Spider-Man: Far from Home Review (2019)

Despite being one of the smaller scale movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Spider-Man: Homecoming was a great vehicle for Tom Holland‘s take on the wall-crawler. Properly introducing us to the high-school hero and his amazing friends as he tackled the tough act of balancing the troubles of a teenager along with the perils of his alter ego.

The film was a success and, coupled with his appearances in Civil War, Infinity War and Endgame, cemented Holland as the new Spider-Man in town…er..the neighbourhood. With his natural boyish charm, and actually looking like someone of high school age, Holland was the most comic accurate portrayal of Peter Parker we had gotten.

And now with Far from Home, the Spider-Man sequel has the unenviable task of not only carrying on the success of the first movie, but also following up one of the biggest movies of the year, Endgame.

A task that it ultimately does a good, not great, job of achieving.

The sequel goes bigger than it’s predecessor, replacing New York with multiple locales all over Europe, upping the action and also giving the supporting characters more time in the limelight. Overall, the increase in scope is handled well by director Jon Watts , deftly interweaving elements of teen rom-coms with the larger bombastic action that the MCU is now known for.

And while the explosions and set-pieces are entertaining, it’s the smaller moments, the fun interactions between Peter, MJ (Zendaya), Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), Betty Brant (Angourie Rice) and even Mr Harrington (Martin Starr), their eternally beleaguered teacher that set the Spider-Movies apart from the rest of the MCU.

It’s the surprise romances that spring up, hormonal rivalries and the existential crises faced by the teens that set this apart from the other films of the MCU. They help us connect with the already likable cast and serve as a break from the onslaught of intense action we had just gone through with the previous 22 movies in the MCU.

But when the action does hit, it hits hard. At the epicentre of all the craziness of Far From Home is a new superhero to the MCU, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Serving as a Tony Stark substitute, Gyllenhaal does a good job of playing the big brother role to Peter, but also having an unnerving aura about him, aptly having an air of mystery about him. He is a great addition to the cast and his role does have a big impact in the MCU.

But for all the action and sweet moments, I do wish that Watts had been a bit more judicious in the editing room. It did feel like there were scenes here that could have been trimmed, and would have helped carry the story forward more efficiently. And maybe one more pass could have been taken with the script as there were some clunky exposition heavy moments that made me roll my eyes a little. Sure, I get that you have to explain some of the more complicated things that happened but there have to be better ways of doing it than spelling out each person’s role in the plan.

Also to Far from Home’s detriment was the number of jokes that failed to land. While it did deliver on the MCU trademark humour, there were times where the jokes felt forced or shoe-horned in, and just didn’t get the expected response from the audience. Though, there probably were more good ones than bad.

A little bit of shoddy cg and green-screen also plagued the film but overall Far from Home was still an entertaining flick that should be watched in the theaters because some of the visual effects are just mind-bendingly spectacular.

Funnily enough though, it’s the two credits scenes (one midway and the other at the end) that will probably leave the biggest impression on you so make sure to stay all the way till the end of the credits to see both of them.

Definitely more a hit than a miss, I give Spider-Man: Far from Home a 7.5/10.

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