The Hidden Meaning in Spider-man Homecoming – Earthling Cinema
What if an alien in the future stumbled upon Jon Watts’ Spider-man Homecoming? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
This week’s film:
Spider-man Homecoming (2017)
Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Donald Glover, Zendaya
Director: Jon Watts
Production Co: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios
Written by: AJ Unitas and Amanda Scherker
Directed by: Jared Bauer
Analysis by: Kevin Winzer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey (http://www.ryanhaileydotcom.com/)
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Produced by: Jacob S. Salamon and Emily Dunbar
Hidden Meaning in Spider-man Homecoming – Earthling Cinema
Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is Spider-Man Homecoming, starring Tom Hollandaise Sauce, and praised by fans as the installment that bravely made Aunt May hot.
The film follows teenage Earthling, Peter Parker, who is hashtag blessed with sticky hand powers. One day, Peter fights for playboy billionaire, Elon Musk, in the Civil War. But before Elon can Ulysses S. Grant him a spot on the Avengers officially, Peter has to prove himself by just sort of “stopping crime” with no clear deadlines or goals.
Fortunately, a garbage man named Toomes has been busy repurposing recycling to sell artisan weapons on Etsy and dressing like a bird, spiders’ sworn enemies, behind waterspouts.
At school, Peter spends his time macking on his crush, Liz, chillin’ with his obligatorily fat friend, Ned, and macking on his crush, Liz, WHILE chilling with obligatorily fat friend, Ned. After school, he looks for crime only to find New York City is too safe. That is, until Toomes’s men forgot their pin number and have to use a ray gun. They escape, but Peter does manage to blow up a deli. Peter slings back home where Ned learns Peter’s deepest secret: he still plays with Legos [Alt: He likes the prequels][Ned dropping the lego death star]. Oh, and he’s Spiderman. That too.
When Ned coyly implies Peter knows Spider-Man, they score tickets to Liz’s weeknight rager. But the party is cut short when Toomes men sell guns to Childish Gumby. Peter mixes it up by using all the same tactics and gets dropped on his head like my son. Relax, he was a baby.
Armed with a 9th grade education, Ned and Peter decrypt a doodad, and geolocate Toomes to Washington D.C., the criminal capital of the universe. Peter gets a rematch with Birdman, but ends up in an Amazon Prime Warehouse, where he hits it off with his OS Samantha. Speaking of hitting it off, Ned turns the doodad into a bomb causing an explosion in the monument to Washington’s penis. Peter saves his classmates, heroically costing the taxpayer millions.
Back in the Big Apple store, Parker interrogates Childish Gumby without a warrant, since this is America. He tells him to check the ocean bus, where Toomes goes rip ship. Elon glues the ship back together, but takes back his suit, leaving Peter to walk home naked.
Peter asks Liz to Homecoming — Get it? Of, course you don’t — but when he gets to her house, a shocking Pepsi Twist is revealed: Birdman is Liz’s Dad, who’s anti-Spider and pro-gun.
Since it’s Act Three, Peter decides to stop Birdman’s latest scheme: robbing an airplane full of Avengers merch. Toomes tries the old “I’m going to drop a building on your face” trick, but Peter remembers he has super strength, and thwarts his plan by crashing the plane into an area full of tourists.
Having utterly wrecked Liz’s life, Peter says goodbye. Elon offers Peter a job at Telsa, but Peter declines. Oh yeah, Aunt May was in this.
Spiderman: Homecoming marries the superhero action genre and the teen comedy genre with a license it got online. The film is stylized like John Hughes joints, both through homages to Ferris Bueller Doesn’t Go to College, Pretty in Pinko, and the one about Breakfast, and through its themes of teenagers exploring identity, romance, and hats.
Through the lens of a kid growing up, the film updates the Sony Spiderman ethos that and ten more reboots. Usually this is interpreted as meaning that since Peter has great power, he has the obligation to use it for the utmost good of society.
But Homecoming inverts this by questioning whether the young Peter is responsible enough to wield great power, or a learner’s permit. In the beginning, Peter is impulsive and fails to think through the consequences of his use of power, not so different from the criminals who sell nuclear weapons to people without conducting a background check.
He considers using his power for frivolous means, such as crashing Liz’s party as Spiderman for the gram, and jailbreaking his suit before reading up on Windows Vista. His “father figure” Elon has to repeatedly swoop in and clean up his mess, usually in a Tesla, ultimately taking away his suit so he can dry clean it.
It’s only when Peter realizes that his actions make things explode all the time that he grows up, ironically realizing he is not ready to wield such power. Until the sequel, Spider-Man: Home Depot.
In a note of intertextual irony, Michael Keaton appears as a avian villain on the heels of 2014 Oscar darling, Birdman: Or, The Unexpected Value of Shooting Off Your Nose. In it, Keaton’s character falls into obscurity after starring in a superhero franchise, much as Keaton did after his starring role in Badman. Although who could forget Jack Frost? Except literally every human after they lobotomized it from their brains. This role becomes an ironic completion of Birdman, implying that the film made Keaton relevant enough to return to lucrative franchises and play the underdog to mega-stars like Robert Downey Jr. and sixteen time Oscar winner, Zendaya.
For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. Sling responsibly.