Spider-Man: Far From Home: Review by @Kush_Hayes
Spider-Man Far From Home should have been called “Spider-Man: Remember Endgame!?”. The movie is even about 20 minutes longer than it needs to be to remind you about the events of Endgame from only 3 months ago. It takes the time to explain to us that after Avengers Infinity War, some people disappeared from The Snap - now identified as The Blip to civilians and the public at large and then after the end of Endgame, most of them came back. Even Aunt May fell victim to The Blip, only to discover in what sounded like a most awkward event when she came back, that her old apartment has a new family thats been living in it.
NitPick: I know its early for this, but what isnt addressed in all this exposition is what happened to all those people who “Blipped Back” and found their original homes occupied? Where did Aunt May stay that night? Did she have another sister in Paramus? Did she spend the night in jail? -As Im sure the wife of the house called the cops on her. Peter Parker probably didnt get home for two or three days after he “Blipped Back” on another planet. How was this settled? And have The NY Mets found their nine guys to reassemble the team?
Part of what made Spider-Man: Homecoming was a mixture of several things that the Marvel brand has in their formula. Of course you had solid action scenes. You have characters that are quirky, yet grounded. A solid plot that moves at a decent pace. And of course that nonthreatening comedy that Disney/Marvel rely on to ease away from tense global pandemic situations.
For FFH, we have the quirky characters, but they feel less grounded. And to be fair, they have just been through a unique situation where most the folks they know are five years older then when they last saw them. And because of that I feel like they overdid the comedy on this one. It has many cute moments while the kids go through Europe, but its the plot revealed that feels less believable than the story Jake Gyllenhaals Quentin Beck tries to sell everyone - of course him being from another Earth in another dimension. And then the action, quite frankly, is all smoke and mirrors and CGI unlimited.
Do not misunderstand me, there are segments within the action that are just neat to watch. But basically it is a Disney Live Action/Cartoon. Without getting into too much detail we have a few scenes where Gyllenhaals character forces illusions upon our teen hero and cartoon or not, its really is some of my favorite moments from this movie. Fantastic use of style and camera movement. The Plot when we are on the original path of the story, is light hearted, has an adventurous spirit, even a fun “will they/wont they” between Tom Hollands Peter Parker and Zendayas Michelle/MJ plus Third Wheel interference from Brad Davis played by Remy Hii.
Nitpick: The Third Wheel, while providing some fun moments as well as good teen romance conflict, also drags our story out longer than we need. Also, Its unclear if Brad is still 16 or actually 21. There is dialog about him being “a little guy” before the Bilp, and then this full on taller stronger mature guy after the Blip. Peter and Ned are whispering this dialog and no matter how good the Dolby Sound is, its confusing. No one who was Snapped/Blipped should have aged, so then why is this 21 y/o still on a high school trip. Did they not have school during those five years? Brads storyline is unnecessary to everything happening in this movie.
Story: After the events on Infinity War and Endgame, everyone who didnt die from some accident during the blip, is back. The School Year was restarted. Its now the end of the year and the class is going on a trip to Europe. Peter Parker has resumed Spider-Man duties and while carrying guilt for the loss of Tony Stark, can not escape the mans physical image as both Iron Man and Stark are spray painted, schlacked and muraled on just about everything. And of course no one knows Spiderman is still only 16 years old, so no one understands why he gets overwhelmed when people ask this kid adult questions about politics as well as his role in the Avengers. Around the world several SuperNatural events have occured with creatures of nature, taking on forms from Fire Water Wind and Earth or simply known as The Elemetals have arisen to take back the planet. We are introduced to Gyllenhaal's character who goes on later to be named Mysterio. Nick Fury hijacks Peters vacation and forces a team up of Spider-Man and Mysterio, and they aint a bad team at all. Nick Fury has also passed on a pair of Tony Stark Sunglasses onto Peter and they are connected to multiple satellites around the world and can access several degrees of WoMDs. As mentioned above, Gyllenhaal isnt who he says he is and only Spider-Man can save the day without going deeper into the story.
Nitpick: Martin Starrs Mr Harrington is a pathetic imbecile and has no business watching water boil let alone chaperoning children on another continent.
Jacob Batalon is back as best buddy Ned. He and his character are used sparingly, meaning you want more scenes with him, but you know what we got was all we needed. Neds story in this movie of his own coming of age is great and you are amused and delighted everytime he pops up on screen. I still dont believe he would be able to keep Peters identity secret.
Zendaya is maybe too good in her performance. Her character goes through the normal but incredibly strange bipolar attitude that teenage girls MJs age exhibit and when it is not sweet, it is annoying. One minute she is that awkward insecure paranoid teenager talking about the government tracking her phone, then next you see her flustered and wondering why Peter Parker isnt sitting next to her at the Prague Opera.
Tom Holland is throwing everything hes got in his arsenal on the screen, but perhaps its too much. Or We have already been through so much with his character to where I dont really believe he would still be acting like a normal teenager who is also a genius, and has fought aliens, on other planets.
Jake Gyllenhaal is a lot of fun when him and Spider-man team up in this film. When they are just having their own scenes together, the dialog is crisp and fun where sprinkled. But its when we discover who Mysterio really is, that it just doesnt work for me. Maybe I too was betrayed? Or maybe the characters sinister plan just felt over complicated and really required all 20 of those people to accomplish any of it.
Samuel L Jackson, Im still mad at you for Shaft 2019.
Director Jon Watts returns to the helm and I just dont know what it is about this compared to Homecoming that isnt hitting me the same way. I think its the overuse of CGI in this. Spider-Man having to fight Bokeem Woodbine and Logan Marshal-Green together or one on one is an actual conflict versus Spider-man fighting CGI Watermonster which is just a cartoon. Again, I love what Watts does with Gyllenhaals imposed illusions on Spider-Man, lots of very cool visuals at any time of day. Those and a few drone POV shots made me think aloud “That would look cool in 3D” - however I wont be going back to see this again.
I am slow on the ball on this review, but the people are already loving it. Some already declaring it “The Best of the [now] 23 Marvel Movies”. I dont think this is a bad movie by any means despite all the criticism above, but I dont think its also any closer to being more than “Just OK”.
Three out of Six Blueberries.