Movie Reviews

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” – Having the Most Fun in the MCU?

The sequel to Tom Holland’s first full outing as Spider-Man, subtitled ‘Far From Home’ to represent its European vacation setting, addresses the ramifications of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ head-on in both cheeky and emotional ways. By doing so, it deftly weaves the winning characters and friendly, neighborhood stakes of 2017’s ‘Homecoming’ with Peter Parker’s new status in the MCU. He’s both the accessible Avenger from a public perspective and a teenager struggling to juggle that weight with his desires for a normal social life.

Returning director and screenwriters Jon Watts, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers craft a film that is so winning it actually makes a superhero-saturated audience yearn for Peter to succeed as a hormonal teenage boy on a fancy school trip while simultaneously building cogent, thrilling action set pieces. Anyone can relate to Peter’s various plights whether it’s his nervousness over wooing potential love interest MJ (the adorably sardonic Zendaya) or concerns over the dating possibility of parental figures Aunt May (Marisa Tomei just killing it) and Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau continuing the link to the original film in the MCU, ‘Iron Man’). These creatives perfectly capture the anticipation and letdown around the possibilities that abound for a major school trip. They do it so well, it’s surprisingly disheartening when Peter has to deal with his hero responsibilities when Nick Fury (an always welcome Samuel L. Jackson) and Mysterio (a well cast, pitch perfect Jake Gyllenhaal) arrive on the scene to spoil all the fun.

To this point all the focus had been on the all-around winning cast of core and supporting players with hardly a sighting of Spider-Man in costume. It’s Holland and friends, including Jacob Batalon as his best friend Ned, who really sell the teen comedy, ‘Ramones-ified’ vibe of the whole franchise-within-a-franchise. The threats in these movies never come near the level of an ‘Infinity War’, but Holland’s ability to react wide-eyed when he’s placed in those films and then stumble dealing with the down-graded but more personally motivated villainous activity of his own movies is what endears him to an audience.

To say more about the plot would ruin the ‘Far From Home’ experience, but suffice it to say that this adventure is non-stop fun, with some genuinely shocking moments. It’s bright visuals are a welcome sight over the sumptuous on-location shots in Venice, Prague, London, and more. Spider-Man has quickly become a top-draw player in the MCU, wonderfully played by Tom Holland, who brings the spirit of the character to life, with all his insecurities, brains, athleticism, and most of all, a grounded and realistic resistance to the burdens placed on him, all without becoming a self-pitying wallower. ‘Far From Home’ is able to explore all these aspects of a character historically at the center of the Marvel comics universe (616, natch!), now rightfully placed directly in the middle of the MCU, while also delivering the most fun and zany adventure film yet . . .

Directed By: Jon Watts

Written By: Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 129 min.

* * * 1/2 (out of 4 stars) -OR- A-

One thought on ““Spider-Man: Far From Home” – Having the Most Fun in the MCU?

  1. SPOILER ALERT: This post will contain spoilers about Spiderman Far Away From Home

    Maybe I’m bringing in baggage from all the other Spider-Man movies that were made prior to this one. With past Spider-Man movies, I left movie theaters saying wow that was great but I realized I never watched these movies a 3rd time. 1st in the theater, 2nd at home when movie was released to DVD but never a 3rd time. Never a 3rd time because once the nostalgia of seeing Spider-Man swinging from webs has worn off and after you strip away the special effects of flips and acrobatic skills you are left with movies that left me saying that story was really bad but it was Spider-Man so do it again.

    The MCU to date has changed that. I’ll watch all these movies again and again. When Spider-Man appears in, Marvel’s Civil war I was like WOW. They hit all the right marks. They showed off his skills, his strength, his wit, they even had him non-stop talking during fight just like comics. Wow that was great.

    Then the first Spider-Man movie comes out and adding Tony Stark to his story was great but the suit thing was a mess. Remove that story arc and the movie is much better. It was just not needed that he had a suite that was like iron man. He is Spider-Man he doesn’t need all that. He has powers. Powers that should have been developed but instead we get another robot suit. It’s like giving Batman a super suit so he can fight Superman…….lame doesn’t work.

    The villain in fist Spider-Man, vulture, (although I liked the arc about villains using stolen tech and creating an underworld to sell this tech) felt just like the original Spider-Man with green goblin and his tech. The movie was saved by Michael Keaton’s great acting, the fact that it’s Spiderman and tony stark pulling Spiderman into the MCU story arc.

    The supporting roles that Spider-Man played in Avengers got the ball rolling again. I could’ve done without the iron spider suite for same reasons stated above. Worst scene is when he goes into kill/death mode. That is like Batman vs Superman when Batman was using a gun and killing people. It just doesn’t fit Spiderman’s character to have an automated kill mode, in which his suite takes over and kills everyone around him.

    Finally coming full circle to current Spiderman movie. Stop stop stop taking off your mask every 5seconds. Why do you have a secret ID if you take your mask off in public and say hello to every new character. Fury says take your mask off all these people know your ID. There is like 12 people in that room. New heroes see his face. Aunt May already knows, MJ knows, and the villains in both his stand alone movies movies know. I get that you have to show the actors face but Deadpool does this great. You have Deadpool without mask and Deadpool with mask. The mask doesn’t come off after every fight scene to give Ryan Reynolds FaceTime. There should be two stories going on peter Parker and Spider-Man. Fury has become a joke in this movie. Yes, I get that end credits explained why his character was so stupid in this movie and lacked the bad ass factor he brings. It was too late I already formed an opinion. seeing that end credit was like a soap opera, a do over, like saying no fury was in a coma for five years replace by his twin brother forget everything you just saw and thought. The villain/antagonist, Mysterio, again lame. (Granted I thought it was genius how they pulled people from past MCU movies into this thread). I thought the actor that played Mysterio did a great job with the character but fighting elementals……o lord can you find a worst villain insert backstory…..yeah maybe like fantastic four fighting a cloud. That was just as lame. I love Tom Holland. I think he makes a good Parker. Great he can do flips so work that in as Parker but when he’s Spider-Man you don’t have to give him screen time.

    I don’t like Flash Thompson’s character either. Flash is supposed to be Spider-Man’s counter character. Flash is a better teenager than Parker. Flash has everything a high school kid would want. He is athletic, good looking, popular and king of the hill. Flash will peak in high school and Parker will fail at high school. Parker has to fake that he is nothing like flash. He has to purposely sabotage himself to stop himself from revealing his powers. As Spider-Man, flash, is Spiderman’s number one fan while everyone else dislikes Spiderman.

    In the movie they make this lame attempt to show that Parker is even smart. Yes they showed him making his own webbing but other than that we have to assume he is a genius because he is in debate club (really not sure what club it is).

    Last thing, Spider-Man is one of the strongest physical characters in MCU but most people would say captain America is stronger based on the movies. They don’t show how strong he is and what he can do. Remove the girlfriend arc, show his spider sense, stop taking off his mask, and allow him to fight with his webs as secondary weapons not primary weapons. I hope the next one is better.

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