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‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ review: A roller coaster of expectations

A superhero movie that does everything right, but only after the midway point.

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In celebration of everyone’s favorite web-head, July is Spectacular Spider-Month at AiPT!. We have a series of amazing articles in store for the month. Movies, television, gaming, and of course comics will all be covered with great responsibility as we honor one of comics’ greatest heroes

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the kind of film that gives you good vibes to start, slowly reveals itself to be something that’s not what you were asking for, and then makes you fall in love with it all over again. It’s a rollercoaster of expectations and it’s possibly the best film at waffling its first half and then blowing you away with the second half. I’m still processing it, but I’m unsure if the plotting is genius, or frustratingly lazy. That said, it’s a film that will delight you, sticks the landing in more ways than one, and even has some of the best Marvel end credits ever.

A lot is riding on this film seeing as it’s the technical end of the third phase in Marvel movies. When Avengers: Endgame ended it was a hard pill to swallow for obvious reasons if you’ve seen the film. It was the end of an era, but not the end of phase 3 according to Kevin Feige. Buckle up Marvel Studios fanatics as Spider-Man: Far From Home delivers on a lot of expectations, superhero excitement, and a hint at what is to come with phase 4.

This movie picks up where Avengers: Endgame left off. Blaringly so, with a montage of those that were lost at the end of that film. This film is practically haunted by those deaths and the “blip” as folks call the mass loss of life after Thanos snapped his fingers. It hangs over Peter due to the loss of Tony and even connects to a hot boy who is trying to get with MJ. The world is reeling as it has lost its heroes and is looking to find new ones. Peter needs a break from it all and a summer science vacation is in order. Destinations include Venice and London and Peter wants to enact a plan to finally connect with MJ in a real way. Problem is Peter’s life as a hero and a teenager are splitting his time and it begins to affect things immediately after he heads to Venice. Enter a man who can fly and shoot green lasers from his hands.

Tom Holland and Jacky Gyllenhaal from SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

There’s big action in Venice, I’ll stay away from spoilers here, and Peter is forced into being the hero he doesn’t always want to be. Hell, maybe he wants to run away from it after losing a father figure like Tony Stark. The film seems to go through the motions forcing the hero to do heroic things when he doesn’t want to. We’re told about monsters (or as they are called here Elementals) and a man from another dimension (already spoiled in the trailers). It’s tiresome and convoluted. When Peter needs to save his classmates it begins to feel like the film is going through the motions. We’re even introduced to another fun gizmo similar to the Spider-Man suit and all its features from the last Spider-Man movie. Don’t worry folks because it’s at this point the film reaches its lowest low and totally redeems itself.

From here on in the film does things visually that is reminiscent of comic books. The relationships begin to matter, the twists begin to get everything right. Spider-Man even fights himself (a classic trope of superheroing!). It’s shocking how good this film is the minute it reveals its hand to the viewers. It’s a big twist that has thankfully been not mass spoiled yet. Frankly, if you knew this twist was coming the first half of the film would be maddeningly worse than it already is since so much rides on placating the audience. There are other surprises to be sure and fun reveals even in the end credit scene. Seriously, do not skip the end and mid credit scenes. They add context as well as a hint at what is to come for Spider-Man.

Acting wise everyone does a good job with what they are given. The Mysterio character, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, has his moments and I will admit Gyllenhaal infuses him with good-natured humanity here and there, but when the film rights itself halfway through his character takes a nose dive. I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say he goes from peculiar mystery to flat cliche for much of the rest of the film. Mary Jane may have come out of this film with the most development which is great considering she was so subdued in the first film. Zendaya does a good job with it and makes you like her quirks, insecurities, and all. Tom Holland has mastered the slightly nervous nature of Peter Parker, but it’s starting to grow a bit tiring how little the character has grown. Then again, he’s only been around for a year so maybe that makes sense? That said, I’d love more character development in the next motion picture he’s in.

This is a film that took a big chance. Lead the audience on and drag them through some conventional superhero moments and even rehash things we liked from the first film. It might work for on some, but for many, you’re going to get very worried. Thankfully the film takes a hard right turn midway through and doesn’t let go of the gas speeding through with awesome visuals, design choices, and great heroic character-centric beats. It’s a film not to be missed if you’re a fan of Marvel movies and a film that does almost everything right. Fact is though you will leave the film very happy and excited for more.

Thank you for joining AiPT! during Spectacular Spider-Month! Be sure to check back in every day for more Spider-Man content including interviews, features, opinions, and more.

Credit: Marvel

Is it good?
It's a film not to be missed if you're a fan of Marvel movies and a film that does almost everything right. Fact is though you will leave the film very happy and excited for more.
Strong second half with great visuals, twists, and character beats
The end and mid credit scenes are on point
Not a bad actor in this flick
The first half grows tiresome and can feel convoluted
The second half basically makes Mysterio a flat one note character

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