NEWS

Spider-Man’s Euro-trip is a treat!

It's a classic case of an American web-slinger in London for this review of Spider-Man Far From Home.

Collage of Nick Fury, Peter Parker and Quentin Beck in front of London and Venice skylines

Tom Holland loves playing Spider-Man to a fault. And that fault is that he talks about it with so much enthusiasm and passion, he often drops major spoilers wherever he goes. But, because he’s so damn adorable, everyone just kind of accepts it and the studio tries to both capitalise on the cuteness while trying to minimise it at the same time.

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Nowadays it seems to be all part of the publicity machine where they use him to drip feed information with this whole “uh oh, he’s done it again!” schtick and everyone sees it for the bullshit is.

While our seats are still warm from the Endgame, Marvel have shoved us back into their cinematic universe with Spider-Man Far From Home. While this reviewer was prepared to skip it entirely, I found myself with nothing better to do sitting in a packed cinema on opening week, stuffing my fat face with popcorn, thoroughly enjoying this tidy little epilogue to one of the biggest cinematic events of all time.

Who made it

In spite of appearing in four previous Marvel movies this is only the second time this iteration of Spidey has starred in his own movie and director Jon Watts (who was at the helm for Spider-Man Homecoming) is back to steer the ship for Spider-Man Far From Home. This keeps things, as mentioned before, tidy. He’s backed by writer Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, who also worked on Homecoming, Ant-Man and The Wasp and Jumanji, Welcome to the Jungle.

Tidy.

The story

The story is set in the post-Endgame world and tackles the fallout from that film. At it’s centre it is a typical Spider-Man tale, where Peter Parker is trying to juggle the sometimes overwhelming responsibility of being a super hero with being an every day kid trying to do every day kid things.

This time he’s wanting to hang up the suit for a few weeks and enjoy a school trip to Europe where he hopes to put the moves on MJ and open up to her about his true feelings.

His best laid plans go to waste when Nick Fury crashes the party and enlists him to help thwart a group of elemental beings from another dimension who are about to destroy the planet. He’s aided by a mysterious super hero from said dimension aptly called Mysterio. Peter’s done a complete 180 from the guy he was in Spider-Man Homecoming, wanting to step up to the big leagues as an Avenger, to now completely avoiding it and striving for some semblance of a normal life.

The cast

Tom Holland is back in the red suit and completely owning the character which is great to see. Samuel L Jackson pops up again as Nick Fury and takes on the role with ease. Jacob Batalon returns as Peter’s faithful best friend Ned, Tony Revolori is back as nemesis Flash Thompson. Martin Starr and JB Smoove bring the comic relief as Mr Harrington and Mr Dell.

Newcomer Remy Hii competes for MJ’s attention as Brad. Angourie Rice wins Neds affection as Betty and Jake Gyllenhaal, who I find to be quite polarising as an actor, is surprisingly great here as Mysterio.

The best performances come from Marissa Tomie who (dare I say?) smoulders as Aunt  May. John Favreau who is simply excellent as Happy Hogan, it’s great to see the interplay between him and Peter as they cope with the fallout of the endgame. And Zendaya is truly excellent as MJ, the chemistry she shares onscreen with Holland is an absolute highlight.

The verdict

Things hardcore fans may have seen as sins of the previous movie (which was still entirely decent) have long been forgiven. In fact without the overhaul, Spidey would have unlikely survived in the MCU, especially if they ran the same course with the character that they did in the Raimi or Mark Webb films.

The squeaky clean characters—changing Flash from a blond haired-blue eyed jock to a middle eastern mathlete, making MJ more of an awkward nerd who marches to the beat of her own drum—are just a couple of examples of bringing the lore up to a more modern standard. The tweaks Marvel have made, like introducing Tony Stark as Peter’s mentor to squeeze Spider-Man into the MCU, worked better than this reviewer could have imagined and the culmination of that relationship with Stark is key to the success of this film.

A lot of the big action pieces early in the film feel slightly underwhelming, however it becomes clear as to why in the final act, which is huge. There is also a brilliant CGI fight sequence at the end of the middle act that is one of the best scenes witnessed in any of the Marvel movies.

A really cool fight scene from the trailer was ditched from the final cut which is a tad disappointing and a few of the transitions in the movie felt a bit forced. It was like “hey everyone, back on the bus so we can travel to the next action sequence and tell a few jokes on the way!”. The jokes were pretty good though.

In some ways Spider-Man Far From Home is like a giant end credits scene to the Infinity Saga. It simmers everything down and does a good job leading us into phase four.

It is much better than Spider-Man Homecoming in almost every way, except for the villain.

Far from perfect but Spider-Man Far From Home still hits a home run.

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