It seems like yesterday that fans’ prayers were answered and we got news that Spider-Man was coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Well, that film is finally here.
What follows is a look at the part that Spider-Man plays in the film Captain America: Civil War and some thoughts on those scenes as well as some other aspects of the film that could be brought into the discussion. I also look at how Spider-Man based internet predictions turned out in the film.
HEAVY Spoiler Warnings are in effect if you click below to read the rest of this review…
After the Avengers split in two over the Sokovia accords, Tony is looking to bolster his ranks. He goes to an apartment block in Queens to meet Peter Parker, a new enhanced making noise in New York as his alter ego Spider-Man. Tony has worked out Peter’s secret and recruits him onto the team under pretense of Peter being offered a grant by the September Foundation.
Spider-Man joins the fight against Cap’s rogue Avengers, who have been tracked by Black Widow to a German airport. Stealing Cap’s shield in what has become this version of Spidey’s iconic reveal in a new suit built with Tony’s money. After being caught off guard from Ant-Man, he takes on Falcon and Bucky before being removed from the fray with Redwing. He also takes on Captain America before coming up with the idea to take down the now-Giant Man. Taking a hit at the end of the fight, Tony sends Peter home. However, in a post-post credit scene we see Peter explaining his new black eye away to Aunt May as getting in a fight with a guy from Brooklyn. Then he discovers he has a Spider-Signal light in his new webshooter; the credits roll and we see “Spider-Man Will Return.”
‘Homecoming’ a line referenced a lot in the beginning of the movie as one of Winter Soldier’s control phrases. We also now know it is the subtitle to Spider-man’s first solo Marvel Cinematic Universe movie (his sixth movie overall). Are they connected? Is this foreshadowing? I struggle to imagine how they would be, unless his parents are spies in this version, but I would imagine Sony avoiding the parent’s mystery after “Amazing”. Another thought is if they do go with Kraven there might be a Russian connection. Truth is, it is probably a coincidence. Either way it’s fun to think about
Huge title card “QUEENS” appears when Tony mentions recruiting another and you feel the rush go over the audience. We find out both Peter and May are living in an apartment building. Now I’m not to familiar with modern day Queens (I have only driven through it) so I don’t know if this is more common living in 2016 than the smaller houses shown in other versions (or the glass door house from amazing ). I could see this being a choice to make it easier for a swinging Spider-Man to come and go.
I was not expecting to see Marisa Tomei in this movie, so it was a surprise for her to appear here. We are clearly getting a younger May with our younger Peter. Tony Stark even appears to be flirting with her. We don’t see her a lot here but it was nice to get a small taste of what her role will be like. This will be more Ultimate Spider-Man style May than frail May.
I think this guy had an uphill battle. While Amazing was not well received as a franchise it was common opinion Andrew Garfield was considered to be a great Spider-Man. I’m happy to report Tom rises to the challenge. This is a young Peter, which has had mixed reaction, but the production team have cast well. It could have been easy to go with a ‘Teen Wolf’ named actor but Tom, being relatively unknown, plays well here. He isn’t traditionally handsome but he has a Parker charm. He also has great timing and holds his own against Downey Jr. and Evans. Holland has also done away with Garfield’s weird head shaking.
Peter has been active in this world for six months, as was hinted at in Ant-Man. He has been running around in a basic sweatshirt, mask and goggles. Tony provides Peter with his proper Spider-Man suit. Now I’m sure this will divide some fans that want Peter to create the suit. Personally, this doesn’t bother me and practically it makes sense. What I like is that they don’t take away from Peter’s science skills here. Tony has been following him because he is impressed with the tech Peter has been creating by himself from “dumpster diving,” like the webbing. Now the goggles/changing eyes are interesting as Peter hints, that after “what happened” to him, his senses have been heightened and narrowing the eye view helps him focus. I haven’t seen Spider-Man explaining eye lenses before so unless I’m mistaken it’s a new take for the film and it’s obviously there for them to explain the changing eye lens tech. Personally, I’m just happy to buy into his changing eyes but for those that need something more grounded it is there in one throw-off line.
Peter, Stark & Responsibility
I loved this scene. From Tony spitting out Aunt May’s walnut loaf to Peter’ “Do the right thing” speech. It is nice to see Peter’s room littered with computer parts and other science and/or tech pieces. His reaction to Tony is great. Peter’s movement, still trying to cover his costume even after Tony has clearly seen it… this is perfect Peter. I enjoyed the nice touch of Tony being impressed with Peter’s skill in the field from YouTube videos. It is interesting that Peter does go in a roundabout way of saying, “With great power comes great responsibility” to Tony. Instead, it is more along the lines of “If you do nothing when you can do something, good people get hurt” (I’m paraphrasing here). Now as a Spider-Man fan I was very disappointed that they didn’t go there for yet another film. However on my third viewing, looking at this scene I realized this was a choice made for Tony’s arc. It’s not stated verbally but at this moment you see Tony starting to experience some doubt with what he is about to do going against Cap. Keep in mind this Civil War isn’t about ‘Registration’ like it is in the comics. It is about the Avengers being answerable to the United Nations on their choice of action. The Responsibility might have actually playing to much into Tony side’s belief of taking more responsibility for what they do. We as an audience however need to believe Tony does have concerns at some point in order to believe his character turn at the Raft to help Cap later on.
Two little things I really love in this scene. One: Tony calling Peter “Spiderling.” It may just sound cute but it also is the correct name for a young spider. Two: the web is a nice translucent white, much more like real web then we have seen before.
The end of act two takes us to a show down at an airport in Germany. Tony confronts Cap and after Cap refuses to stand down and hand over Bucky, Tony calls for Spidey in the now famous “underoos” scene (which side note played funny in an Australian cinema as people wondered if he meant a kangaroo’s pouch or something as we don’t have that sleepwear here).
Tom plays it great here as his nervousness comes through while saying hello to Cap, feeling out the new costume and his surprise at Ant-Man’s surprise attack. Once the action starts, Peter seems a little off his game in a way a 15 year old would be while fighting around these legends. Tony reminds Spidey it’s his job is to keep his distance and web opponents up. This could be a throw-off line but I do like that in this plan Tony is thinking about both Peter’s safety as well as using as little damaging force on Cap’s team as possible.
Sam & Bucky
Peter is the first member of Tony’s team to reach Bucky, who is the main objective of the fight. I love Spider-Man’s enthusiasm for Bucky’s metal arm, both as a hero and a man of science. Falcon nabbing Peter removes Spidey from that altercation. Peter launches into a “You are under arrest!” line in one of the biggest laughs across my three screenings. Spidey gets himself loose of Sam’s grip, bantering about the make-up of his wings followed by Spidey swatting back a door Bucky had thrown at him with “Hey buddy, I think you lost this”. This was another huge laugh in the movie. Now, Civil War is probably the most serious of the Marvel movies so far, so it is great nearing the end of Act Two to get a scene with this classic Marvel staple coming thick and fast. I also like that we are getting a witty Spider-man. Garfield’s Spider-man had the mouth and was a big improvement over Toby’s near-humorless dialogue but I don’t know if they ever gave Garfield the best jokes. I find it irresistible to enjoy having a Spidey tell jokes that actually have me laughing. If you look at these scenes carefully I think a huge part of this is the Russo Brothers’ use of the camera. If you watch what’s happening in the scene, the camera is enhancing the joke. IE: the door is only revealed as Bucky peers around a corner right as punch line of the joke hits. Spidey manages to get the upper hand, webbing down both Bucky and Falcon, who hilariously asks if the web is coming out of him). Sam asks spider-Man if it’s his first battle because there normally isn’t this much talking. Good joke. One that probably played much better in a pre-Deadpool world. Spidey is quickly removed from this scuffle by Falcon’s Redwing drone. Now apart from a small moment when Bucky throws the door and the goggles line earlier we don’t get much in the way of Spidey having Spider-Sense. Some hits landed on him, like Redwing’s, seem a little off but it could also be inexperience tripping him up here.
Spidey v Steve
Spidey next goes up against Captain America himself (if my memory serves me as I didn’t want to be that guy taking notes in the cinema) I. Love. This. Scene. We spent this movie watching Cap kick serious ass, so to watch Spidey get the upper hand on him getting his shield, pulling his arms, we see Spidey can hold his own. Steve can only defeat Spidey by taking out a walkway above him, trapping Spider-Man under the weight. I love Tom’s pose here paying homage to Amazing Spider-Man #33 when he is lifting rubble while trapped under great weight. The banter here is really tremendous. Tom seriously delivering “You’re wrong, but you think you’re right… and that makes you dangerous” is powerful. Also, how can you not be fond of Cap when Spidey tells him he is from Queens and Cap smiles and replies simply “Brooklyn” before running off.
The battle amps up after some fights get out of hand and this time the full rosters face off with each other. This might happen before Cap v Spidey fight if my memory is off. More of a Tony/Steve moment but we get Spidey shocked that the other team isn’t stopping when they go charging and some nice shots you might miss in the background of Spidey jumping over cars that Scarlet Witch is throwing around with her powers.
The Oh $h!t Moment
If you are a toy guy/girl this moment got spoiled for you months ago and that’s when Scott Lang goes from Ant-man to Giant-Man to buy Steve and Bucky time. Well, no one told Peter because his reaction to it is dropping the S-bomb. Ok, let’s be honest here. It got a big laugh. I know some might no like Spidey swearing but in 2016 the s-word isn’t anywhere near as bad as this moment might have been many years ago. Some think of Peter as a role model for the young and might not be happy with this and I can respect that but to be honest this moment is just fine for me to be coming out of a 15 year old’s mouth in 2016.
Spidey v Giant Man
After Spidey saves Rhodes from his encounter with Giant Man, Spider-man distracts Scott for a bit before coming up with the plan to take Scott down. Like Tony and Rhodey his line is sure going to make a lot of Spider-man fans feel old when he calls ‘Empire’ a really old movie. His plan to take Giant man down like the AT AT’s works but not without getting a hit from Scott in on Peter taking him out of the fight. This was a great end fight for Spider-man. Allows for vertical action as well as showing off a great power battle. As this battle wraps up its clear Spidey was one of the MVP’s of the battle and he can stand on par with other members of the MCU. Plus I just adore seeing Spider-man crawling on Giant Man being shot from Scott Lang’s POV.
Go Home, Kid
You can’t have a movie Spider-Man without his mask coming off at the end off the battle. We kinda get that here as Spider-Man’s mask is half slipped up on one side but thankfully with moving eyes to express I’m sure these days are mostly behind us. Tony tells Peter he has done well, but he is done and to go home. Very much in Peter’s character he tries to push on but after taking one too many hits and the battle ending with Cap and Bucky’s escape – and the capture of most of Cap’s team – he reluctantly bows out. For a film with so many characters they do an amazing job of giving each character a ‘bow out’ moment in the film and this is a nice one as they end Peter’s story. Tony brought him in and Tony sends him out.
Post Credit Scene
After the first post credit scene with Bucky, Cap and T’challa, if you wait patiently through the full credits you will be rewarded with another Post Credit scene ( I love that the Russos do two). We see Peter talking about the fight (in vague manner) with Aunt May as well as discovering a new feature in his webshooter, which we assume Tony added: the Spider-Signal. So I have mixed feelings on this Post Credit scene. I am very happy to get an extra scene with Tom. But this scene, though fun, didn’t do much to excite me anymore than the rest of the movie had for more Spider-Man. I wish we got a hint of a villain, the Daily Bugle, Mary Jane hidden behind a lamp or something extra. I personally believe the Post Credit scenes work best when being played just for the fans. Thor’s Hammer, Cosmic Cube, Thanos, Collector, Wanda and Pieter, Howard the Duck. Now that said, I appreciate a lot of people are not wise, beautiful people like us engaging in Spider-man internet news on a frequent basis and may not realize more is coming or if this Spider-Man will get his own film. Maybe they think, “He will be like Quicksilver and they’ll just have different actors,” as I heard one theater-goer say about Garfield recasting before the movie.
How Some Internet Film Predictions Turned Out:
Iron-Spider: Nope. We never see the Iron Spider from the Civil War comic. Tony plays a hand in getting Peter a more heroic suit. Style and design was all Peter.
Tony makes Spider-Man costume: True, but as mentioned above it has got Peter in there to.
Martin Freeman as Uncle Ben: Nope, though he is one of the other greatest supporting characters of all time – Everett Ross.
Revealing of Identity, Spider-Man switches sides and other Civil War story beats: Nope. Story takes ideas but does not follow Mark Millar’s story. It is interesting to note however that the character that does switch sides is Black Widow, who is a spider-themed character.
The Hoodie costume: Ok, so this one might be true. We see blurry footage of Peter in his first costume on YouTube on Tony’s holo-device and we see it crumpled. I don’t know if it matches the hoodie that leaked a few months back. It didn’t look like it to me but I could be wrong.
J.K.Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson: Nope. Sadly he has gone to DC.
OsCorp: Could be true. On three viewings I am yet to pick it up if it’s there.
Captain America in Peter’s House: Nope. The house in the trailer wasn’t Peter’s house but Bucky’s apartment in Romania.
Post Credit Scene will be for Spider-Man: Homecoming? True. I’m sure Sony was praying it would be.
Webpits: Nope. No web underarms here.
“Ok, I’m done Talking”
I’m sure one of the main guys will have a full review out soon but this was to get a take on Spider-Man’s involvement in Civil War up. This is my own personal take on Peter’s role and might not reflect Crawlspace at large. How did you find the MCU Spider-man ? Did you agree/disagree? Anything I missed?