comfort…
Robbie Collin, The Telegraph [UK]
…Proves Tom Holland can carry a film… This is as much a high school drama about an adolescent trying to make sense of the world as it is a superhero film. …[3/5]
Geoffrey Macnab, Independent [UK]
…Every significant and semi-significant female character looks like a model. It wouldn’t be an issue were the film not so spot-on with casting such a realistic variety of men and teenage boys, or if it were less concerned with hammering down on the “Aunt May is hot” bit that goes a little too far…
Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
…turns Peter Parker into Curious George… the film doesn’t work… 133 minutes of Peter Parker failing the “first do no harm” rule of super heroics…
Scott Mendelson, Forbes
…making Peter look not just inexperienced but also silly, a borderline dumb cluck. …
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
…the best Spider-Man movie to date… bold, beautiful and colorful diversity…
Tufayel Ahmed, Newsweek