HOLLYWOOD—Look, I have always been a fan of the “Spider-Man” movies. For me they return me to my youth and the character of Peter Parker I think resonates with so many Americans. Now, let’s be clear I was not a fan of the fact that the franchise has now had 3 actors portray the iconic character, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and now Tom Holland. Out of the three, its hands down Holland who captures the teen with superpowers the best.
Holland brings a level of charm, comedy and youthfulness to Parker, that the others tried to capture, but couldn’t quite get there. I loved “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and was enthralled with the latest entry “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Why? At long last, one of my favorite villains of the web slinger, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) finally got to shine on the big screen. This sequel to the 2017 box-office hit, finds Parker, traveling with his classmates to Europe.
The one thing I must prefix is this entry takes place shortly after the events of “Avengers: End Game” which is important to note. Parker died, but came back to life and his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sacrificed his life for mankind. Now that we have that out the way, we can focus on the rest. Parker is in an interesting phase in his life. He wants to be a hero, but at the same time he doesn’t. He wants to enjoy being a teenager and having fun, even if that means ignoring calls from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Let’s just say Fury pays Parker a visit while overseas.
Here’s where I have a slight bone to pick with the writers. There is conflicting truths regarding Mysterio aka Quentin Beck. He’s perceived as a bad guy, but there are some hints that he might be a good guy under disguise. Perhaps that was the entire purpose of presenting the character in dual lights, but don’t tease that to the audience. Let us uncover that mystery ourselves while presenting something and then treading back on it as a way to implement a twist that anyone with a sharp brain should be able to uncover.
I mean come on people this is a superhero flick, not a twisted psychological thriller. Ambitious moves, but the dividends do not pay off fully if you’re asking me. So what does “Far From Home” get right? Hands down it has some of the best visual effects I’ve witnessed in the entire franchise. I mean watching these Elemental forces annihilate famed landmarks is awesome on the big screen. It takes some crazy visual effects to pull off such a feat and director Jon Watts manages to control that cadence and amazement throughout the movie.
We do have the budding romance between Parker and Mary Jane ‘MJ’ (Zendaya). My only problem is as a fan of the comics, I don’t recall this character being such a badass or smart aleck. I guess it’s a new approach on the classic character, but I’m still on the fence about it to be frank. If we’re looking for comic relief look no further than Ned (Jacob Batalon). Batalon captures out of the loop, comic charm throughout the entire movie and delivers perfect comedic timing right when it’s needed. The fight sequence between Mysterio and Spider-Man is not one of the best, but considering the wizardy of our villain it works.
However, it is those surprising scenes at the end of the movie that sets up the stage for what is to come for our friendly web slinger. I was thoroughly entertained by “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” Can I call it the best in the franchise? No, but it ranks quite high compared to what we have seen and that is a plus in my book.