Spider-man- Far From Home: A Review

Posted: 07/10/2019 in Uncategorized

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Well, I have to say this film exceeded my expectations. Tons of humor, action aplenty and a really quality villain allowed for a superior cinematic adventure. I am generally not a huge fan of Jake Gyllenhaal. but I was delighted when  he was cast as Mysterio as I felt he would kill with this role, metaphorically and figuratively. I was not disappointed. The mingling of the MCU and the essential set up of Peter Parker/Spiderman as quarterback for the next gen of superhero genre fare got one hell of a fine push with this run. My review follows below .

FFH is very much a crowd pleaser. It gets so very much right and it captures both the spirit and humor of Marvel’s flagship character. The seamless link with End Game, Marvel’s perfect coda to ten years of film making had due punch. The pressure faced by Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is palpable and he handles it as any sixteen year old boy would…he evades it. Holland’s Parker is genuine and earnest. He is extremely likeable and relate-able. He has seen far too much and done too much for his age, so his desire to goof around and spend some time with a young woman he likes is as natural as it gets. His dodging Nick Fury’s (Sam Jackson) calls, ‘ghosting’ the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is funny as hell. No less so is Peter’s straight man Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). Favreau is the link between the MCU and the Spider (Sony) verse. He is more mellow now and recognizes how much Peter has grown and what he has to offer. His evolution from grumpy uncle to supportive father-ish figure is beautifully done. The romance between Hogan and May (Marisa Tomei) is awkward in spots but does allow for comedic fare, particularly via Peter’s recognizing something is “happening” between the two.

There is so very much going on in this movie. Reviewers have referred to Far From Home as “a blast”, “a delight” and it is both of those things. It is also a very solid effort in establishing Spider-man as the next gen hero and nascent leader. His moments with  Happy allow for the notion that he will eventually fulfill his potential. Seeing Peter tinker with equipment while Happy takes it all in has proper resonance. Happy’s declaration that “no one can be Iron Man” is met with Peter’s noting Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) wanted him to be better. From the scintillating acrobatic sequences to the pure glee of web swinging, the feeling that the mantle so well worn by Tobey Maguire is in the process of being passed on successfully is offered. The “Peter Tingle” in lieu of the established “Spider Sense” bit did get overused but I honestly can’t complain.

The fun dynamic between Peter and his classmates played exceedingly well. Even the acknowledgement of the Thanos snap…rechristened in this movie…allowed for moments of levity. The connection between Peter and MJ (Zendaya Coleman) occurs organically and the two do have an unquestionable chemistry. Both are funny, awkward and likeable. The mini romance between Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Betty (Anjourie Rice) is quite hilarious and gives a proper shout out to the source material. The banter between classmates including Peter’s new ‘nemesis’ Brad (Remi Hii) is very funny. The chaperones played by Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington and JB Smoove as Mr. Dell level the field with non and semi cool oversight. Martin Starr with an expanded role from “Homecoming” delivers and steals numerous scenes.

Where the film truly hits stratospheric highs however is with the first time appearance of Mysterio/Quentin Beck. Gyllenhaal simply nails the role, making Mysterio his own and creating a depiction of the long time character which both mines the source material while actually strengthening his presence. Mysterio has been part of the Spider-man universe since the 60s. Gyllenhaal’s Beck however is something more. He is charismatic, brilliant and presents a mentor Peter Parker very much needs. Beck encourages him to be a hero. When Beck tells Peter “Don’t ever apologize for being the smartest one in the room”, the moment is genuine and all scenes featuring the two working together are superior.

Effects in this film featuring a super natural or extra terrestrial threat allow for blistering sequences. Later moments featuring Spider-man contending with the genuine threat of this film allow for scenes that are as trippy as they are by times scary. Make no mistake, this is a Spider-man movie, but is not meant for young children. Spider-man’s trials and tribulations are nothing new but buttressed and occasionally mired by Nick Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), they feel somehow fresher. A moment between Fury and Spidey yields the most entertaining and repeatable quip I have heard in a great while. As such, I won’t spoil it.

Zendaya’s MJ and Holland’s Peter moving toward one another seems inevitable and with strong performances their progression as a couple is duly earned. You honestly cannot watch this movie and not pull for Parker. He is the everyman or in this case, the every kid. Having saved the world/universe and having taken part in the greatest MCU  adventure to date, he deserves a vacation at the very least.

The story telling in Far From Home is as intricate and clever as any of the effects. There are various twists one cannot predict. Two end credit segments are very very much worth staying for. The stealthy bringing into the MCU of a long time Spider-man major character was brilliantly and unexpectedly achieved. Jon Watts proceeds with far more gusto in his second crack at the webbed wonder. This confidence is contagious, permeating throughout the solid cast and creating a free wheeling yet simultaneously tight cinematic volley. Spiderman- Far From Home is simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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