Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Spiderman: Homecoming - A Parent's Guide

Spiderman balanced on a small Eiffel Tower, floating in the sea. Another Marvel film has been released in UK cinemas, and many young children will be desperate to see their favourite hero in action. The reason for this is, of course, because Marvel characters are very much marketed at children, despite the films being  routinely given a 12A certificate. The CBBFC defines this as: Films suitable for children aged 12 and over. People younger than 12 may see a 12A so long as they are accompanied by an adult. Responsibility for allowing a child under 12 to view lies with the adult. Which means parents need to be sure their children can handle it and that the language and references are appropriate for them. So, I went to see Spiderman: Homecoming and this is my parent's guide to help you decide. 

If you get as far as the section on 'violence', I have had to include an element of spoilers, in order to be accurate, so please don't read if you want to be surprised when you watch! This post contains affiliate links. If you buy a product via a link, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. 

Language


The use of bad language in this film was far more prevelant than in previous Marvel offerings. We only counted eight swear words in Avengers: Age of Ultron, for example, but in this film we actually struggled to write them all down! Below is a list of all the words we caught, but I think there may have been a few more that we missed. 

  • 'Bastard' x 2
  • 'Crap' x 2
  • 'Assholes/ Badass' x 2
  • 'Bullshit' x 2
  • 'Ballsy'
  • 1 inappropriate use of a middle finger
  • and possibly one use of the F word, but I didn't quite catch it, so I can't be sure.

Violence


If you've never seen a Marvel film before, I suggest you track down a previous one on DVD, such as one of the Avengers films, or even a previous Spiderman one, and watch it first. This will give you an idea of the nature of the films, which is typically a good guy versus bad guy scenario, which will involve a lot of violence. Generally, though, it's 'cartoon violence', so it isn't gory or bloody and often occurs in a situation that is far removed from reality, which seems to lessen the impact quite a bit. Again, I've tried to document all the episodes of violence as accurately as I can, to allow you to make up your own mind. However, it was dark, and I had a bad pen, so, it might not include every violent act that occurred, but certainly the most significant ones. 

  • Peter Parker is dragged behind a van by a long web string for quite a while, whilst being shot at by an alien ray gun. The shooter misses constantly and, aside from road rash (which presumably his suit protects him from), the worst he seems to suffer is impacting with various dustbins and other similar obstacles. 
  • There is a jump-scare moment when a large metal flying character (later revealed as The Vulture) appears out of nowhere and snatches Parker into the air. It gets a bit tense when he is seen plummeting to earth, before he lands in a stretch of water. He is rescued shortly after though, so it doesn't last long. 
  • Later, in a warehouse, a minor character is disintegrated with an alien ray gun. There is a moment where you can see the outline of the body as a sort-of reddish colour, suggesting intense heat, before he turns to dust and vanishes. 
  • Several children are trapped in a lift which begins to plummet to the ground. There is a strong sense of danger and peril. It's pretty dramatic, but there is some humour too. 
  • During one fight scene there is a fairly accurate noise as someone's (can't remember whose!) head is smashed against a car.
  • A ferry full of passengers splits apart and begins to sink, filling quickly with water. There is a strong suggestion of peril and it's quite a realistic portrayal of passengers potentially drowning! It isn't long before the ferry is secured and you see them all return to shore, though, so there is a happy conclusion. 
  • There is a scene where Parker has various buses thrown at him by his adversary (The Shocker), but it's not especially traumatic, more like a child having a tantrum, and he emerges pretty much unscathed. 
  • The scene where a building falls on him is a lot more realistic and there is an element of tension as silence descends and it's not clear if he is injured, then he is visibly distressed as he initially tries to fight his way out. 
  • There's a fight scene on the outside of a jet, which is really only an issue if you have a big problem with heights! 
  • A noisy and dramatic plane crash comes soon after, with lots of exploding and noise. 
  • There's a strong threat element in the final fight scene, because Parker looks relatively unarmed and The Vulture is big and metal and quite scary. 
  • The Vulture's wings explode and, again, it's all a bit traumatic as he could quite feasibly be dead in the wall of fire that ensues. Parker runs through the fire (don't try this at home, kids) and it turns out he's ok. *phew* 

Sexual References


Compared to some of the previous films, particularly the Iron Man trilogy, I felt the sexual references in this film were not really an issue. They were very mild and would most likely sail over the heads of a younger audience. So that you can make up your own mind, though, here is the list in full. I've also included inappropriate non-swear words in this category too. 

  • Stark asks Aunt May if she is wearing something skimpy, then laughs at his own inappropriateness
  • Parker is referred to as 'Penis Parker'
  • Ned tries to cover his tracks by telling his teacher he was watching porn
  • Stark uses the expression 'screwed the pooch' which goes almost unnoticed the first time, but the second time he embellishes it considerably, with further reference to having the puppies, making it more obvious.
  • Sexual words used: Screwed, ballsy

L is 11 now, and used to these films, but, in my opinion, the violence was far less graphic and realistic than Captain America: Civil War, so that could be a good place to start if you want to know what to expect. I hope this guide allows you to make an informed choice about whether your child is ready for Marvel or not. If you're still unsure, you can always wait for the DVD and then watch it yourself first.

Produced with help from the phenomenal memory of Stevie, who writes Stevie Slopes Off, a blog about his travels in Australia. 

Every swear word, violent scene, and sexual innuendo, for you to make an informed decision about taking your child to see this 12A film.





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15 comments

  1. big fan of spiderman so will make sure to see that movie :)
    Thanks for sharing your review

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    1. It was pretty good actually, what I saw of it, between scribblings!

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  2. I've enjoyed the previous Spiderman movies so will def be watching this one (after Sophie's bed time haha - she's only 2 so probably not her thing...) xx

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    1. You wouldn't want her learning any new words!

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  3. Hmmmmm not sure I agree a film 12a should have so much bad language. Why is it even necessary. I didn't even realise. Most certainly not ready thanks for this

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    1. Completely agree. It's a constant frustration that they market the toys at children then fill the film with swearwords!

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  4. The phrase 'Penis Parker' did make me chuckle! Good work recording all the swear words, I'm sure a lot of parents will find this really useful.

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    1. It was quite funny! I hope it will help, it's a tough call to make otherwise without seeing it first yourself, which would get expensive!

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  5. Thanks for this! Now we know what to expect.

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  6. I don't know if I am alone in my thinking but it seems these days the people who age rate the films and such are much less strict than when I was a youngster! I'm sure they weren't allowed to have half the stuff they do now. Take for example Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax", it was banned from the radio and now they sing openly about all sorts of sexual shenanigans!
    So in my mind, I 'up' the certificate, so a 12 is a 15, a 15 is an 18 and an 18 is, um, a 35!

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  7. This is a useful post, it's hard to know what films are suitable for little ones. My daughter isn't in to superheroes but having seen some of them I'm not sure I'd let her watch them!

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  8. What a great post. Good I know what to expect now. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Thanks for your review. I always like to know what I am getting myself in for!

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  10. Great post, really helpful for people who are unsure about the content.

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  11. I've never seen any Spiderman movies before but my son is a big fan of the cartoons and will probably ask to see this. I'm therefore really happy I stumbled upon your post as it means I know it's not really appropriate for him to watch at 4!

    Louise x

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