5 Jul 2019

Spider-Man: Far From Home: Funny, breezy, holiday entertainer

Spider-Man: Far from Home is a satisfying and fun teenage superhero action drama  - a good mix of everything one expects (and much more!) from the webbed swinging superhero's universe, a worthy (similarly toned) sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Picking up after Tony Stark 
Beginning eight months following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an upcoming Europe school trip is Peter Parker's opportunity to confess his love for MJ while getting over Tony Stark's death and taking a break from world-saving activities. But with Nick Fury repeatedly calling him for help, Spider-Man will have to make way for Peter Parker again.

Jumping over loopholes   
The first hour is funny, light and feathery like an Archie Comics holiday story that shoots all the right webs. Ned could well be Jughead, while MJ a mix of Betty and Veronica. The well-distorted illusion scenes are a lovely touch in 3D, giving a brief spell of unpredictability to the otherwise mandatory action sequences in the second half.

Major logical loopholes in Spider-Man: Far From Home's main premise didn't occur to me during the screening. I suspect this is because Homecoming director Jon Watts seems to knows where to go with this.

The Parker-MJ love story 
Watts knows that the coming of age story (as in Homecoming), is at the centre of things. The awkward, error-prone teenager's tale with two believable lead characters in Peter Parker and MJ is where the movie connects more intimately.

The under-written villain, a familiar Nick Fury or even the fresh action parts involving drones and Tony Stark's glasses, an alarmed girl's first web-swinging experience... all make perfect sense because of the lead pair's journey.

Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), May Parker (Marisa Tomei), Flash (Tony Revolori),  Betty Brant (Angourie Rice), and Ned (Jacob Batalon) are characters sourced for laughs and not for serious character development yet. We are not complaining, it all fits the film's breezy tone. There are also many deft little touches and moments that add spunk and energy to each of these characters.   

Cool performances 
Cool is the apt word for the cast. Tom Holland nails it in depicting a messy, inexperienced teenage life. Watch him cringe at losing a girl to a rival, it is one lovely genuine moment. Zendaya as MJ, the lovely straight-faced honest girl is a crackling presence. The ensemble cast is hand-in-glove, though the exceptional actor Jake Gyllenhaal seems wasted in an underdeveloped character.

Spider-Man: Far From Home review
Spider-Man is still a superhero for kids and teenagers and Spider-Man: Far From Home is another instance of the lovely people at MCU knowing exactly what the audience wants (hoots, shoutouts during the screening), and catering to their demands intelligently.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a welcome post-summer popcorn crunching superhero flick that definitely deserves a big screen watch.

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