Australian Council on Children and the Media

Spider-Man: Homecoming

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Not recommended under 13; parental guidance recommended 13 to 15 due to violence and scary scenes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • a review of Spider-Man: Homecoming completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 July 2017.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 13 to 15 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Viewers aged 15 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Spider-Man: Homecoming
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence
Length 133 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film opens in New York City where we find salvage operator Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton) and his co-workers collecting all manner of strange alien technology buried amongst building wreckage and debris. Without warning officials from the Department of Damage Control arrive and shut Toomes down, ordering him to hand over all of the salvaged technology. Unhappy with the way they have been treated Toomes and his co-workers decide to keep the salvaged goods and go into business for themselves, making and selling hybrid weapons. Eight years later Toomes has taken his salvaged alien technology to new level, including a suit which enables him to fly as Vulture-Man.

Meanwhile teenager Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is at a loose end after an exciting time fighting with the Avengers and is waiting for a call from Tony Stark/Iron-Man (Robert Downey Jr.) informing him of his next mission. Peter fights crime and helps people in his local neighbourhood as well as attending high school during the day. At school Peter hangs out with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), is a key figure on the schools quiz team and has a huge crush on popular student Liz (Laura Harrier).

During one of Peter’s night-time neighbourhood surveillance tours, he attempts to apprehend four men using alien weapons to steal an ATM machine. Unfortunately Peter accidentally sets off one of the weapons which destroys an adjacent shop and nearly kills its owner. Peter becomes determined to track down those responsible for the weapons and this leads him to a confrontation with Vulture-Man

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Superheroes; alien technology and weapons; responsibility; growing up

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains fantasy action violence throughout, some large scale destruction of property, and a violent murder. Minimal blood and gore are depicted.   Examples include:

  • In the film’s opening scene a man punches a second man hard in the face, knocking him to the ground.
  • In one scene Spider-Man takes on four men armed with shot guns and alien weapons who are attempting to steal an ATM machine. One of the men fires a power weapons at Spider-Man, throwing him through the air. In retaliation Spider-Man throws sticky web at the men, then pulls on the web slamming the men into walls and knocking them out. During the mayhem the alien weapon is dropped and discharges, destroying a building across the street, and Spider-Man enters the burning building to rescue a man and his cat.     
  • In one scene, Vulture-Man descends without warning and uses taloned feet to lift Spider-Man into the air before dropping him. Spider-Man falls towards the ground and lands in water before being pulled to safety by Vulture-Man.
  • A man says to Peter Parker “I’ll kill you and everybody you love”.
  • Vulture-Man attacks a large jet plane and steals alien weapons. Spider-Man confronts him and is thrown into a jet engine. They continue to fight with Vulture-Man slashing at Spider-Man with his metal wings and cutting great gashes in the plane, causing more explosions and flames. Spider-Man uses webs to guide the burning plane past city skyscrapers before it ploughs into the ground. Vulture-Man descends and attacks Spider-Man, punching him in the face and throwing him against buildings. Vulture-Man uses his wings to slice through concrete pillars, causing a concrete ceiling to come down on top of Spider-Man’s head, burying him under tons of concrete. The trapped Spider-Man panics at first, but then becomes determined and rises up, lifting the concrete with him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Vulture-Man wears a metal suit with razor-sharp wings fitted with all manner of weapons. He also wears a helmet with glowing green eyes, giving him an intimidating appearance.
  • The film contains a number of weapons that cause large loud fiery explosions.
  • A man is disintegrated – he burns bright red, turns to ash and then disappears.
  • In a number of scenes Spider-Man, who is in reality a fifteen-year-old boy, is beaten with far greater severity than we would expect to see an adult endure.
  • After an explosion destroys the top of monument building several teens are trapped in an elevator and are saved at the last minute.
  • A ferry with passengers on board is split in half

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be scared by the above mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group may also be scared by the above mentioned scenes

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the above mentioned scenes

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • various car brands
  • Smartphones
  • YouTube

Sexual references

The film contains sexual reference and innuendo scattered throughout. Examples include:

  • While in a car, a man reaches over teen boy as if about to give him a hug, but when the boy hugs the man in response, he says, “That’s not a hug - just grabbing the door for you”.
  • A boy says that his aunt is a very hot Italian woman.
  • An aunt talks to her teen nephew about puberty, telling him that it was difficult for him to fit in with all the changes going on, and then telling him that he is “flowering”.
  • A gym full of teenagers watch a video recording of Captain America talking about going through puberty and hear him say, “So your body changes and believe me I know how that feels”.  
  • A teen boy using a school computer without permission is caught by a teacher- he panics and lies that he was watching porn.   
  • A father tells a boy who is escorting his daughter to a homecoming dance, “Show my daughter a good time but not too good”.

Nudity and sexual activity

There are a number of scenes of females wearing tight and revealing clothes, and men’s muscular bodies.

Use of substances

Some social beer-drinking

Coarse language

  • “hell” ; “damn” ;   “Oh my God” ; “what the fu…”, “crap”, “bullshit”; “screwed”; ”shitting me”    
  • “losers”, “alien bastards”; “arsehole”; “bad-arse”

In a nutshell

Spider-Man: Homecoming is a superhero action adventure that targets teens and adult fans of Marvel films. Teens are likely to particularly enjoy seeing the teenage Peter Parker. Younger children who like Spider-Man toys and costumes are likely to be attracted to the film, but it is rated M for action violence and features a number of violent and scary scenes. Some parents may also be concerned about the coarse language. The film is therefore not recommended for children under thirteen and parental guidance is recommended for the 13 to 15 age group.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • It’s what’s inside you that makes you the person you are, not the clothes you wear on the outside.
  • Small local neighbourhoods are just as important to protect and save as large cities.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to discuss with their children include courage and perseverance, as shown by Peter Parker who has some big responsibilities for a teenager to deal with.

 

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