SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME REVIEW
By James Murphy
Peter Parker goes on a European road-trip; falls in love and takes on a new threat to the world. Sequel to 2017’s HOMECOMING and follow-up to this year’s ENDGAME.
- The movie marries multiple genres and yet retains a coherent tone and logical, linear shape.
- You get value for money! A Road-Trip/Coming of Age/Teen Angst comedy/Action Adventure/Marvel Shared Universe super-hero sequel that still functions as its own thing.
- Beautifully shot locations: great use of lighting / photography /design. Captures the spirit of the comic books, TV shows, cartoons, previous film iterations and stands alone, still!
- Absolutely ADORABLE romances that develop all the relevant characters and capture the awkward yet tender sentiment of your first teenage loves.
- A clever yet accessible plot, delivered by great acting and believably emotional depth, fused to an urgent and credible threat amidst the fantasy.
- Touches on the darker, harsher sides of life, without either trivialising that detail or undermining the film’s optimistic and escapist qualities.
- THE BEST MID AND POST CREDITS SEQUENCES IN ANY MARVEL MOVIE EVER!!
- Tom Holland is a leading man to watch; maturing with charm, competent confidence and yet just enough youthful vulnerability to remain likeable and convincing in the role. He is gifted at action, his dancer’s sensibility lending itself well to action choreography that, whilst supplemented by occasional CGI, is also very much ‘him’ front and centre.
- Zendaya: aw what can I say about this adorable young lady? Some people just have an innate star quality that shines from the screen and this girl has it in limitless supply. Her genius here is to somehow be that girl next door that one could conceivably meet at school and fall for, whilst retaining just that hint of playful/unattainable to help drive the romantic plot along, convincingly.
- ‘EDITH’. ‘TAKE OFF YOUR CLOTHES NOW!’ ‘NIGHT MONKEY’.
- Jake Gyllenhaal is good but one could make a case for saying that he is at once slightly uncomfortable and underused. Though he performs well here, we are still to find ‘that’ blockbuster role that truly gives the right platform to his many talents. To be fair, he has a LOT of competition: Jacob Batalon and Samuel L Jackson arguably upstage him by nature of the lines/screen-time given but all are great so the weakness here is just an overdone strength.
- Marvel: you need to STOP referencing Tony Stark quite so often. It is just unfair if Downey is never returning? You are simply rubbing in the wound of his absence and the gaping gap that he has left in your cinematic universe. Not since Hugh Grant’s Daniel Cleaver in Bridget Jones 3, has an actor stolen a movie in which they did not appear!
- That speaks volumes about the magic of Downey and the legacy of Iron Man, rather than reflecting any weakness in the Spider-Man brand, but even so, it’s arguably a liability rather than asset to KEEP harping on about him. Michael Keaton’s absence is also felt as he made HOMECOMING all the better.
- Some of the action ‘drones’ on towards the end a tad and however great the mid-credits scene is, one could argue that arguably undermines and devalues the entire duration of the preceding film. At best, it boosts expectation for more but it also risks uncoupling the dramatic significance of this outing and making it feel disposable in the grand scheme of the Spider-narrative, moving forward? Sam Raimi’s ‘original’ movies probably had more atmospheric impact in that sense?
GO AND SEE THIS MOVIE!! IMMEDIATELY. It is an absolute JOY! Suitable for EVERYONE in the family of ALL ages from the nostalgic Grandparent to concerned mentor to troubled teen and enthused primary school kid. There is a refreshing innocence, joy and optimism about everything on show here, without ever ducking the truly tough questions, limitations and rites of passage that all of us must face, be we the super-hero or comedy sidekick.
This is already among my favourite Marvel movies and I can sense it’s here to stay in the collection of treasures one simply plays, on repeat, to feel better about the world and its future. The kids in this are charming: precocious yet by no means bratty; strong and determined yet still, emphatically, and credibly, prone to doubt and peril and all that comes with the joys and pitfalls of adolescence. I have rarely if ever seen such a concise and clear capturing of youth on film that somehow feels of its time and timeless at once whilst remaining forward looking.
There is a perfect balance on show here. Writers, cast, crew, director all on board, it seems, in at once embracing and transcending the limitations of a refreshingly simple fantasy fable, as key to an underlying, ‘grown up’ complexity.
I left the Cinema with a spring in my step. You will too. I have not the slightest of hesitation in recommending SPIDER-MAN:FAR FROM HOME.
GRADE A. THE SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER HAS RETURNED. DEO GRATIAS! X 🙂