Jon Watt’s Spiderman: Far From Home is a testament to Marvel’s winning recipe. It offers more of the same structure, doesn’t improve on its characters, and yet manages to be highly entertaining. Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers have penned the film circling the same recipe, doing the best they could do, and leaving a lot to be desired.
As a follow-up to Avengers: Endgame, the film is very refreshing and takes the action away from the skyscrapers of New York to an unruffled Europe. The pace is brisk and there is never a sluggish moment. The film quickly addresses the events of Endgame, evokes some good laughs, and advances with its globetrotting plot. However, it lacks the endearing, insightful moments that all Spidey films are known for.
The film is very funny and has a couple of visually awe-inspiring moments but it misses the cinematic touch of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Be it Peter’s heartfelt exchange with Aunt May or the downright amazeballs Train sequence – Far From Home is just another piece from the well-embroidered Marvel Jacket that never dares to go beyond the defined formula and fails to reach the heights of the aforementioned Spidey film.
Repetitive Character Arc
The biggest disappointment that comes with Far From Home is the replication of Peter Parker’s arc from Spider-Man 2. It’s not an exact redoing and Peter doesn’t dump his suit in the garbage. It just plays out differently, for the same result.
As an aftermath of the epic battle with Thanos, it is underwhelming to see Peter reluctantly accepting all the responsibilities, considering he wanted to become an Avenger in the first place.
A large amount of runtime is dedicated to this realization of Peter and the result is utterly dissatisfying. His character simply doesn’t evolve. Irrespective of how much entertained you get – by the end, you will not find any transformation in Peter.
This is what made Homecoming such a good film. Peter went through a major transformation. At first, he had trouble operating his new suit and caused life-threatening situations. However, he soon came to grips with it and sensibly denied Stark’s invitation to become an Avenger. It was a great move that underlined the evolvement of Peter. Nothing as such happens in this film.
The Marvelous Mysterio
Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck is the film’s biggest highlight. As a superhero from a different Earth, he shows up to fight the Elementals. Having mystifying superpowers and moral high ground – he ventures in as the right fit for Iron Man, which the world seems to be needing a lot. For Peter at least, he serves as the ideal father figure – who can take care of his regular superhero stuff and allow him to live a normal life he craves for.
Mysterio, on the other hand, accepts the role having no other purpose left to serve than kill the Elementals and avenge the death of his family and the devastation caused to his Earth.
Anyone who knows Mysterio from comics knows there is more to him than meets the eye. A tip of the hat to Marvel for the covert marketing. There is a lot of stuff that wasn’t shown in the trailer and it pays off well. You just wish had they left out the Black Spiderman suit too for another welcoming surprise.
There is a lot of action and it is deliberately staged on a grander scale to meet the sky-high expectations arising from Avengers: Endgame. To film’s credit, it is all very inventive, especially in the second half, where Mysterio’s character is truly justified. It is reminiscent of the trippy imagery we experienced last year in Into the Spiderverse.
IMAX viewing is recommended for the same as it has never seen before stuff which simply elevates the final act of the film – which has a lot of character interplay that helps heighten the suspense and amazement, even if the narrative fails to make sense.
The Final Verdict
Uniformly excellent performances, sharp editing, and out-of-the-box fight scenes ensure a good time at the movies, even if the film lacks originality in terms of narrative and character development that makes the film fall short of being amazing and rank below its predecessor.
There is an awesome scene (arguably the best) in the final act comprising Peter and Happy which has beautiful subtlety and hints at a major evolution. Watch out for the same. And of course, sit through for a mid-credits and a post-credits scene – which are by far the best in the entire Infinity Saga.
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)