Hello interweb, Nate here! So, this movie kind of re-inspired me to get back into blogging. So, maybe I can rebuild this place a bit? Anyways, non-spoiler review? Well, I can do that one one sentance: Marvel made an actual Spider-man movie this time! Definitely watch it while it’s still in theaters! Believe me, the trailers make this movie look more underwhelming then it actually is! But now, SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!
Movie Title: Spider-man: Far From Home
Produced by: Marvel Comics
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Writer: Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers
Director: Jon Watts
Producer: Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal
Running Time: 1 hr 69 min
So, yeah! Like I said before, Marvel actually made a Spider-man movie this time! What do I mean by that? Well, if you read my Spider-man: Homecoming review (which was a tad kinder then I’d make if it I wrote it now), I was pretty disappointed with the first movie. It wasn’t a bad movie by any means, but it felt like a really shallow film for a Spider-man centric movie. Spider-man is one of comics greatest heroes and to give him a little high school romp just felt shallow to me. Hell, if you didn’t know anything about these characters before watching these movies, you’d think Black Panther was meant to be one of Marvel’s greatest heroes considering how great his movie was. But Spider-man: Homecoming felt like a film on par with Dr. Strange or Ant-Man. I like those characters and their movies just fine, but Ant-Man is no Spider-man and their movies shouldn’t be seen as equally good movies. Far From Home, on the other hand, gives us just enough of those missing Spider-man elements that really nails this film home to me as a film almost as good as Spider-man 2. Almost. I’m not sure if I’m bold enough to call it “as good” or “better” yet, but it’s just itchin right underneath.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, so what’s the story? Right after the events of Avengers: Engame (and yes, I’m sorry for not reviewing that movie when it came out but one is on it’s way relatively soon), Peter Parker is back as our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man but people aren’t exactly looking for a “friendly neighborhood” Spider-man anymore. No, they want somebody to fill the void left in Iron Man’s death from the previous movie and is looking to fill that void with any hero available, including Peter. Peter, however, feels overwhelmed with all this pressure for greater responsibility being thrust onto him and decides to take a vaycay from super heroing on a field trip with his class far from home (get it!). Unfortunately for him, Nick Fury wants to pull Peter into helping him and Fury’s new ally, Mysterio, stop some elemental monsters from destroying the world. After defeating the elementals, Peter believes he’s just not ready to be a Stark level hero and wishes to give some of Tony’s gifts to Mysterio in the hopes that he can be a better hero then Peter. However, if you’re a Spider-man fan you’re probably aware that Mysterio is no ally but a villain that wants to get back at Stark.
Ok, so there’s a lot to unpack here with different elements to really work with and talk about. So let’s start by really delving into the meat of what was included here that Homecoming just seemed to be missing. For one, there’s the classic Spider-man angst that’s very important to the character. Here’s the tragedy to the character that the Raimi films (particularly Spider-man 2) and Far From Home understood that Homecoming didn’t. (In fact, the more I think about it, the more this film is actually quite similar to Spider-man 2). Spider-man completely and utterly f***s with Peter Parker’s social life. Take Spider-man 2, in the beginning of that movie Peter couldn’t hold a job or show up to MJ’s plays because his responsibilities as Spider-man kept pulling him away from these things. This leads to Peter eventually trying to quite being Spider-man but even after retiring Spider-man pulls him right back because he just can’t not be Spider-man. It’s his responsibility to bare. And a similar thing is done here! Peter makes a big plan to get closer to MJ while on the field trip, but Fury keeps coming in and messing around with said field trip to get Spider-man out there doing his thing. He then tries to move the responsibility over the Mysterio only for Mysterio to take advantage of Peter. I’d say the biggest differences between Spider-man 2 and Far From Home is that MJ actually finds out Peter’s Spider-man half way through the film, which is both refreshing and more enjoyable.
Then, there’s Uncle Stark! I mean, Tony Ben! I mean…yeah, if you’re a Spider-man fan I don’t think it’s hard to notice that the MCU essentially replaced Uncle Ben’s death with Tony’s death from Endgame. Which, kinda works! If you were to have told me that back when Homecoming came out, I’d probably be a bit confused. How does the death of a multibillionaire superhero playboy who died while doing dangerous superhero activities compare to the death of a humble old man who died because of Peter’s irresponsible actions? That was the whole point to Ben’s death, right? Because Peter’s irresponsible actions indirectly caused the death of his uncle, that death motivates him to use his powers to help people. How does f***ing Stark replace THAT? Actually, better then you’d expect! The overwhelming sense of responsibility doesn’t come from the guilt of causing the death of somebody anymore but it comes from the pressure of feeling the need to replace Iron Man. Which is actually pretty clever. Plus, let’s face it, if Uncle Ben was in this universe, how many movies would we see him in? One tops! Maybe more if we include flashbacks, but really only one. How many movies have both Iron Man and Peter been in? Basically 3 (yes, technically 4, but not really). So we’ve seen the relationship build between Peter and Stark more then we’d ever see Uncle Ben! We care about their relationship more so to seeing Peter reflect Stark’s death is pretty depressing on it’s own.
Also, keep in mind that Peter fought the same guy who caused Stark to die as well as wiped our half the universe! Peter literally had the infinity gauntlet in his hand and if it wasn’t for god damn Star-d***, they’d be successful and Tony might still be alive! Hell, I’d imagine Peter probably thinks about that a lot. Like, what if he had thrown the gauntlet as far as he could before Thanos had the chance to rip it back from his grip? Hell, the fact that everyone keeps mentioning the snap – oh, I’m sorry, the “blip”! (lame name) – and Peter was literally fighting the dude who caused it, that had got to mess with your head.
[Tangent: btw, guys, I’m still not over Infinity War and Endgame. Those movies were just…ugh! I cried like a baby!]
Speaking of Endgame, so I’m glad this film acknowledged the fact that the Snap happened (I’ve been calling it “the Snap” since Infinity War and I’m not stopping now), but how the handled it was sort of weird to me. It’s like the first 20 minutes of the film acknowledged it because they kind of had to and the rest of the film forgot it was even a thing. I’m not sure what else I wanted but the way the addressed it didn’t quite leave me satisfied. Like, the Snap, to me, almost seemed like something straight out of a horror film where you’re standing around a bunch of people just disintegrating around you. That is horrifying, and that one video in the basketball court just didn’t exactly capture the level of terror I think most people would’ve felt. Although everyone returning was pretty funny. I just don’t know what else I wanted from the movie on this specific point but it just left me wanting more in that aspect. I hope Marvel plans on addressing a post-Thanos MCU more in future movies. Then again, maybe they’re too busy setting up Secret Invasion now that the Skrulls are a thing.
Now, I wanted to discuss a bit about the mid-credit scene cause that was BEAUTIFUL! So, JK Simmons reprises his role as J Jonah Jameson who was using Mysterio’s out-of-context clips to frame Spider-man as a villain. That is CLASSIC Spider-man! I loved every bit of that and it made me excited for the next film! But, that alone was great! Classic Jameson to go as low as to make a villain look like a hero just to make Spidey look bad. However, I DID NOT expect them to reveal Peter’s freaking identity!!! Like, WTF! I did NOT expect that AT ALL!!!! So, like, if the first movie was Homecoming and this movie is Far From Home…is the next movie going to be called “Spider-man: Homeless” and be about Peter Parker running from the government?
Ok, let’s get into the characters. Our villain, Mysterio, might just be my favorite Spider-man movie villain yet! Like, the illusions he cast to fight Spider-man with was AMAZING! Everything was gorgeously done and…ugh! I don’t even have words to describe how amazing those scenes were. You just have to see them for yourself to know how epic they are to watch. I think my favorite image was when Spider-man was in that snow globe of Queens but it’s actually Mysterio’s head and Mysterio’s holding it in front of him. That straight up looked like a comic book cover it was that gorgeous. I want Marvel to make a poster with that exact scene for me to hang it on my wall! Now, Mysterio as a character isn’t as amazing as other villains we’ve seen. Yeah, him looking like the hero at first but then revealing he’s the villain was cool and all, but if you know your Spider-man villains then you saw that coming a mile away. In terms of pure motivation and goals, villains like Killmonger and Vulture are better written and more relatable. However, the fact that they do several call backs to other MCU movies (like Captain America: Civil War and I believe 2008’s Iron Man for that “Tony Stark built this in a cave with a box of scraps!” line but I’d have to double check) was very well done and just shows how amazing this cinematic experience of a shared universe truly is! The fact that we now have so much history under our belts that we can literally pick small side characters in previous movies and bring them back is really freaking cool.
Now, I would go into Spider-man here, but what is there to talk about that I haven’t already? Tom Holland does great in the role, relatable and dorky Peter Parker, fun and quipy Spider-man, etc. etc. I do think Mysterio brought some of the biggest mental challenges to Peter yet and I feel almost as if he’s grown a lot over the course of this single movie. Which is goof! Character development! I do have to say, I think this is the first movie that made me genuinely care about this version of Spider-man. Captain America: Civil War peaked my interest in the character, Spider-man: Homecoming was good yet disappointed, and the last to Avengers films didn’t focus on Spider-man all that much. This was the first movie that made me see Spider-man as a fully fleshed out character rather than that one character I want to like because I love him outside these movies but I’m just not quite there yet.
MJ. I freaking adore MJ. She kind of reminds me of Daria (if you don’t know her…google it, really good cartoon!) She’s smart, cynical, and speaks her mind. She’s WAY more interesting then Kristen Dunst’s MJ in the Raimi movies. And her and Peter are so adorable together!!! I loved that scene between them on the bridge after the fight with Mysterio! Ah!!!! AO3 here I come!
I guess the only thing I really have left to discuss is the end-credit scene. I think between Captain Marvel and the end-credit scene here, it’s pretty obvious that we’re going to have a Secret Invasion movie on our hands. Now, I haven’t reviewed Captain Marvel yet, but the changes they made there with the Skrulls really peaked my interest for the Secret Invasion movie. I think I learned a while ago that I realized the MCU honestly doesn’t adapt comic book stories as much as it gains inspirations from them and do their own thing with the concepts. Captain America: Civil War wasn’t an adaption of Mark Millar’s Civil War, but the concept of Steve and Tony fighting over different political ideals was definitely inspired by it. Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame basically took the concept of Thanos collecting all the infinity stones to wipe out half the universe and expanded beyond my expectations before these movies came out. So, with Secret Invasion coming soon, I’m really curious what direction they plan on going with this since reading the original series written by Brian Michael Bendis probably won’t do much for you other than getting excited when the occasional easter egg pops up in it. MY THEORY is that since the events of Captain Marvel, Fury created S.W.O.R.D. and housed a bunch of Skrull immigrants in that air craft we saw at the end of the scene. However, a bunch of the Skrulls will grow tired of them being mistreated and show up on Earth disguised as the fallen heroes who died in Endgame. And why stop at fallen heroes? Eventually, the Earth catches wind of this and the fight begins!
Now, overall I give this movie a solid 8/10. Much better than Spider-man: Homecoming (which I currently would rate a 7/10 if I were to review it again) and this actually made me care about Tom Holland’s Spider-man and what the future holds for him.
My Rating System
10 – Perfect: nothing is wrong about this movie
9 – Almost perfect: has one or two minor nitpicks that holds it from perfection
8 – Amazing: not a perfect film but still absolutely loved it
7 – Good: has a few problems but overall a great film
6 – Ok: has several major problems but I still like it
5 – Mediocre: neither good nor bad just forgettable
4 – Bad: a few major problems that ruins the movie
3 – Awful: lots of problems that ruins the movie
2 – Terrible: there may be one or two good things about the film but everything else is garbage
1 – The worst: literally nothing went right