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MOVIE REVIEW: FTN reviews Spider-man: Far From Home

July 2nd, 2019 by Marc Comments

Spider-Man: Far from Home (12a)
Directored by: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson & Jake Gyllenhaal
Running time: 2hr 9min

Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

So, it’s a world after Endgame… a world without Tony Stark, Steve Rogers and Natasha Romanov and a world that apparently isn’t even sure if there still is an Avengers.

A world that has been devastated, first by the vanishing of half the population and then shell-shocked by the return of those who were gone five years later.

And it’s a world where it’s all played… for giggles.

Yes, this is a Spider-man movie and yes, we know what to expect from the MCU but the whole affair has been handled with a light touch – sure, it’s referenced plenty, but there just seems to be no real knock-on or effect (well, except that one guy who become the poster boy for FIVE YEARS PASSED) and everyone has adapted quite well to the whole thing.

And so, on with the story…

As the world is trying to rebuild after Thanos’ hi-jinx, a new threat arrives in the form of the Elementals, a race of ancient elemental warriors (Earth, Wind, Fire and, you guessed it, Water) who have crossed over from another version of earth to destroy this one, but luckily, they bring with them a champion… Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal) AKA Mysterio as he soon becomes known, who is trying to stop these creatures before they kill this planet and its population as it did to his planet.

He’s quickly found by Nick Fury (Jackson) and Maria Hill (Coby Smulders) who  team up with him to stop the threat… and soon they enroll your friendly neighbourhood Spider-man.

While all this is going on, Peter Parker (Holland) is getting ready to visit Europe with his school while winning the heart of MJ (Zendaya) who he loves, er, likes.

And for the first hour very little happens.

Sure, the characters find themselves involved in comedy pitfalls and shenanigans as they ramble from one landmark to another, all the while the Elementals and Mysterio battle it out in each location they visit (there is a reason for all this).

But after all this John Hughes-lite messing around, in the second half things really kick off as the true story of all this comes into focus and it is all actually quite clever and it does a fun job of tying into certain things we already know in the MCU and the way Beck’s abilities come to the fore and are used is a fun updating that makes sense in the framework of this universe.

But for all that the movie never gets beyond ‘fun’. And let’s never talk of ‘Peter Tingle’, ok?

I know it’s the MCU but the lack of consequence feels trite and as a result the movie feels as if there’s no gravity – all the elements are there but they are aways handled with no real consequence.

The action scenes are good, with Spider-man being very Spider-man but some scenes – one in particular – feels like the Burly-brawl scene from the second Matrix and sadly, the movie often looks like it’s not quite finished with green screen and CGI leaping out in places.

That said, Holland is as fun as always, fitting into the awkward, vulnerable character without the mask and the vulnerable but capable character with the mask.

Gyllenhaal is having a blast as Mysterio and plays smarmy and cocky to perfection.

Jackson, Smulders and especially Zendaya all stand out and Peter and MJ’s chemistry is undeniable.

But, this is a Marvel movie and we all know to sit for the end credits and, I don’t say this lightly, stay until the end.

The mid and post credit scenes here are arguably the most impactful yet in the MCU (maybe except for Thanos’ first appearance in The Avengers all those years ago) and for those of you hoping to to take a step back from the MCU now that the Infinity Saga is over (and I know several people in that boat), these scenes ensure that you and your money are going nowhere.

As fun as the movie is, it never touches the heights of Into The Spider-verse or Spider-man 2 and it’s on about an equal playing field with Homecoming, which is fine… but I’d hoped for higher heights this time, and the credit scenes are without doubt the movie’s high points for several reasons and promise big things coming.

But should the after-credit scenes really be the best part of the movie? Who was it who said ‘send them home smiling’? This movie does that… it’s just a pity the whole movie wasn’t a bit weightier.

Overall it plays to Marvel’s strengths and doesn’t go outside the already established formula. And that’s a bit sad because it’s when the MCU does stray from the formula (Winter Soldier, Iron Man 3) that it truly delivers.

3 out of 5 Nerds

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Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….