Avengers: Endgame inspired a question that I’m not sure any of us knew what the answer was going to be; What’s next?
Last year, Webheads were having an unprecedented outpouring of awesome Spider-Man material with Infinity War, the successful PS4 game- Spider-Man, and (probably my favorite movie of 2018,) Into the Spider-Verse. Considering that Endgame is still in theaters, and you have all had ample time to see it, I, and the Marvel Marketing Team, are going to keep going on like you saw it. In any case, the way Spider-Man: Far From Home was advertised and the moral quandary of the movie is perfect. What do we do without Iron Man, Cap, Black Widow, and Vision?
Firstly, you build around one of the most beloved characters of all time and use the footing you already gave him in previous installments and build the next level. In Endgame, the training wheels came off. In Far From Home, they are just letting little Spidey go and he rides.
I’ll admit, there are parts of the story that are a tad predictable if you know anything about Spider-Man and his relationship with Mysterio. However, the way they bring Mysterio into the universe, the way he interacts with what has happened, and the presentation of his powers are done in a way that feels real within the MCU. What shines though is the supporting cast. I would almost dare to describe it as pseudo-quasi-Chekhovian in that they all are the main characters of their own story, we just happen to be viewing it all from Peter’s perspective. They all behave genuinely and react the way their characters would and not the way the plot necessarily needs them to.
The locations are always visually interesting and allow Spider-Man to interact with environments that you normally wouldn’t experience in NYC…or space. Of course, it wouldn’t be a summer blockbuster if a famous landmark wasn’t destroyed. The effects look great, but I feel like they could do more out of the ordinary in terms of general destruction. Some of the later scenes with Spidey and Mysterio are visually compelling to the point I expected Dr. Strange to show up.
If there was ever any uncertainty that Tom Holland was going to take the mantle of best live action Spider-Man from Toby Macguire (Garfield wasn’t even in contention and I’ll fight you over it), this film solidifies it. There is a sincerity that Tom brings to the role and a deep honesty that shines in his performance that I don’t think can be replicated. I have no doubt that Spider-Man wants to help people, but also know that he is a kid trying to balance love, life, and being your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. If you got to Spider-Man 2 and Peter trying to balance being a hero and going after MJ, I promise it is different and it’s own while still being honest.
Jake Gylenhall was a perfect Quentin Beck for this universe. He played an excellent foil to the idea of Iron Man and forced the audience and Peter to ask what we want from the next hero to take the “crown” of lead avenger. Tony wasn’t a perfect hero. In many ways, he was designed to be one of the most flawed. That made his redemption stronger and his appeal more validated by an inherent sense of true humanity. Whether you disagreed with him or not, you knew he came from a place of wanting to do the right thing. Much like parents wanting their children to do better than him, we want the next title holder to be even better…what happens when no one fits that mold to a T? What is the next best thing?
To say anything else would be spoilery…and I don’t want to give anything away. Now if they can just get Tom to stop spoiling things…that’s our job.
Written by Eric Brockett
(Eric is a millennial and thus thinks his opinion on the internet matters. Sometimes he has opinions on films too. He thinks people care. He knows they don’t.)