Sunday, 24 May 2020

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

This review was meant to coincide with Quarantine Watch Party last month, but hey, exams kept me busy. Here it is regardless.

Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the world has settled into its new normal. Peter Parker and his classmates go on a European school trip just as Peter is looking for a break from his duties as Spider-Man. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much choice. Nick Fury recruits him to team up with Quentin Beck, a soldier from another dimension as he claims to fight the things that destroyed his world, the Elementals.

I can appreciate this film putting Spider-Man in a situation that he hasn't been in before. Certainly seeing him out of his element without a ton of skyscrapers to swing off presents a new set of challenges for him, not to mention attempting to protect his secret identity from his classmates.

The cast is game. Tom Holland has turned in consistent work during his tenure as the wall-crawler, and his youthful energy and passion for the franchise are apparent on screen. Jake Gyllenhaal makes an impression as the latest MCU villain, with snarky charisma and screen presence. The other standout performance to me is the ever-reliable best friend Ned, played by Jacob Batalon. The humor is great. The screenplay by writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers is full of wit and character.

The MCU association has unfortunately resulted in a loss of identity. It feels like a typical Marvel movie, which is kind of a low point as phase three of the MCU is the best, with its bold risks and creative films. It pales even more when compared to Sony's wildly imaginative animated feature Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse which came out the year before.

Iron Man's association with Spidey is a blessing for him, but a curse for Peter. Both Vulture and now Mysterio are villains associated with him more than Peter. As well, with the effect his death had on Peter in Endgame, I hoped we would explore the effect it had on Peter as a hero, and the drama following that, but the film just scratches the surface of it, while balancing other things. One minute, it is emotionally heavy, the next, it is a fun teen cross country adventure.

Spidey has always had a great supporting cast in the comics, and the MCU spiderman movies have employed them here. Though they didn't get as much screentime as I would have liked, they make the most of what they have been given. Homecoming suffered from the same problem. Yeah, this is Spidey's show, but with the world around him rich with character, the film would have benefited from a longer runtime.

The action is frankly, lackluster. Compare them to the sequences of Endgame that came out months before, or even Spider-Man 2(2004), it is boring. Spidey fighting off drones in the final battle isn't the most exciting sight to see. Given that this is director Jon Watts' second big-budget film, I expected more. The Mysterio illusion sequence was easily the best, with its interesting visuals.

The romance between the two characters Peter and MJ is cute and awkward in all the right ways, and you can feel their chemistry. If only it was set up properly. If you remember, in Homecoming, MJ had an certain fascination in Peter, but she wasn't in the film that much, and Peter focused his romantic prospects on Liz. When this film starts, Peter is now interested in her. This development happens off-screen. It would have been better to show rather than tell.

The 2 post-credits scenes saved this film from getting a lower rating. The mid-credits scene, in particular, is very exciting to me, with the promise that we will get another Spider-Man film with him out of his element. I only hope that it can hold up on its own and not have to depend on other characters' films. Despite my complaints, I left the cinema having generally enjoyed this film, and I have since gone back to rewatch it.

Overall, Spiderman Far From Home is an entertaining fun adventure with a witty script, great performances, and rewatch value, but lacks a unique identity for such an iconic character, and highlights lackluster action sequences.


No comments:

Post a Comment