Film Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Earlier this week my MotR seat-mates and I recorded a podcast episode on the newest Marvel film, Spider-Man: Far From Home. While we wait for that to get posted, here’s a peak at my side of the conversation.

First Things First: It has come to my attention that I was unfairly calling the character, Brad, a pedophile for pursuing MJ. I misunderstood his path through/around the snap. Apparently he is not a 21 year old picking up where he left off in high school classes now that everyone has returned. He just looks super old in comparison to the rest of the kids on the trip. My bad.

Basic Synopsis: Just because Spider-Man’s great power is vacationing in Europe doesn’t mean Spider-Man’s great responsibility didn’t stow away in the overhead compartment.

Quick, Random Question: Did Flash Thompson call Spider-Man “inspidering”? Or did my brain just upgrade a normal word by sneaking a “de” in there…?

Brief Thoughts: Spider-Man: Far From Home falls somewhere in the middle of my MCU rankings. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it considering Marvel has had few swings and misses as far as I’m concerned, it just means I didn’t think it was great.

Overall I continue to really enjoy Tom Holland and this Spider-Man, as well as his friendship with Ned. I’m also all for the inevitable relationship between Parker and MJ, though I will say it’s a bit awkward in FFH considering we’ve jumped ahead with some offscreen feeling development towards her on Parker’s part. We’re also seeing a new side of MJ that slightly contradicts the confident, unwavering individual we’ve only seen her to be so far. It’s a little jarring at first, but eventually it’s easy to write off considering crushes sometimes make even the coolest of us weird and fumbly, even Zendaya.

Even though I was given pause briefly by these character changes, I’m sure I’ll have no trouble looking past them soon enough; what I can’t completely look past are the flaws in Mysterio. To keep things vague all I’ll say is his character “origin” is a well worn story that I didn’t fully buy. But to elaborate I’ll have to get into spoilers, so…

Elaborating on My Mysterio Thoughts (SPOILERS): Here’s the thing, a well known Marvel villain was just turned into a hero in the MCU recently, so they’re not going to do it again, right? Not this soon, at least…? I mean, they could, but I was seriously doubting it while watching FFH. In other words, I sat through half the movie waiting for the big reveal that Mysterio was not so heroic after all. And once the veil was lifted, it was just so… unsatisfying. The “I’ve been slighted by someone and now they/everyone must pay” is a well tread motivation as far as villains go. Matter of fact, I’m pretty sure Tony Stark induced this same rage in someone else during Iron Man 3 (one of Marvel’s swing and misses for me). I would’ve been fine with it had it JUST been Quentin Beck as Mysterio, but not Mysterio as a cabal of normal, everyday people who feel so slighted by Stark that they’re now all okay with killing kids just to one up a dead guy.

I also would’ve bought more into his illusion tech had he used some hallucinatory drugs on Parker for the smaller scale stuff. That said, I’m not going to think too hard on that because the more I ruminate on the numerous variables all needing to work perfectly for these shows to be pulled off (both large and small), the more it breaks down in my mind. So instead I’ll just enjoy the visual spectacle and wonder if leaning more into the Syndrome persona and battle tactics would’ve worked better overall.

Best Supporting Role: The Peter Tingle; both as a running joke and when put to use. (Honorable mentions go to Happy and his attempts at Cap like heroics, and Comic Sans MS.)

Let’s Talk About That Ending (Post Credit Edition) (SPOILERS!): This is the first time I’ve ever been upset with the post credit scenes of an MCU film. And it’s not with just one of the two, but both! For starters, as I’m sure many fans of the CW’s DC superhero shows can agree, I’m so tired of secret identities being outed, and I am far from excited to go through it again. And secondly, all the scenes between Fury and Parker mean far less to me now that I know it was actually Talos with Parker the whole time, and Fury’s disappointment and high expectations don’t pack the same punch. But most importantly: WHERE IS MARIA HILL, DAMMIT!? You cannot distract me with the glorious return of J Jonah Jameson, I DEMAND ANSWERS!

Final Thoughts: The action, humor, relationships, and emotional journey Parker goes through as Tony Stark’s shadow looms heavily over him kept me fully invested in this film, even if the villain didn’t fully work for me. Which is why Far From Home is still must see for Marvel fans. It’s not great, but good Marvel is still good Marvel.

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