As Marvel fans, we’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment over the last decade with introducing our kids to these stories; first watching at home, then as they got older, seeing them in theatres and witnessing them flip out with giddy excitement at character reveals and plot twists. But recently we realized: we’ve never watched all of them as a family, and certainly not in release order. And that’s left some gaps in their understanding of the relationships between all these heroes.
Thus, as a family, we pledged to embark upon an epic MCU rewatch before we see Avengers: Endgame in the theatre, and answer the all-important question: should you watch these with your kids?
ICYMI: read our thoughts on Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Iron Man 3, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
This refreshingly original take on the Spider-Man story wisely skips the origins that we already know so well from previous iterations (and, really, the pop culture consciousness at this point) and leans on the wider Marvel universe to give a teen superhero story some heft.
Picking up right after the events of Captain America: Civil War, in which Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr) enlisted Spider-Man (Tom Holland) to help him fight Cap, the young Peter Parker is attending a prestigious STEM-based high school and web-swinging his way around Queens helping folks out in his off-time. That is, when he’s not texting Happy (Jon Favreau) about when he will qualify to become a full Avenger.
School life starts to take a backseat when Parker discovers a gang that is creating and selling high-tech weapons to thieves by salvaging technology from the Chitauri attack on New York seen in The Avengers. He tries to stop them from doing a deal aboard a ferry, but when one of the weapons goes off accidentally, Iron Man has to swoop in and save the day. Tony Stark confiscates the suit he made for Spider-Man, and Peter decides to refocus on high school, asking his crush Liz to the homecoming dance.
On the night of the dance, Peter is recognized by Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture (Michael Keaton), the brains behind the high-tech salvage operation. Abandoning Liz at the dance, Peter decides his higher calling is to stop criminals as Spider-Man, even if the suit is just a homemade model. But is a teenage kid who can’t even drive a car going to be able to stop a supervillain?
The film was rightfully well received and hailed as the best iteration of Spider-Man to date. It neatly ties in the events of previous films, skips the tired retread of Spider-Man’s origins, and makes us feel real sympathy for the plight of a teen who’s trying to balance school and social life with superheroism.
So, should you watch it with your kids? It’s not strictly necessary for Infinity Stones canon, but heck yes you should just because it’s a really, really good movie, and will make you have all the feels for what happens at the end of Avengers: Infinity War.
Bottom line: Treat yourself and rent it on iTunes.