Movie Review: Spider-man: Far From Home (2019)

The first entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) following the monumental Avengers: Endgame is the second solo outing for the web-slinger, in Spider-man: Far From Home. Having recovered, along with many of his classmates, from The Blip (Thanos’ universe halving snap in Infinity War) Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is trying to return to normal life by attending a European science trip with his school, whilst also trying to win the affections of MJ (Zendaya). At the same time, Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) recruits Spider-man to destroy the monstrous Elementals, with the aid of Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), a superhero from the alternate reality, Earth-833.

+ Holland and Gyllenhaal are both really good, with Gyllenhaal in particular seeming to really enjoy his turn as a hero. Holland is that perfect mix of awkward and cute, the way a young Peter Parker should be. One short scene between the two really highlights the pressure the young Parker would have been under in his previous film outings
+ a battle in about the mid-way point of the movie was just incredible to watch. The effects and audio work were just absolutely top-notch, and I really, truly hope we see more of that kind of action in the future
+ Adrian Toomes involvement in the cleanup of New York following the first Avengers movie was a personal highlight for me, as it really showed a larger connection to the MCU, sixteen movies deep at the time. This is in essence continued here in another very clever way, with previous movies being referenced directly

– our hero is meant to be a friendly neighbourhood Spider-man, so I cannot fathom the though process to continually take him out of New York. The roughly 60 seconds we see Spidey swinging through the New York skyscrapers are some of the most accurate Spider-man adaption you’ll see, but all of his movies so far have seen him in Maryland, Washington, outer space, a flat battlefield and now Europe, without even including the obvious landmarks to have some fun with.
– Spidey’s foes in this film are genuinely enjoyable, with some of the best fight choreography in any super-hero movie, something Spider-man should be known for. Spider-man has arguably one of the strongest (in terms of quality) rogues’ gallery of any comic book hero, and including at least one of the Elementals, I can’t help but count almost six at this point. How sinister
– I genuinely love that Spider-man has such a strong supporting cast, but we only see very brief glimpses into their lives (thanks to some fancy science glasses). Those Marvel One-Shots could really be helpful here in showing how school mates reacted to The Blip, or what Peter’s classmates do whenever he web-zips off somewhere
– on a related note to the above, what was the point of J B Smoove being in this movie? He wasn’t funny, he did nothing but undermine the already pathetic main teacher, and he was given far too much of a focus for it to be nothing
– it’s not really a negative, but I’ll list it anyway: I really wish this movie wasn’t advertised and/or released so soon after Endgame. Imagine if there was a year off between Endgame and this one.

> so, THAT big reveal in the mid-credits scene – with the awesome character appearance – was absolutely and completely spoiled for me by watching an ad when I was streaming something from the US. Maybe I misinterpreted the ad at the time, but I knew exactly how the scene was going to unfold ahead of time

Should you see this film: I wasn’t entirely sold on Homecoming, feeling that it was mostly necessary in the grand scheme of the MCU, and frankly I feel the same about this movie. Holland is still great as Spider-man, and Gyllenhaal is one of my favourite actors for a reason, but when it’s all said and done, there just isn’t enough on offer from these Spider-man movies to make me recommend them to anyone other than the diehard fans.

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