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Thursday, July 4, 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home - Movie Review


The Movie: Spider-Man: Far From Home

The Director: Jon Watts

The Cast: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Cobie Smulders, Angourie Rice

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


The Review:
So Endgame has come and gone yet there is one more movie in Marvel's Phase Three of their illustrious cinematic universe and everyone's favorite friendly neighborhood wall crawler gets the honor of closing it out. After the unbelievable roller coaster of emotion that was Infinity War and Endgame, Marvel and director Jon Watts take a bit of a lighthearted left turn by creating a really fun and whimsical adventure that takes Peter Parker and friends around the world.

As much as this is a standalone movie for Spider-Man, there is a ton of connective tissue that directly bridges over from Endgame as well as tying it to other films like Captain Marvel and pretty much all of the Iron Man movies. The creators take as much opportunity as they can to honor and reflect on the passing of Tony Stark and what he, along with his super heroic alter ego, meant to both the primary characters like Peter and Happy Hogan and to the world as a whole.

By now Tom Holland has firmly established himself as Peter Parker over several MCU movies and I feel like he has really hit his stride and is fully comfortable with who the character is and where he needs to go from here. Feeling the effects of Endgame, Peter has a lot going on in his head and Holland does a great job of being a very confused teenager who is on the verge of adulthood while also weighing the responsibilities of being a globally recognized super hero.

Of course, all of Peter's friends, family, and classmates are back including Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, and Zendaya as the one and only Mary Jane Watson. It was especially interesting to watch Zendaya take on this most iconic of roles by changing up who she is as a modern day teenager while maintaining the essence of who MJ is and what she means to Peter.


I love the fact that she plays MJ so nerdy, awkward, and unsure of herself because it creates a much more relatable standard than the objectified perfection that previous generations grew up knowing and loving over the years. Don't get me wrong, I have always loved MJ, but I feel like now, Zendaya's version is a more fully realized character that can exist and stand on her own while also being a wonderful counterpoint to Peter as they grow up together.

While there is more than enough awkward teen romance to go around, this wouldn't be a Marvel movie without a dangerous villain to deal with and lots of crazy action to gawk and and of course we get all of that, too. If you don't know who Mysterio is, you re in for a real treat. He is one of Spider-Man's earliest foes from way back in the early days of the wall crawlers comic book history and has always been one of his most serious threats.

Jake Gyllenhaal has been one of my favorite actors for a long time and I had been hoping he would get to take on a Marvel character at some point so I was super excited to see what he would do with a character like this and oh man does he deliver. It's hard to say much  about Mysterio without giving a lot away, even the fact that he's the movie's villain is a bit of a reveal, so I'll just say that he is one of the better Marvel villains we have ever seen in the MCU but mainly because of the things I can't tell you.


The Verdict:
Spider-Man: Far From Home is fun in the way that comic movies should be fun. It delivers the goods as a stand alone movie but also goes a long way to completing the MCU's Phase 4 story arc while also hinting at some really cool stuff coming up in Phase 5.

Of course, no Marvel movie would be complete without at least one bonus scene during and/or after the credits so make sure to stay all the way to the end. Seriously, these are important to see, not just some silly joke that doesn't mean anything to the story.


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