Spider-Man: Homecoming is finally upon us, and it's a fantastic return to form for one of the greatest superheroes ever to grace the silver screen. Critics are hailing the web-head's unexpected re-reboot as one of the best MCU movies ever, and for good reason; the sixteenth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is whimsical, exciting, romantic, and downright entertaining from start to finish.
Tom Holland's take on the character is notably younger than the versions played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in years past, but the movie is not dumbed-down for a younger audience or anything like that. Continuing on from the character's debut in Captain America: Civil War, this version of the friendly-neighborhood Spider-Man is seamlessly integrated into Marvel's cinematic playground, and director Jon Watts gets tremendous mileage from bouncing the character off of beloved figures like Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark and Jon Favreau's Happy Hogan, with tons of meta MCU references thrown in for equal parts continuity and comedy.
Spider-Man will return in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, as well as the Homecoming sequel which will mark the start of Marvel's Phase 4. But until then, let's dissect all the great moments, interludes, and frantic fight scenes in Spidey's first starring role in an MCU film. With that in mind, there are going to be tons of SPOILERS from the movie, including the ending and hitherto-undisclosed cameos.
With that disclaimer are out of the way, let's jump right in; here are The 15 Best Scenes In Spider-Man: Homecoming!
There was some speculation when Homecoming was first announced as to when, exactly the film would be set. Would it be set before or after Spider-Man's initial appearance in Captain America: Civil War?
Taking a cue from Ant-Man's time-shifted cold open, the first scene of Spider-Man: Homecoming takes place in 2012, but it doesn't feature Peter Parker. Rather, it's an origin story for Adrian Toomes, better known as The Vulture. Fitting his future villainous moniker, Toomes runs a salvage operation, and he has just sunk a ton of money into getting prepared for helping to clean up the mess following The Battle of New York, as seen in The Avengers.
The scene is set in the immediate aftermath of the Earth-changing event, in the battered ruins of Grand Central Station. Toomes and his crew are about to get started with raking in some major salvage dough, but then Damage Control, a joint venture between Tony Stark and the US Government, swoops in, shuts them down, and takes over. "The system is rigged," one of Toomes' men laments. Not content to just take this defeat lying down, Toomes later decides to steal a truckload of alien tech, thus beginning his odyssey down the path of crime and super-villainy.
Following the 2012 scene, the Marvel Studios logo plays (with a fancy variation of the classic 1960s Spider-Man theme!), and audiences are greeted with a curious/hilarious title card: "A film by Peter Parker." Peter's introduction to the movie is in the form of a cell phone video he made chronicling his trip to Germany to fight in the now-legendary airport battle shown in 2016's Captain America: Civil War.
Audiences get a camera's-eye-view of classic moments like when Spider-Man steals Cap's shield and Ant-Man's transformation into Giant-Man. In addition to these crowd-pleasing moments shown from a new perspective, the sequence offers a look at behind-the-scenes events like Spidey getting his fancy new Stark-tech suit, as well as his chummy interactions with Happy Hogan. Jon Favreau, director of the original two Iron Man movies, reprises his Hogan role here, for the first time since 2013's Iron Man 3.
One of the biggest strengths of Spider-Man: Homecoming is that it does not aim to be a grandiose international epic like The Avengers, and it doesn't position its title character as an extremely powerful demigod; he's just a kid from Queens who happens to have superpowers... He's not tremendously skilled with them yet, but he's learning, and getting better every day.
To articulate the low-level crimes and problems which Spider-Man tackles, the film includes a sequence where, after leaving school, he leaves his stuff in an alley, suits up (it's really cool to see how he changes from his street clothes to his costume in one continuous shot), and goes to work, triggering a musical montage of Spidey in action, set to the Ramones classic, "Blitzkrieg Bop." He foils a bike robbery, gives directions to a lost traveler, and otherwise helps the denizens of Queens feel a little safer.
Of course, it's only a matter of time before the "friendly-neighborhood Spider-Man" is presented with a larger threat. After being attacked by weapons made from re-purposed alien tech during a low-level ATM robbery, Spidey assigns himself to the case, pursuing the weapons dealers in charge of these abominable next-gen implements of destruction.
When the time finally comes to chase a van full of weapons (and Toomes' men), the audience expects to see Spider-Man take to the skies, web-slinging between skyscrapers and otherwise dancing across the city with the grace and dexterity of a super-powered ballerina... That doesn't happen.
Queens is a large part of New York City, and its architecture varies between neighborhoods. This car chase takes place in a park on the outskirts of the suburbs; there are no tall buildings from which Spider-Man can perform his signature acrobatic feats of gymnastic elegance. Instead, he has to exasperatedly run across a golf course, fail at swinging from low-hanging branches, and otherwise engage in a humorous and exciting chase which is simply unlike anything else seen in a Spider-Man movie to date, ending in a genuinely terrifying appearance from The Vulture, who saves his men and nearly kills our teenage protagonist.
In the lead-up to the movie's release, some fans were dismayed by the news that Homecoming would feature no less than three classic Spider-Man villains, with The Tinkerer and The Shocker appearing in addition to The Vulture. However, the movie itself shows that Tinkerer and Shocker are simply part of Vulture's crew, and are subordinate to him. Tinkerer never leaves his workshop, but Shocker is the street-level muscle.
After having to save his men from Spider-Man in the earlier car chase, Michael Keaton's Vulture has words with his lieutenants, particularly the hot-headed Shocker, who he ultimately kicks off of the crew. After heated words are exchanged, Toomes reaches for an alien weapon and shoots his former employee, disintegrating and killing him instantly.
However, this is a not a vindictive villain move; it's an accident. While not exactly repulsed by his accidental act of murder, Toomes informs Tinkerer that he meant to reach for an Anti-Gravity rifle, not a lethal armament. In any case, Toomes doesn't mourn for long. He takes the Shocker Gauntlet from the pile of dust and gives it to his other lieutenant, proclaiming, "I guess now you're The Shocker."
Following a dramatic and exciting series of events, Peter Parker finds himself locked in a Damage Control warehouse with no way of communicating with the outside world. His only companion is the onboard A.I. program in his Spider-Suit, which he and his friend Ned recently unlocked, by removing the patronizingly amusing "Training Wheels Protocol."
The A.I., which he names Karen, guides him through tutorials on the advanced nuances of his suit, but he also consults her for romantic advice. He tells her of the girl he has a crush on in school, Liz. It's a heartfelt moment, and a new take on the Tony Stark/Jarvis (or Friday, since Jarvis is now Vision) relationship to which fans have grown accustomed. Plus, Karen's knowledge of Peter's pining for Liz pays off in a big way later on...
Fun Fact: Karen is voiced by Jennifer Connolly, wife of Paul Bettany, who plays fellow Stark-developed A.I. program, Jarvis, now reborn as the android, Vision.
In superhero movies, the protagonist usually comes into their own as a hero by performing a daring feat of bravery and skill in full view of the public, whether it's Superman saving Lois from a crashing helicopter or Wonder Woman single-handedly crossing No Man's Land, this trope is a powerful storytelling tool, and it's on full display in Homecoming.
While Peter's friends are taking a tour of the Washington Monument, an alien device carried by Ned (who is holding it for Peter) detonates, causing severe structural damage to the elevator, which is currently hundreds of feet above the ground. After some snazzy stuntwork (or CGI; in 2017, it's getting harder and harder to tell) and precarious tension, Spider-Man saves the day.
The coup de grace for the scene comes when Peter is hanging upside-down in front of Liz. Karen, the A.I. on board the suit tells Peter, "Now's your chance; kiss her," hilariously evoking the iconic upside-down kiss from the 2002 Spider-Man movie. Alas for Peter, he does not get a smooch just yet.
Throughout the film, several "School News" interludes occur, filling in the students of the Midtown School of Science and Technology – and the audience – on the goings-on around campus. The scenes are essentially dolled-up exposition, but the deliberately cheap aesthetics are endearing and entertaining, and the student anchors and reporters are a joy to watch. Plus, it really sells the film's feel; this is a high-school movie, and the lead characters are mostly kids.
As a nice little bonus for dedicated Spider-Fans, one of the news anchors is revealed to be Betty Brant, one of Spider-Man's key supporting players. In the comics, she is the long-suffering assistant to Daily Bugle Editor J. Jonah Jameson. Elizabeth Banks played the character in all three of the Sam Raimi movies, and she's portrayed here by Angourie Rice, who stole all her scenes in Shane Black's The Nice Guys and also stars in Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled.
One of the more highly-publicized roles in the movie was that of Donald Glover, with speculation abuzz over what character he might be playing. Back in the day, the actor campaigned for the lead role in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, but was ultimately passed over in favor of Andrew Garfield. However, his efforts gained so much traction that Glover is widely credited for helping to inspire the creation of Miles Morales, and now Glover has a role in Homecoming, bringing his association with the character full-circle.
These days, Donald Glover is a bit old to be playing Miles Morales, so he instead stars as Aaron Davis, better known as The Prowler, one of New York City's more low-key vigilantes. In the movie, Spider-Man tracks Davis after his high-tech suit identifies him at a weapons deal (See entry #12), and confronts him at a discreet parking garage. At Karen's suggestion, Spidey enables the "Enhanced Interrogation" mode of his suit, bringing his voice down to an electronically altered booming bass, not dissimilar to that of Christian Bale's Batman. Unfortunately for Spidey, the new voice is more comical than intimidating, and the web-slinger's attempts at instilling fear in his target fall on deaf ears, so to speak.
One of the key takeaways of these scene for comic fans comes when Aaron makes a reference to his nephew. In the Ultimate comics, Davis is uncle to Miles Morales, so his conspicuous off-hand remark here seems to confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that the character of Miles does, in fact, exist within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This epic sequence was already hinted at in the trailers, with nearly every ad featuring a shot of Spider-Man in the middle of a collapsing Staten Island Ferry boat, with his strength, webs, and willpower being the only things keeping the machine from falling apart and sinking into the sea. However, there's a lot more leading up to that moment, like the subtle introduction of Mac Gargan, better known as The Scorpion, and Spidey's first, failed attempt at webbing the whole boat to keep it intact.
The most important part of the sequence is that Spidey fails at his task. He took on a mission that he wasn't prepared for, and innocents were nearly killed. If Iron Man hadn't shown up to help save the ferry when he did, then the outcome would have been much worse... That being said, if Spidey hadn't gone off all half-cocked, then the audience wouldn't have gotten one of the most kinetic and show-stopping sequences in the movie, so it all worked out for the best.
Except for the folks who owned those cars on the bottom level of the ferry. Those are very much at the bottom of the Hudson now. Oops?
The immediate fallout from Spider-Man's failure at the ferry is that Tony Stark takes the technologically-advanced Spider-Suit away from young Peter. Pete is devastated by the loss, since, in his mind, he is no longer Spider-Man. "I'm nothing without that suit," Parker protests, but Stark refuses to relent. Overall, the movie is full of fun and adventure, but it is elevated by these heartfelt moments of dramatic tension which offer context and greater meaning to all the yuks and whiz-bang action.
A common theme of the various Spider-Man films is non-duality; Peter Parker and Spider-Man are one and the same, and only by accepting the good and bad of both identities can the hero truly be whole. Here, Parker is stripped of his fancy suit and forced to come to terms that, fancy gadgets or not, he is still Spider-Man, which leads to...
One of the biggest "wow" moments in the movie comes when Peter Parker, now stripped of his Spider-Suit, goes to pick up Liz from her house, only to come face to face with her father, Adrian Toomes, The Vulture, who quickly deduces that his daughter's teenage suitor is none other than Spider-Man.
After driving the young couple to the dance, Toomes holds on to Parker after his daughter leaves the car, and warns the young hero, in no uncertain terms, that he will kill him and everybody he loves if he doesn't get out of his way.
In a heartbreaking and heroic moment, as soon as Peter is reunited with his date, he tells her he has to leave. Spider-Man suits up, not in his Stark-powered high-tech suit, but his old, home-made suit (re-purposed sweats, basically), and sets off to take down The Vulture, for such is the duty of a hero.
After persevering through an early defeat at the hands of The Vulture, Spider-Man takes to the sky to stop his airborne enemy from robbing a cargo plane -- containing many of The Avengers' valuables -- from Stark Tower in Manhattan to the new upstate New York facility. The ensuing high-altitude fight sequence is unlike anything else seen in a Spider-Man movie to date, helping to further differentiate this movie from its predecessors.
Eventually, the plane goes down on the beach at Coney Island, knocking over the famous Parachute Jump in the process, leading to a final duel between Spider and Vulture. In a display of empathy, compassion for his enemy, Spider-Man saves Toomes after his jetpack explodes, and the villain is ultimately incarcerated in a prison, rather than killed off for good.
During the mid-credits stinger, Vulture is approached by Mac Gargan, the man who would be Scorpion, who asks him about Spider-Man's true identity. Toomes doesn't reveal the secret, but instead offers a recalcitrant smile. Is it a smile of imminent evil revenge? Or is it a smile of loyalty towards Spider-Man, a good man who saved his life, thus turning him good in the process? A sequel will surely provide the answer to that fascinating question.
The closing moments of Homecoming take place at the Avengers Facility in upstate New York. The Vulture has been stopped, the precious cargo has been saved, and everybody is happy. Tony Stark, naturally, gives himself credit for helping Peter Parker's personal journey by taking his suit, and offers him a spot with The Avengers, a room in the facility, and a snazzy new suit, which appears to be based partially off the Iron Spider outfit from the comics.
Surprisingly, Peter turns him down, deciding to remain a street-level, "friendly neighborhood" Spider-Man for the time being. Stark concedes that the whole "joining the Avengers" line was just a test, and that Peter passed... Only it wasn't. After Peter leaves, Gwyneth Paltrow's Pepper Potts emerges from a room full of reporters asking where "the kid" is. Pepper had been missing in action since 2013's Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War implied that she and Tony had broken up, but Homecoming reveals that they managed to patch things up. Also, Happy Hogan still carries around an engagement ring ("I've been carrying this thing since 2008") for when Tony finally decides to pop the marriage question. Will Tony and Pepper be married in Avengers: Infinity War? Or will nuptials be saved for a hypothetical Iron Man 4? Only time will tell.
Marvel Studios is the best in the business when it comes to post-credits scenes, either for the purposes of teasing the next movie or making a silly joke. Spider-Man: Homecoming has it both ways, with two scenes during the credits; the first is the aforementioned sequence with Vulture and Scorpion, but the second is a meta joke on audience expectations that calls back to an earlier cameo in the film.
Throughout the movie, Captain America appears in a series of high school Public Service Announcements. He wears his outfit from The Avengers, implying that they were made some time before the events of that film, before he officially joined SHIELD. They're cheesy little vignettes, made even more humorous by the gaudy helmet he wore back then (no chin strap? What were they thinking?!).
After the credits finish rolling, Cap makes one more appearance on a white background, explaining the merits of patience, keeping calm while waiting for a final denouement, and how one shouldn't be disappointed if one never comes. It's a hilarious meta commentary on the audience's expectations for a post-credits scene, and it's the perfect way to "Cap" off one of the best movies of the summer.
What do you think? What were your favorite parts of Spider-Man: Homecoming? Are you looking forward to seeing Scorpion, Prowler, or possibly even Miles Morales in a sequel? Sound off in the comments!