After screenings of Spider-Man: Homecoming, everyone took to Twitter to argue about whether Spider-Man: Homecoming was better than Spider-Man 2, which had previously held the title of consensus-best Spider-Man movie. As I consider the best Spider-Man movie to be the music video for Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated,” I am not going to weigh in on that debate, but note how the two Amazing Spider-Man movies get lost in that conversation. Do I think they are the best? Not really, but they did have Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield — during their real-life relationship prime — flirting their asses off. I don’t know who the villains were, but I do know their chemistry was more electric than … the electric guy Jamie Foxx played in one of them
Luckily, someone else remembers them: Jon Watts, the director of Spider-Man: Homecoming, or at least, one of the about 56 other people who are credited with writing the film. How do I know this? Because, toward the end of the movie, Homecoming features a truly unexpected reference. Do you know what it was to?
Here is a hint:
Know it yet? How about now:
How could you forget this pivotal scene (assuming you did), considering its inclusion in a post on this very website titled “The Things We Can’t Forget From This Summer’s Movies”? Or that another website, the Awl, asked you nicely not to: “Let Us Never Forget the ‘Spiderman’ Branzino Moment.” (Itself a reference to a blurb written in the New York Times Magazine praising the fish as having the “Cameo of the Year.”) By featuring one iconic close-up and what seemed like 16 separate references to the European sea bass, the branzino scene from The Amazing Spider-Man was the fish-centric dinner scene from a major motion picture released in summer 2012.
Thankfully, the most unlikely part of The Amazing Spider-Man resulted in the most unlikely reference in a film lousy with references to various bits and pieces of the Spider-Man universe. No one likes spoiled fish — except that creep Heathcliff — so I won’t give too much away about when the reference happens, but just know that spoiled fish is a little hint, as one character is served branzino offscreen and is not pleased with the result. (Once you get to know the character, you’ll know the moment is classic that character.) Seems small, sure, but this joke gets nearly as much screen time as Zendaya.
The point is, it was nice. A little reminder that love might fade, and Spider-Men (Spiders-Man?) might change, but that doesn’t mean the time spent together didn’t matter and wasn’t, at times, amazing.
So, this was a post about branzino in two Spider-Man movies. If you’re reading this after you saw Spider-Man: Homecoming, in the poll below, please let us know if you caught the branzino reference: