(During quarantine my girlfriend and I are going through the Marvel movies chronologically. Surprisingly, she is really enjoying them, maybe even more than me. We are already a couple down and I’m gunna do write-ups for all of ‘em, the good and the bad.)
There was a lot of pressure on Far From Home with it being the first movie after the events of Endgame. How would the universe go on after the devastating events that unfolded in that movie? How is Spider-Man going to act now he’s been to space and the whole world basically knows that time travel exists? But at this point, I may as well ask myself, “Why would I even question the producers at this point?” Iron Man’s passing, something that would totally negatively affect Peter Parker, was handled perfectly and tastefully, with shrines and graffiti murals placed all across the world. The “blip” was executed perfectly too, despite not making any sense whatsoever.
The best thing about Spider-Man is the character’s rogues gallery. Two movies in and Sony/Marvel haven’t yet had to recreate any of the villains from Raimi’s Spidey franchise or The Amazing Spider-Man movies. After Michael Keaton’s amazing and threatening take on the Vulture, which was a very grounded in reality villain (with mechanical wings) compared to the usual fall-in-a-vat-of-acid style origin story that gives them sensational super powers, we get a more theatrical villain. Enter Mysterio, who has a fucking fishbowl for a head. Nothing has made me happier in the MCU than the fact that they kept Mysterio’s fishbowl head as a part of the character design, just like in the comics (who am I kidding, I only know Mysterio from the Spider-Man 2 PlayStation game.)
Power to Disney for trying to make audiences believe the Elementals were the villains in the trailer leading up to the movie’s release. It’s rare that studios don’t throw all of the reveals in to the trailer these days, but Mysterio being the villain was Disney’s worst kept secret. Surprisingly enough, though I can’t sing Keaton’s praises enough for his grounded take on Vulture, Jake Gyllenhaal plays the theatrical Mysterio fantastically. However, I do miss Mysterio’s signature earthquake enducing, vibrating voice. And as Mysterio is most well known for creating absurd illusions, there is only one of those nightmare like sequences in the movie. It is fantastic audio/visual experience for five minutes, but I was expecting more scene like that. Hell, make a whole film one huge Mysterio trap that Spider-Man has to escape. Now that’s a movie.
Jon Watts, the director, has really doubled down on the John Hughes aesthetic of the Spider-Man series, and it couldn’t be better. Teenage romance hasn’t been captured so well in a movie in the past 30 years. It is so true to life, but maybe that say more about my nerdy awkward 16 year old self. But Watts has taken advantage of Far From Home being more of family friendly movie. A lot of liberties are taken that we are just expected to believe, such as the dumb teachers leading the school kids on a class trip that covers multiple countries, from one burning city to the next, and them totally believing that some arms dealer looking guy being behind the wheel of a decked out coach is their real bus driver.
Speaking of those teachers, JB Smoove is totally underused, and though he may have more freedom on Curb Your Enthusiasm, you don’t cast Smoove just to censor him. His jokes were corny as hell. On the flip side, this might be Samuel L Jackson’s greatest performance in the whole of the MCU, mainly because he doesn’t act like Nick Fury at all. Throughout the movie I thought the writing of Fury’s character was terrible, as for the whole movie Fury is overly aggressive, even with the kids on the school trip. But at the very end of the movie he is revealed to be, Talos, the shapeshifting Skrull from Captain Marvel.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is as great as Homecoming, maybe even better thanks to the reveal of J. Jonah Jameson, which is still as exciting as the first time I saw it in the cinema. It even gives a big hint to where the Spidey series will go next. I just I really hope they drop the “Home” from the subtitle of the third movie just to piss off those people who claim they have OCD.