Saturday, July 6, 2019

Movie Review: "Spider-Man: Far from Home" (2019)

Director: Jon Watts
Year: 2019
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 9 minutes

In a post-snap-and-blip world, Peter Parker is left pondering his position as Spider-Man and what role he wants to take as an Avenger as a new threat emerges to put the world in danger.

Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland, and Quentin Beck, also known as Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, shake hands when they meet for the first time in Spider-Man: Far From Home
"It is clear to me that you are not ready for this." (Image Source)
A couple of months ago, Marvel Studios released "Avengers: Endgame," which marked an over 10 year, 22 movie-long story that finished the character arcs of some of the most beloved heroes in the universe. The question is, where does the Marvel Cinematic Universe go from here? With every ending, there is a beginning, and "Spider-Man: Far From Home" is the first movie of this latest era, introducing the world to new heroes and fresh villains. Jon Watts, who directed "Spider-Man: Homecoming," returns to the director's chair to helm this 23rd installment in the MCU. All of the people who were snapped out of existence by Thanos have returned five years later in an event called "the blip," and much has changed, including what people will believe and accept as reality. As Peter Parker (Tom Holland) prepares for a class trip to Europe, strange phenomena have started occurring all over the world as cities are being destroyed by what are said to be elemental creatures comprised of elements like earth, wind, water, and fire. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) contacts Spider-Man to ask him to assist a new hero named Quentin Beck (who has been dubbed Mysterio by the media) (Jake Gyllenhaal), an earthling from an alternate reality who has faced these elementals before in a different dimension. Spider-Man must find his confidence and accept his true calling if he hopes to defeat this villain that is unlike any he has faced up until now.
Spider-Man: Far from Home movie still where Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and MJ (Zendaya) meet up at an opera house on their summer school trip
"Please do not start calling it my Peter Tingle." (Image Source)
"Superhero fatigue" has been the topic of conversation amongst entertainment publications, Film Twitter, and cinema-goers for years now, pretty much since the original "Avengers" was released in 2012. So far, the Marvel train has shown no signs of slowing. It has powered through every possible roadblock with ease, and if "Spider-Man: Far From Home" is an example of what's in store for the MCU moving forward, we couldn't be more elated. This movie is an amazingly fun time full of frights, fights, delights, and an awesome display of visual ambition.

As we have been saying for a while, we think Tom Holland was the perfect casting choice to play both Spider-Man and Peter Parker as he combines the awkward nerdiness of Parker with the fast-talking wit of Spider-Man with ease. In a post-snap world, Peter also wrestles with the emotional heft of losing his mentor, moving on without him, and being an Avenger who is also just a high school kid who wants to have fun with his friends. Holland has settled into the role nicely, and we cannot wait to see him take on a more substantial part moving forward in the Avengers and the MCU. Zendaya is such a treat to watch in the "Spider-Man" movies, and we love how she is evolving MJ's persona. She injects some much-needed enrichment and freshness into the character of MJ, and she and Holland have marvelous chemistry together. Jacob Batalon, who provided a lot of comedic relief in "Homecoming," is back as Peter's best friend Ned, who finds himself having a summer fling with Betty Brant (Angourie Rice) that is both sweet and hilarious. Jake Gyllenhaal is one of the greatest actors of all time, so naturally, we were thrilled when it was announced he'd be playing Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio. Gyllenhaal is a fantastic new addition to the franchise, and he brings the required charm, likability, and passion a character like Mysterio needs to be effective. With this character's abilities comes some amazing reality-bending special effects that look totally breathtaking. The action scenes are brilliantly achieved, especially towards the latter portion of the film. The twists and turns the scripts takes may not be entirely shocking, but they are executed fittingly and felt seamless to us.
Angourie Rice, Jacob Batalon, and Zendaya look upon the destrustion of a European city in a movie still for Marvel's Spider-Man: Far from Home
"I think Nick Fury just hijacked our summer vacation." (Image Source)
What makes the character of Spider-Man so great is that people can relate to him despite the fact he is a super-genius who is super-sticky and super-strong. It's the human element and the humor that keep people invested in the character and wanting more, and director Jon Watts and writers Chris McKenna and Eric Sommers have really brought that to the forefront in "Spider-Man: Far from Home." In our estimation, they have made their version of Spider-Man wholly unique while simultaneously maintaining the spirit of the character from the source materials. Spider-Man is one of our favorites in a universe filled with fantastic characters and stories, and Marvel just keeps continuing to impress us. We had a blast with this film and cannot wait to see what happens next.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: ~8.1/10
RT Rating: ~92%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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