Spider-Man, Far From Home: A Vacation From The Standard Superhero Movie
I enjoyed the hell out of this movie. I felt like a little kid in the theaters watching a story I never thought I would get to see. The 2019 film, directed by Jon Watts, is a Sony movie that does the MCU more justice than most of the ones done by Marvel Studios. It is hilarious and full of positivity. The villain might be the greatest comic book antagonist interpretation I have ever seen. Tom Holland does an amazing job as the web-slinger and the rest of the cast really grow in this film. Most importantly, you can tell the people behind this movie really care about the expectations of the audience.
As mentioned, Tom Holland is perfect in this movie. He is becoming a truly powerful actor at his young age and the audience can feel his he emotions off of the screen, even when his face is covered by a mask. He is accompanied by a great cast that convinces me that this world is real. Many of the students and teachers return from Homecoming. Marisa Tomei gives a version of Aunt May that has purpose, helping people after the Snappening (they call it ‘the blip’ in this movie but we all know its real name) Jon Faverau, Sam Jackson, and Cobie Smulders reprise their roles from the MCU; but we will get to them later. But my favorite character, and who is turning into the soul of this franchise, is Zendaya’s version of MJ. She is not the same character we saw in the Sam Raimi trilogy, nor any version of Spider-Man story. She is unique, a little weird, and a perfect representation of girls today. The biggest name on the bill is new to MCU; Jake Gyllenhaal debuts the first cinematic version of Mysterio.
I pride myself on trying to put as little spoilers as possible in my reviews. I truly think that seeing this movie, or any movie, is best knowing as little as possible; how the creators intend. Mysterio in the trailers is shown as a hero from another world that has come here to help “universe 616” with a problem. However, anyone that knows Spider-Man and his rogues gallery should know he is full of shit. Mysterio is a villain and probably my favorite one in the entire MCU. If you know anything about the comics, you would know he is a master of manipulation and theatricality. Also what makes Jake Gyllenhaal’s character a great isn’t just the dedication to the comic counterpart, but the purpose he has in the film. His motives make sense and isn’t just a bad guy for a paper thin reason. Jake plays it so well that he is the only one I could see bringing this character to life and succeeding as well as he does. Quentin Beck exists in the MCU and became corrupt due to the living cinematic world around him that has been growing for the passed eleven years.
What surprises me the most about this film is the fact that it is made by Sony, not Marvel Studios. Much like Spider-Man Homecoming, this story very clearly exists in the MCU and expands on the universe, not just the character’s individual stories. Happy, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill expand their stories and bring depth to the movie and it’s place in the MCU. Happy Hogan in particular is a main character of the film; we get to see how he and Peter Parker deal with the death of Tony Stark. In some ways this is the Iron Man 4 that will never happen. In the MCU, Tony now represents the ‘Uncle Ben death’ for Peter. And now Peter is the son/successor Tony never had. Another feature in the story was how the world deals with the events of The Snappening. I do not know how much Sony was aware of the story from Endgame, how people would come back or the 5 year gap. But you wouldn’t be able to tell if there was any miscommunication or last minute re-shoots. This movie starts with a perfect summary of those events and clearly states how everything is back to “normal” in a way that is clear, hilarious, and full of Spider-Man style.
Before going into this movie, I was told “It is very different from the first. And the post credits scenes are game changers.” I one hundred percent agree with this assessment. This was not just another version of the first film and they really flex on their abilities to make a unique story. And both post credit scenes are insane. In case it wasn’t obvious, Far From Home survives The Snappening and then some. I think Sony has learned something they haven’t been able to in a while. Get creators that truly care about the source material and let them run wild. Being a fan of Spider-Man since I was a little kid and specifically knowing how crazy a villain like Mysterio can be, my inner child was very happy. Now I just need a perfect Green Goblin and I can die happy.
Movie watched and review written by: Troy Smith