Movie Mixtape: Spider-Man Movie Connections

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: Spider-Man: Homecoming.)

Be honest. What would you have done if you’d seen Sony and Marvel cast someone to play Uncle Ben in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Screamed? Shook your head? Vowed never to see it, only to buy opening night tickets? These are all correct answers.

For the third time in only 15 years, Spider-Man is being introduced to us on the big screen. For the first time, he’s come home to the warm, awaiting arms of the Marvel family so that he can have direct contact with Iron Man and Happy Hogan and some other surprise guests along the way.

Fortunately, Uncle Ben is not one of them. Wisely, the studios, the writers and co-writer/director Jon Watts are letting us shake hands with a new Peter Parker (Tom Holland) after his most formative moment, after he’s fought crime in a funny suit, and after he’s helped Iron Man slap Captain America in the face during Civil War.

Homecoming sees Parker juggling life as an unpopular high school sophomore and life as a superpowered hero who wants to do more than help old ladies cross the street. It’s a spectacular outing for Spidey that smartly avoids most of the tired tropes beaten into our eyeballs over the past decade. It’s light, sometimes dry, and it pairs well with these other films.

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