December 11, 2019

Review Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

By Jon Watts | USA
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Eleven years later and twenty two films in, the cultural behemoth that is the MCU is still going as strong and as relevant as it can be. Though “Avengers: Endgame” marks an ending for a lot of the franchise’s main conflicts and characters, there seems to be no plan nor intention coming from Marvel to ever stop cranking out these films, products, whatever you wanna call it, for at least another decade. “Spider-Man: Far from Home” ensures of that. As the official closing speech for the MCU’s third phase, the sequel to our favorite web slinger first actual Marvel movie — meaning, it’s no longer in the fully controlling hands of Sony anymore — carries a huge weight on its back. The question imposed to Peter Parker himself in the movie, then became what the whole world asks of Marvel: what happens next now that the we’ve lost our favorite heroes? And how will the future fare in the ever expanding fantasy of this comic book universe?
As Peter struggles to answer them, the film, sadly, did as well. Interwoving the personal stakes of Peter Parker’s private life to the life and death dangerous he faces behind his mask has always been the biggest task in any Spider-Man story, that measuring their quality solely by that standards is almost mandatory. This is probably why people like the Sam Raimi’s take on the character more than Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man duology; Raimi recognizes the importance of levity and genuine touches he must pour into the human aspects of Peter, MJ, Aunt May and the rest, while also knitting those personal chemistry into the superhero conflict. This is also what director Jon Watts did incredibly in “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. There’s a way clearer sense of self-search that drives that film more than here, where with a bigger scope and scale, depth seems to fade as expected.
Finding the film’s main conflict can’t be easier: Peter having to realize his self-potential to continue the legacy of Tony Stark. Yet unfortunately, the film seems to be a lot more interested in questions about lesser character beats and the larger narrative world. So, that jump from friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to the next Iron Man — a massive development that happens as a throwaway scene in “Avengers: Infinity War” — feels rushed and less explored. So does the main plot with Mysterio, a well-written and interesting character that should’ve been handled with much greater attention. Thank god the casting didn’t hold back for Gyllenhaal saved that part and essentially the whole movie from below average MCU flick to a mildly entertaining one. But to me, it’s much more dissapointing to imagine how great his character could’ve been used if only the film has genuine consequences. Having him as a possible mentor figure to Peter is a great start to serve the film’s main theme, but where that leads and how small the impact it has on the character makes it seems like Marvel is forgetting to play on the smaller and intimate moments.
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Not to mistake the film from being bad in any way, as the title said, “Spider-Man: Far from Home” is far from being disastrous. What it is though, is that it feels much more like an episode of a long running mega series than ever before. That lack of personal quality, something pivotal for Peter Parker’s character, is what notch it down to become simply entertainingly okay rather than being amazingly Spider-Man.
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