As I mentioned yesterday, Michael and I saw the new Marvel movie, Spider-man Homecoming. We don’t typically go to movies during the opening weekend, but we are more likely to when it’s a comic book based movie.
What I like to do when I consume any type of media – music, movies or TV is to find the hidden God gems within the narrative. I think, on some level, I have always done this, but this skill was honed in a college class I took that talked about finding the divine among the secular.
However, in order to do that with this particular movie, there will be lots and lots of spoilers.
I will say that the movie is excellent, and I encourage you to see it. So if you haven’t, don’t read any further unless you like knowing the entire plot of a movie before seeing it.
Ok, here we go.
The story picks up after Avengers: Civil War. I definitely like how everything is chronologically linked in a way that we, as the audience, can follow the story from one movie to the next. There is this really cute opening segment where we see Peter Parker making a home video of his trip to Berlin and the subsequent fight scene from Civil War from his perspective.
There were some major differences between this Spiderman compared to the “Andrew Garfield” and “Tobey Maguire” editions. First, in this movie, Peter Parker is already Spiderman and has been for a while, at least enough to gain the attention of Tony Stark. Uncle Ben isn’t even in the picture, only Aunt Mae who is quite a bit younger. There is no back story into his parents like the Garfield one, or the wrestler/Uncle Ben death scenes like in the Maguire one. Maybe they will dive into those stories, but I think they have been told well by previous renditions, so leaving them out is totally fine as well.
Besides, Marvel has more story to tell with the other characters, and spending too much time building up Spiderman’s past may slow it down. Or they could do it all in the next movie, which is set to release in 2019.
Another difference between this movie and the others was the love interest. The main love interest in this movie is simply known as Liz because knowing her last name would give away a plot twist. But there is no real romantic scene in this movie at all. I don’t even think they kiss. Which is really different from the other two, Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy.
And one last difference was the danger. The danger was less centered around the villain and more around the alien tech. Following the rest of the Marvel narrative (even within the TV show Agents of Shield) a big theme is the fact that humans are not equipped to handle the alien tech that keeps dropping out of the sky. This doesn’t just include the bad guys, this includes Peter and his friends. Which helps the overall theme that I loved in this movie.
There really is no bad guy.
There are just guys who make bad choices. One of my favorite scenes in the entire movie was when Peter interrogates this criminal. He first meets this guy when the guy is looking at all these alien enhanced guns as a buyer. He doesn’t seem interested despite how powerful they are, and during the interrogation scene with Peter, he reveals the reason for his hesitation is the fact that he has a nephew in the neighborhood. He didn’t want to be responsible for bringing such dangerous things near his family.
And what I saw in that scene and in many of the other scenes in this movie was this sense of redemption. People aren’t inherently evil, but given desperation, fear, and ignorance, they are capable of evil things. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being redeemed in the end. At the very end of the movie, the “villain” does something that reveals his heart and his priorities. He recognizes things for what they are and makes a good choice. Which gives me hope for that character (even if he never shows up again in the Marvel universe, but I kind of hope he does).
Fear is real. And sometimes it’s very necessary to protect ourselves. But I hope one day that fear can be set aside for unity and acceptance. And stories like this one give me that hope. Hope that fear can be redeemed by forgiveness. That’s the story of the cross. Our fear of death and separation was vanquished by the sacrifice and salvation of Jesus. And I love how I can see glimpses of this divine truth in the secular narrative.
Highly, highly recommend a go-see to this film!