Spiderman: Far From Home opened today across America for a long 4th of July Holiday opening weekend. I went into this movie with lower expectations than typical for a film produced by Marvel Studios. Now hold on, before anyone starts writing a Sony / Marvel relationship and movie rights comment, I am aware that Sony / Columbia Pictures still owns the movie rights to Spiderman and associated characters. However beginning way back with Captain America Civil War, Marvel Studios signed a deal to use Spiderman in the MCU for a series of films. Tom Holland’s appearance as Peter Parker, AKA Spiderman, since have all been in films produced by Marvel Studios. The stand alone Spiderman films, Homecoming and Far From Home were produced by Marvel Studios and released by Sony / Columbia. These are Marvel Studios productions and I set the bar pretty high for Marvel produced content. Previous film presentations of Spiderman were Sony / Columbia produced movies under exclusive license with Marvel credited as copyrighted creators.
OK all the legalistic BS aside, I was happy with Homecoming, but not over the moon. There was something about it that was somewhat ho-hum another day at the office in the MCU. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, better than either of Sony’s mediocre “Amazing Spiderman films with Andrew Garfield behind the mask. OK then, what about this new film?
Well, this movie surprised me. I was expecting more of Homecoming and what I got was much, much better. As usual I will avoid spoilers but I will not be able to avoid identifying Marvel characters or the plots of recently run Marvel movies such as Avengers: End Game. If you are one of the 12 people on this planet that has not seen End Game, stop reading now as I do have End Game spoilers and get your ass down to the theater and watch it.
This movie picks up after the events of Avengers : End Game. Peter is having a hard time dealing with the loss of Tony Stark and the whole new world order with half the universe missing five years of their existence an event referred to as “The Blip.” So if you didn’t get the way they dealt with time travel and had no “universe ending paradox” Members of the Avengers go back in time, steal the infinity stones before Thanos gets them, return to the future aftermath post Thanos, re snap the fingers to bring everybody back, then rerun the stones back to pre-Thanos so he can fetch them all over again, thus the mighty loop of time is preserved. That by the way was one of the best time travel plots I have ever witnessed.
The result of this is that everybody returns as they were, but five years later into a post End Game world. The half that remained is five years older than the half that was “blipped” from existence. So this film has a tall order to sort of bring this post-Avenger world into focus all the while creating a new super-hero and villain plot to entertain us for a couple of hours. Damn, they pulled it off my friends, they pulled it off. This is a brilliant movie that will likely find itself pretty high up on the ‘ole Super Hero Movie Chart.
We get a villain that the comic fans will immediately identify but the non-comic folks will likely be caught unaware. I think the plot for this movie is actually better for those only loosely familiar with the Spiderman comics of the 1960s, because being fooled makes the plot twist stick in the second half. This movie is so well done, you never feel like the pace is too slow or too fast and the story weaves and bobs through a series of twists and turns. This is Marvel flexing its muscle and delivering top quality entertainment… again.
As is a bit of a Marvel trademark, we get some side character interaction to entertain us and make us laugh. This time it is Spidey pal Ned and and another spidey ‘girl’ from the past never explored much in previous silver screen Spiderman appearances. They have some hilarious interactions throughout the film with excellent Marvel dialog we have all come to know and love that breaks up the action sequences and keeps us chuckling.
Near the end of the film we get some genuine homage to some past Spidey appearances outside the MCU and they are neatly wrapped up in the conclusion. The end of this film definitely sets up the next web-slinging adventure, and the after credits tell us something about Marvel Phase Four so stick around to the very end.
I think I still like the first Spiderman back in 2002 the best and it was the supporting characters in that movie that made the difference. Willem Dafoe as Goblin was excellent, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, and even Bruce Campbell’s cameo as the ring announcer, love that movie 😉 I am gonna watch that one again and maybe I’ll change my mind, who knows?
Spiderman : Far From Home, hit a home run today.