A sequel to 2017’s Movie Spider-Man: Far from Home Can be Watched Online but also – and, for fans, Free perhaps more importantly Full – a follow-up to the devastation of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far from Home returns the fun to the Marvel canon.
It is the season of action far away from home, which was set in a motion on a gigantic scale with AVENGERS: ENDGAME and SPIDERMAN’s 3rd offering with Tom Holland as the new Spiderman would also take on the bad guys away from home. This is for the first time that Spiderman would move out from his home turf of New York to the different corner of the globe in the 9th version of the Spiderman saga.
The narrative for taking SPIDERMAN away from his home turf was set when the AVENGERS:ENDGAME was conceptualized and after the death of the uncle TONY STARK in AVNEGERS:ENDGAME, SPIDERMAN:FAR FROM HOME was given a perfect launch to build on the nostalgia associated with the relationship between Spiderman and Ironman. After all, the master control of the templates of Marvel series comics lies with the Marvel Studios and its boss Kevin Feige has gone on record to underline that SPIDERMAN: FAR FROM HOME would indeed bring curtains down on The Infinity Saga.
It is all about planning and not allowing the tempo of anticipation that had built up with AVENGERS: ENDGAME among the audience to ebb away and rake on the mullah with the same theme. The only difference from AVENGERS: ENDGAME would lay in the fact that the fights that Spiderman would wage would be on the terra firma or on earth where perhaps his web is able to weave the charm with great panache.
Being released on the eve of US Independence Day, i.e. 4th July, SPIDERMAN is going to underline the valor and pride and perhaps would also be an attempt on the part of the marvel Studio to help Spiderman graduate to a new role and rise up to claim the mantle of being a part of Avengers per se, from being a side addendum as he has been portrayed in the AVENGERS SAGA so far.
Interestingly, to build up the anticipation and euphoria around SPIDERMAN, releasing in India at a time when the whole country is caught in the magic of the ICC World Cup, 2019, Marvel Studios carried an interview with Tom Holland on the eve of India-England league match to assuage and perhaps convey a message to the fans that this Spiderman was also a cricket fan as well! Ben Holland underlined that he was a great fan of cricket in the interview-perhaps to be in sync with the current mood for cricket in arguably one of the biggest markets in the world of entertainment India.
Spiderman continues to maintain its streak of breaking box office records of maximum collections in USA and it is to be seen whether the same kind of collections would be collected from box office in India as well?
Even my son, who is such a big cricket fan and a budding cricket player has decided to go and watch SPIDERMAN:FAR FROM HOME along with his cricket club friends as he feels that he has to express his solidarity with Spiderman who has shown through the interview that he follows cricket closely and had betted for India to win.
We are quickly introduced to Mysterio, a villain who claims he is from another universe. I was excited to hear Mysterio reference Earth 616, which is the comic book universe in which the main story arcs take place. Almost every Marvel comic book movie that has been released since X-Men draws influence from the 616 universe. For a moment, Marvel and Mysterio lead you to believe that this multi-verse theory has a big impact on the story. In the film, Mysterio claims the main villains, the Elementals, destroyed the Earth in his universe, and now he has come to the 616 universe to save the day. As many fans assumed, this entire story is a lie.
Mysterio is known for creating illusions and tricking Spider-Man and the heroes, and that is exactly what he does here. Mysterio, real name Quentin Beck, is just a disgruntled Stark employee that was enraged when the deceased genius decided to name Peter Parker as his heir to a very powerful piece of technology. Mysterio uses drones to create the illusion of the Elementals to paint himself as a hero, and to manipulate Spider-Man into giving him access to the technology. While the plot twist was welcome, it wasn’t entirely unexpected. It is unfortunate that fans lose the multi-verse to the farce, but I will applaud Marvel for still being able to pull a fast one 11 years into the movie game.
Our hero, Peter Parker, finds himself back in a similar predicament as the first film. He’s a child playing hero while learning to be an actual hero. He wishes to be a normal boy on vacation but cannot escape the responsibilities of being an Avenger. Peter’s entire character arc is pretty much a drawn-out “With great power comes great responsibility” moment. I felt a bit of superhero fatigue as typical superhero tropes unfolded. That is, until the first big battle with Mysterio. The use of CGI to create a mind-warping illusion in the first battle was magnificent. Peter is tossed around in a false world of nightmares and horrors, which even features an Iron Man zombie and an iconic shot of Spider-Man trapped inside Mysterio’s helmet. Overall, Gyllenhaal was not impressive until the real villain comes out. When he ditches the fake hero act and dives into his bad guy vibes, the movies gets much better.
Nick Fury and Maria Hill don’t have much to do here besides boss Peter around. They seem clueless and useless for most of the film, but it is revealed during the after credit scene why this is (which I will get into later). Other supporting characters such as MJ, Ned, Aunt May, Happy Hogan, and Flash Thompson serve strict comedic relief roles. There is little depth to any character besides Peter and Mysterio, which makes it hard to really care about anyone. When Ned’s life is in danger I barely care. In fact, I almost wanted Mysterio to kill a supporting character, so that I could feel something for the diverse cast.
While Far From Home is better than Homecoming, it’s mainly due to that action sequences and the initial jerk of the plot twist. This is by no means a bad movie, but it isn’t magnificent either. Tom Holland is still a perfect Spider-Man, which is the franchise’s strongest point by far. He’s lovable, dorky, immature, and flawed. Strong performances from him and Jake Gyllenhaal help keep this movie from being mediocre.
There are two scenes after the film ends, a post-credit scene and a mid-credit scene. The mid-credit scene is a great nod to Mysterio’s appearance in the comics. In the source material, the clever villain frames Spider-Man for horrific crimes, and he does the same in Far From Home. Spider-Man is blamed for the Elemental attacks, with Mysterio declaring that Spidey created the entire event with drones to solidify himself as the best hero. He then drops a bombshell and reveals the true identity of Spider-Man. Peter was the only hero in the MCU with a secret identity anyway, so its good they finally tore that band-aid off. I’m also sure that Nicky Fury, Happy Hogan, Maria Hill, MJ, Ned, and the Avengers will be able to clear Peter’s name of all wrongdoing in time. But it will be interesting how they maneuver into Phase 4 with Peter being viewed as a public enemy and his identity being revealed.
Finally, during the post-credit scene, it is revealed that the Nicky Fury and Maria Hill on Earth are Skrulls in disguise. We see that the real Fury is actually in space on a station being run by the Skrulls. This is a big nod in two directions. First, it shows that Marvel is looking to move their universe to the stars, with Fury set to keep an eye on the galaxy instead of just the Earth now. Second, it sets up a potential Secret Invasion storyline. A one-liner from Fury/Skrull during the film also suggests that the Kree and Skrull war is far from over. This means we should expect Captain Marvel, The Eternals, and The Guardians of the Galaxy to steer the overall plot into the next chapter. Cheers, to phase 4!
The 23rd episode in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and already Tom Holland’s fifth outing as a juvenile Spidey, this doesn’t have the sting of Spider-Man: Homecoming and it’s obvious returning director Jon Watts isn’t nearly interested in Jake Gyllenhaal’s silly-looking, neon-armoured ‘Mysterio’ as he is in the plight of the cast of amiable (supposed) high schoolers.
Beginning with amusingly ironic use of that infamous Whitney Houston classic, we watch as Holland’s Peter Parker tries to deal with Spider-Man’s celebrity while keeping his identity as a 16-year-old kid a secret (and Holland, who recently turned 23, does look pretty youthful). The inconvenient reappearance of half of the world’s population at the climax of Endgame (now called ‘The Blip’) has led to global confusion, which is treated with a degree of light-heartedness quite at odds with the earlier film’s sombre tone, and this is tonally juggled rather nicely with Peter’s haunted guilt over – spoiler alert – the death of Tony Stark.
Peter and his pals are going on a multi-country European trip, something which surely these kids and their school couldn’t possibly afford, and when he and the gang are in Venice they just happen to be present when a huge, watery monster (an ‘Elemental’) emerges from the canals and proceeds to smash up a few tourist spots. Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio (as the Italian media call him) is on hand to fight the thing, and this leads to the no-spoilers-necessary revelation that he’s working closely with Nick Fury (the great Samuel L. Jackson, of course) and he’s also from another dimension, which prompts a quick gag to distance this from last year’s charming Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.
We keep being distracted by the winning antics of the kids and their panicky teachers as they proceed to Prague and beyond, and a couple of tricks kick in that might leave purists unhappy with such diversions from the original comics. And the characters persistently steal the limelight: Peter’s bestie Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalan) is funny as he unexpectedly hooks up with prim Betty Brant (Aussie Angourie Rice), ‘Happy’ Hogan (Jon Favreau, naturally) is sweet in a few goofy scenes with Peter’s Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), and Peter is still crushing on the deadpan MJ (Zendaya), which intermittently takes his mind off all the computer-generated explosions.
Of course like all Marvel movies, there are a handful of final credits sequences and cameos that, for Spider-Man fans, are certainly worth sticking around to the bitter end for.