Spider-Man: Far From Home, 2019
Signed up the 28/03/2017
Spider-Man: Far From Home is an inspired and expanded continent-hopping adventure film that essentially wishes to be a high school comedy. The film picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, so as expected there are a lot of extended universe references as Peter tries to recuperate from the world-bending events that took place.
Though boasting grand set-pieces and action sequences that can make any blockbuster have a lasting effect, Far From Home suffers from being unbelievably hallow in tone and presence. The world-building and character development and interaction is sadly unmoving and feels more like a "you know these kids, you love them, so you should have fun watching them regardless of what's really happening in any scene they're in". Which is essentially what Marvel thrives on; we love these characters so we convince ourselves that anything they're in is super brilliant regardless of the actual quality of whatever it is they're in.
So, the whole gist of the movie is that Peter is struggling to juggle being Spider-Man and "achieving" his crush, which is quite cringey if you dare compare it to the slightly more mature Spider-Man movies. I mean, I'm not saying a Spidey film can't be silly, but it shouldn't entirely be Disney Channel material either. We're watching this on a huge (IMAX for me) screen, get a grip! The whole crush thing is very similar to Into the Spider-Verse, though the striking difference being that Spider-Verse doesn't care to center the entirety of the narrative around the dotty topic and instead makes it a cute, honest and funny life experience in part to Miles' adolescence and learning to be his own person, and dealing with the responsibility thereof.
This film is, well, written like a cute fanfiction on Wattpad rather than a story for the big screen that exists in one of the biggest cinematic universes ever. We know Spidey is a full-on child, we get it, but the core narrative relying on him being completely naive so much so that he needs an older dude with a questionable beard-trim thing is kind of unsettling after a while. A normal Spidey, the one from the comic books especially, isn't that complacent. I mean, the kid is a superstar tech genius, can they please at least afford him the benefit of the doubt so the fans can truly revel in how intelligent he actually is? The same way we find solace in Tony's brilliant mind even in the toughest of turmoils, we should trust in Peter's wit. Peter Parker doesn't need saving (not in that way anyway), he saves. End of.
Click for a spoilerMysterio, hear me out, is a Tony Stark and Lex Luthor reject with a snivelling voice. Look, the guy is definitely not the best Marvel villian as everyone keeps emphasising. We love Jake Gyllenhaal but, come on, be serious here; having the desire to unashamedly kill kids can't be used as some cheat-code to being the best villian. He's essentially just a big bully with an ego the size of the planet whose willing to commit mass murder to feel better about himself. I'll give it to him that he does get quite scary at times, even though it only lasts for a few seconds. So, yes, he had the potential of being the best if only he was given more screen time as a menacing titan rather than a full-on insecure jerk.
The film also has the same format of jokes as every other MCU film ever, especially resembling Spider-Man: Homecoming, so there goes the dream of being a comedic hit. It's only a matter of time before you get tired of laughing at the same joke told slightly differently a million times. We get it, Spidey is an awkward kid, but does he have to be that exhaustively "unintentionally hilarious" all the time? I'd love to see the kid taking charge without a quip following directly after.
Now we get to the good part, which unfortunately only begins in the film's final act. It is explosive and all you would want in a superhero film, especially a Spider-Man one. I mean, it does border on Into the Spider-Verse elements in terms of colours used, the choreograhy and the trippy setting, but Mysterio is one saving grace that pulls attention away from the glaring resemblance in anticipation for a glorious superhero/villain showdown. The fighting choreography itself isn't extraordinary, but the action sequence as a whole is super intense and exciting, and will probably leave you wanting a more Spidey-focused, solo experience in future. This final act adds a lot of points to the movie and will convince anyone to at least give the film a pass for being so monotonous for the previous two acts.
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