Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to Disney’s wallcrawler reboot. Back in 2002 Sam Raimi gave us two excellent live action webhead movies. Sadly that series came to an end when studio interference conspired to produce a messy third installment. A decade after the first Raimi movie came out we got The Amazing Spider-Man. Said reboot (and it’s followup) were far from amazing. After three successive duds Sony Pictures conceded that they are inept at making films and allowed Marvel Studios to film a new reboot. The result was the brill Spider-Man: Homecoming. Can Far From Home match the quality of its predecessor? Read on and find out.
Marvel superheroes don’t have time for vacations. That’s something Peter Parker learns, after being resurrected in Avengers: Endgame. Pete was hoping for a peaceful trip to Europe, with his classmates, but those plans are scuppered when Nick Fury gives him a call. The director of SHIELD recruits Spider-Man to aid him in battling elemental creatures, who are terrorizing the continent. Joining him for the ride is Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio) a fellow hero who hails from an alternate dimension.
Far From Home shows how recent events have changed Peter. After getting zapped out of existence and witnessing the death of his mentor, Parker has lost his enthusiasm for being a high profile Avenger. He is content with battling local neighbourhood crime and living a regular high school student life on his time off. It’s gotten to the point that Peter is looking for any excuse to give away all the cool tech he inherited from Tony Stark, including a pair of shades that can hack any device and command killer drones from outer space.
The movie’s 129 minute running time can be split into two parts. The second half of the film is your typical superhero fare, where Spidey battles to save the world. Before that we get a bunch of high school hijinks. These focus on Peter trying to pluck up the courage to confess his romantic feelings to MJ. Like in the comic books however, Peter’s relationship is put in jeopardy by his crime fighting obligations. Many times he is forced to go AWOL and disappoint MJ, which is not ideal given that rival classmate Brad Davis is also vying for MJ’s affection. Forget party loving redheads, these days kids find moody/sarcastic chicks to be irresistible.
My rating for Spider-Man: Far From Home is four stars. For the second time Marvel Studios have delivered a fun packed Spider-Man movie. Let’s hope they don’t falter on the third attempt, like Raimi did. Overall, I would say that I liked Homecoming a little more. It had a more menacing villain and did a better job of keeping it’s comedy moments under control. There was a bunch of goofy stuff that could easily have been cut out from this film. I found the romance between Spidey sidekick Ned Leeds and a young Betty Brant unnecessary. The same goes for the fling that Aunt May and SHIELD agent Happy Hogan have. Neither of those subplots did much, other than give overweight guys the unrealistic hope that landing a gorgeous girlfriend is possible.
Some positives include the performances of Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal. Holland cements his place as the best live action Spider-Man to date. He played well off the charismatic Gyllenhaal, an actor who years ago was considered for the role of Spider-Man too. Moving onto Gyllenhaal’s character, I was impressed by the effects used to bring Mysterio’s powers of illusion to life. I also dug how the studio retained Mysterio’s costume from the comics. Thankfully they didn’t deem a fishbowl head to be too goofy and replace it with something less iconic, as was the case with Electro’s live action redesign.
Based on the quality of the two Spider-Man “Home” movies I am pleased to hear that Sony and Marvel have patched up their differences and extended their partnership to produce more sequels in this universe. Given how Spider-Man has been positioned to be Iron-Man’s successor (and the bombshell this film ends on) I cannot imagine how disappointed fans would have been had Sony parted ways with the MCU. Corporate greed sometimes sabotages art, but thankfully common sense prevailed on this occasion. Thank you for reading. Until next time, court is adjourned.