Spider-Man: Far from Home

Spider-Man: Far from Home ★★★

I hesitate to dive too deep into my thoughts on this because, to put it simply, I just don't think this is what I look for in Spiderman. I like the Spiderman who struggles to pay his rent. The Spiderman that stresses over his midterms while he's fighting a super-villain. The Spiderman who's more afraid of asking a girl out than he is of a fight. To be fair, there is some of that here. I think the strongest attribute the MCU version of this character offers is that he's very much in highschool. I adored his romance with Zendaya's Mary-Jane in this; I think the spin on her character is wildly successful and she makes for an intriguing update on the classic love interest. But the class-conscious hero I look for is even more absent here, as Peter is now seemingly the son that Tony never had (even though he had a daughter, apparently). There's value in Peter being hungry and desperate; his lower-class humility is so integral to what he represents within the superhero canon. I understand that they're trying to pivot that conflict to Peter finding his footing in a world post-Endgame; and there's an argument to be made that it works. I don't think it does, though, and the film's constant insistence on trivializing Peter's problems (outside his romance with MJ) is frustrating. Whether it be past films, video games or comic books; Peter buying his aunt a present or attending MJ's play has always been treated with a sincerity that rivaled a duel with Doc Oc, or an encounter with Black Cat. Peter's problems ought to be just as important as Spiderman's problems.

So, what I think I'm trying to say is that I wish the Spiderman films were more focused on Spiderman. This feels equally concerned with progressing this franchise past Endgame as it does with developing Peter as a character; which just minimizes Peter and pushes much of his life to the periphery. I'd be remiss, though, to pretend this is a trainwreck. The expected baseline quality Marvel films always have is very much there, which means this is still an entertaining film. I didn't quite like Mysterio; I think they're fundamentally confused with his character and there's an egregious "show don't tell" violation mid-way through this that undermined so much of what he could've been (tiptoeing around spoilers here). The class trip premise offers some laughs. Martin Starr is a legend. Zendaya is doing great work with a beloved character. Tom Holland is doing his best. I had a good time with this. I just think the hyper-interconnected universe Marvel fixates on has done a disservice to this character. Far From Home is an amusing, slight movie with a sweet romance at it's center.

2019 Ranked
MCU Ranked

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