Spider-Man: Far From Perfect Yet Far From Bad
With an affirmation to continue to make the web-slinger different from his previous incarnations with each subsequent film "Spider-Man Far From Home" stumbles but eventually gains its "Peter tingle" to stick a solid landing. From the get-go, I want you to know I'm giving this a positive review; however, there is much for me to complain about before I dive into the film's strengths. For a majority of this picture, everything felt episodic. After being delivered such a climax with "Avengers: Endgame" my enthusiasm for another Marvel film has waned from the pure emotional exhaustion of witnessing the crescendo to an epic saga. Disney is quite aware of that exhaustion, so they opted for a teen comedy vacation film starring Spider-Man (the always alluring Tom Holland) which ultimately turns out to be the next stepping stone in keeping "The Avengers" franchise alive as the money train continues to chug along. Flashes of 2004's "Eurotrip" stuck to my mind where the setting for the film is understandable on a rationale level, providing the audiences with a much-needed light break from Thanos' madness but on the other hand, this movie could have worked without the change of scenery just as effectively.
The entire angle of going across Europe plays like an overcooked joke consistently repeating the same motifs one would find in a National Lampoons film that serves more as a distraction than a strength to the narrative. For its opening half "Far From Home" is a welcome comedy that sparked my interest but began to convolute itself when its villain Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) walks on screen. Like "Iron Man 3" the film's antagonist suffers from "The Incredibles" disgruntled bad guy syndrome whose motivations don't match their heinous actions. For the majority of the picture, the film feels like it was slapped together. It's trying to balance everything from a post-Thanos world to dealing with Peter Parker's personal life, to growing the MCU. Director Jon Watts is desperately swinging from one plot point to the next with very little time to breathe in between scenes due to how much he has to juggle simultaneously. Even the love story with MJ felt half baked as beyond pure name recognition; there was nothing that establishes a romantic connection between the two. When investing the audience in Laura Harrier's Liz from "Spider-Man: Homecoming " why not find a way to bring her back into the scene rekindling a feeling we all felt once more into a more dynamic romantic storyline? Thankfully the film ends on a strong note.
Once all of the heavy exposition is out of the way "Spider-Man Far From Home" proves its purpose in its final act. Disney always intricately weaves their storylines together "Far From Home" drives through the "with great power comes great responsibility" theme by us witnessing Peter become the confident Spider-Man that we have known since the 60s. With Iron Man dead (it was in the trailers I'm not spoiling anything) Tony Stark has left all of his assets to Peter, making him his successor. Not knowing how to handle such a significant position, Pete always attempts to ignore the call to action placed upon him, even when the world is in danger. Pete just wants to live his life as a kid. He wants to have fun, enjoy the time he lost within the last five years since Thanos' snap. Anyone in his position would feel the same way. Unfortunately, when his evasion fails, everyone's life is in peril. Finally accepting the role to step back into the mantle of a superhero, Pete not only learns how to be Spider-Man once more but makes himself into the leader that Stark saw in him. The film ends in a thrilling finale that establishes what the whole spidey sense thing is about other than a gimmicky slow-motion sequence whenever danger approaches Pete. There's a real purpose to one of Spidey's power's now beyond the pure physical manifestation of itself, proving that Disney can always surprise me even when I thought they would be out of ideas. There's no need for someone to state Uncle Ben's famous line or to dance around the "great power" dialogue like they embarrassingly did in "The Amazing Spider-Man," you just get it.
If you had any grievances about "Avengers: Endgame" not having a post-credits sequence I can promise you that both credits sequences will quench your thirst for the next Spider-Man film. I can easily say this is my favorite end credits scene ever placed in a Marvel film with a cameo that will make any Spider-Man fan jump with pure joy as the MCU is finally comfortable enough to harken their vision of Spidey closer to his classic comic roots that we all are familiar with. The biggest disappointment I had with this new incarnation of the wall-crawler is that it veered off just as it got terrific. Remember that cliffhanger you felt at the end of Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 2?" I had that same feeling this time around for a whole other reason when the film wrapped. I hope that unlike "Spider-Man 3" whatever Marvel has in store for us next won't be the overcrowded mess that THAT film was. Hopefully, this is a foundation for a phenomenal conclusion.