Spider-Man: Homecoming – After helping Tony Stark in his fight against his fellow Avengers, Peter Parker, a.k.a Spider-Man is convinced that he is as essential part of Iron Man’s team, a thought that Stark and his employee ‘Happy’ are keen to dispel. Frustrated with only being the ‘friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man’, Peter sees his chance to prove his worth when he discovers a group of men making illegal weapons out of alien technology but it soon becomes clear that he is out of his depth. With Stark warning him not to get involved in anything too dangerous, Spider-Man is unable to stand by while the lives of innocent people are put in jeopardy but will his ambition be his undoing?

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – Director: Jon Watts

Is Spider-Man: Homecoming appropriate for kids?

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Rating: 12A

Running Length: 133 mins

Starring: Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jnr, Michael Keaton

Genre: Comic Book

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING’ REVIEW

After Tobey Maguire’s three and Andrew Garfield’s two, it’s time for newcomer Tom Holland to take the reigns of yet another attempt at fan favourite, Spider-Man. Now that Marvel have brought him into the fold of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), chances are that he will remain for longer than his predecessors. Thankfully as everyone is intimately aware of Spider-Man’s origins (radioactive spider, Uncle Ben, Peter’s powers), these only receive a passing mention so that this is less an origins story and more a beginning of a new story. Tony Stark’s involvement may be off-canon but works well, especially with the technology and costume design that a High School kid is supposedly adept in.

It is unfortunate that they have made the decision to make Peter so young (15 and fully immersed in his new superhero life) when he is supposed to be a year or so older and close to graduation when he first gets his powers. This never really rings true but Holland carries the role well and is arguably closer to the original beloved character than any previous incarnations. Being a teenager, Spider-Man has always been a more light-hearted Marvel superhero and Holland captures his enthusiastic, fun-loving but moral nature perfectly and the movie itself is also imbued with these traits. New (movie) villain ‘Vulture’ (played superbly by Michael Keaton) has just enough back story to understand his motivations without spending an inordinate amount of time going over everything that makes him tick which enables the story to get underway very quickly.

While it isn’t the strongest of the MCU movies, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is undeniably entertaining and above all, fun! The jokes always land but it is serious exactly when it needs to be, peripheral characters like Aunt May and Tony Stark come in and out of the story just when they need to and never outstay their welcome and the main characters, all of whom are teenagers, are likeable, ordinary kids (a feat which eludes many filmmakers).

CONTENT – IS ‘SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

A boy teases another boy at school, insulting him by replacing his real name for the word ‘penis’, Later in the movie, this boy gets a crowd to chant this insult repeatedly. A teen girl talks to her friends and playing a well-known game about people they are attracted to, saying that she would “‘F’ Thor”.

The villain, Vulture, wears full body armour with large protruding wings which enable him to fly. In one scene, he picks Spider-Man up into the air, suddenly looking down at him, his helmet displaying bright, expressionless eyes. When falling from Vulture’s grip, Spider-Man lands in a body of water and gets caught up in a parachute, he struggles to escape but soon goes limp, almost drowning before he is pulled to safety.

A man uses a weapon on another man which causes him to turn a burning red colour, there is a close up of the man’s face as it is consumed and he cries out in pain before completely disintegrating. Once the man is shot, he suffers for around 5 seconds before he is killed.

When a ferry full of innocent people is attacked, Spider-Man desperately tries to keep everyone safe, however he is overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the disaster and the ferry begins to fall apart. Water flows into it and people are seen to be knocked down and swept away, screaming in terror. It is initially unclear whether these innocent people survive.

When helping Spider-Man in one of his fights against Vulture, friend Ned is caught by a teacher who asks what he is doing. Not wanting to tell anyone what is really happening he says “I’m looking at porn”.

During a particularly intense fight, Spider-Man is crushed by a cement structure and left for dead. While he is seen shortly after to be still alive, he becomes extremely distressed and panics for a while as he is unable to move. This could be somewhat upsetting for kids who have become accustomed to the upbeat, relatively fearless superhero thus far in the movie.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?
VERDICT – IS ‘SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING’ FOR KIDS?

Spider-Man has long been a champion for kids, a superhero who is just like them so they can relate to his trials and tribulations. This version of Spider-Man keeps the character up to date while maintaining the essence of what he was always meant to be and therefore kids can still enjoy his adventures. Due to some bad language and violence, we feel this movie should be appropriate for kids aged 8 and over.

  • Violence: 2/5 (there are numerous fight scenes throughout the movie which become quite intense, however they are more exciting than frightening. A man slams another man’s head into a vehicle twice, knocking him unconscious. During a fight scene, Peter gets badly beaten and is thrown around a lot)
  • Emotional Distress: 0/5
  • Fear Factor: 2/5
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (some innuendo. A teen girl wears a swimsuit however she is not sexualised or ogled over in any way)
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (infrequent moderate cursing)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (a man threatens to harm a character saying he would “slice his throat”)
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of ambition, tenacity, taking on more than you are capable of, making mistakes, believing in yourself, sacrifice, secrecy and putting yourself in danger in order to help others.
  • A scene towards the end of the movie includes around 5 minutes of strobe lighting.
  • There are two additional scenes at the end of the movie.

Words by Laura Record

 

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