Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
Director: Jon Watts
Screenwriter: Erik Sommers
Starring: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Colbie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J.B. Smoove, Martin Starr, Angourie Rice, Remy Hii, Tony Revolori
The latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Far From Home, is the second Spider-Man movie in the MCU and realistically concludes their Infinity Saga, the 22 film marathon that has been going for over a decade. Peter Parker heads on a class trip to Venice, where he must team up with Nick Fury and a new superhero, Mysterio, to combat elemental monsters from another dimension. The film is a solid summer blockbuster that nicely wraps up Spider-Man’s first character arc, but there isn’t anything radically new or earth-shattering to be found here.
Tom Holland perfectly portrays the skittish teenager who finds himself conflicted between what he wants and what Fury urges him to see as a greater responsibility. The internal struggle between hiding in the shadows or stepping into the light is the real conflict of the film, and the lead actor nails this effortlessly. Jake Gyllenhall’s performance in the film’s largest supporting role is also strong, the veteran actor swinging from kind to wrathful in seconds. There’s a quiet moment in a bar between the two characters, which is perhaps the best part in the film, where CG and action set pieces are replaced by an emphasis on the struggle of the Spider-Man character in particular, the acting of the starring pair coming to the fore in an absolutely wonderful way.
The scenes without all the action sequences are undoubtedly the best in the movie, because the big blockbuster moments, while fun and exciting, are fairly typical Marvel spectaculars. You’re not going to see anything radically new from it. There is a several-minute sequence playing on reality that is fairly disorienting and fun, but in terms of the explosions and fight scenes, there’s nothing revolutionary along the lines of Kingsman: The Secret Service’s church fight. You go in knowing what you’re going to get out of it.
Far from Home isn’t going to be completely ripping up the rulebook like Infinity War did, but neither is it as bland as a Marvel entry like Thor: The Dark World. It’s a decent entry into the MCU with a strong central premise and good acting. Marvel movies were made for increasing popcorn sales, and this is what Far From Home does. It’s two hours of a fun time that bookmarks the end of an era, and begins to put in the groundwork for the next sprawling narrative.
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