Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home (a movie review post)

I'm sure I've said it before, but Spider-Man is and always has been my favorite superhero. For as long as I've had a favorite superhero, that is, which is a long time, at least since I was four. I know I was four because I had this Spider-Man toy that I loved, and I remember playing with it at the house we lived in when I was four. It included a tube of stuff you could use to make spiderwebs, and I got in trouble pretty frequently for making webs between the spindles on the backs of our chairs.

Mysterio, on the other hand, has never been one of my favorite characters in the Spider-verse. And this bit may sound spoilery, but I'm not being spoilery because Marvel has done such an excellent job of setting up the MCU as its own place, and you can't take anything from the comics as being binding for the MCU. As far as villains go, Kraven was always my favorite when I was a kid then, later, it was Hobgoblin. Mysterio just wasn't that interesting but, man, has he been around for a long time, so it's cool to see Marvel pull him into the MCU in a way that makes much more sense than his comics origins. And Jake Gyllenhaal was great in the role. He really made it work.

He makes it work because the real crisis in the movie is Peter dealing with the death of Tony Stark. Both with his personal loss -- And, remember, for Peter, it hasn't actually been all that long since his Uncle Ben died. Tony is the second father figure for Peter to lose since he's been in high school. -- and the pressure from those around him to step up and be, basically, the Iron Spider. It's a lot to deal with and Quentin (Mysterio) is the only one around Peter offering him any support. Being fatherly.

And that's all I'll say about that.

The movie is a lot of fun, much of it dealing with Peter trying to work up the courage to tell MJ how he feels about her, something which is probably a "welcome" distraction for him rather than dealing with the pressure from all of the adults around him and the constant reminders that Start is dead. Yeah, I did say that the teenage romantic angst was something welcome for Peter, and he tries his best to avoid being Spider-Man just so that he can deal with what he sees as the romantic tension between the two of them.

I suppose the real question is, "Is it as good as Homecoming?" I'd have to say that it's not but, also, that it's not far off. It's definitely setting the stage for things that are to come, both for the next Spider-Man movie and the MCU in general, while dealing with Peter's personal issues and conflicts. If you're an MCU fan or a Spider-Man fan, it's certainly not to be missed.


  1. I enjoyed it. I do wonder how the MCU in general will hold up over time. They're kicking DC all over the place but will these hold the same place in people's long term imagination as Star Wars or Harry Potter? So much is dependent on the spectacle.

    That said, I also love Spidey. Always have, going back to Electric Company for me. I also enjoy this version of the character a lot - he's just as believable as a teenager as he is as a superhero. The supporting characters are strong too. Overall, I think there are other threads in the MCU that will hold up better but it's a strong addition to the franchise.

    1. TAS: At this point, I don't think you can distinguish the MCU from Marvel. The MCU exists because Marvel has held up for over 50 years now. That said, the MCU has had a huge impact on ingraining Marvel into our culture. Prior to the release of Iron Man as a movie, the world in general really had ideas about Spider-Man, Hulk, and Captain America. In that sense, the MCU has already become a part of our cultural long term imagination, and that's going to stick.
      On the other hand, the Harry Potter movies are only extensions of the books. Without the books, the movies wouldn't have been... anything.

    2. There's no denying what the movies have done to enhance the brand. I wonder about the long-term impact on the comic book industry, too. Much will also depend, I imagine, on what comes next for the movies.

    3. TAS: I think we're already seeing that. I mean, one MCU movie makes more profit than the entire comic industry for a full year, so the comics are serving as story incubators and litmus tests for the direction of the movies. It's an interesting dynamic.