Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home ★★★★

"Never apologize for being the smartest guy in the room."

I've ventured into a theater for every Spider-flick since the webslinger's Sam Raimi-directed--and comparatively bonkers--big screen debut more than 15 years ago. Like many of you, the epic eye-roll I gave news of yet another soft reboot for the character tested the limits of my ocular muscles.

Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker, for better or worse, will always be my favorite take on the bookish and endlessly lovable hero. However, I can't deny that I'm a fan of Tom Holland, who, in my eyes, has become a terrific successor to the kid-from-Queens's legacy.

It's both fitting and a bit vexing that Spider-Man: Far from Home feels less like a true Spider-Man tale than the story of the boy who would be Iron-Man. Gone are the small bad guy stakes threatening the city that never sleeps and the enormous emotional ones that we came to associate with this character's relationships. These have been replaced by an MCU-sized narrative with yet another case of S.H.I.E.L.D. characters awkwardly being jammed into the proceedings.

The demand for a connectivity to other major story elements beyond those directly relating to Spidey is clearly now an unavoidable one. I'm not going to factor this into my review too too much but I'd be remiss not to mention it because it serves to make this feel like more of a "business as usual" chapter than the standalone entry it deserves and--I'd wager--wants to be.

So, onto the main event: does Iron Man Jr: Far From Home succeed? Undoubtedly. It boasts a zippy and endlessly easy-on-the-eyes Eurotrip yarn with a personal favorite MCU performance and character. Speaking of this, whoever chose to both center the story on one of the genuinely wackiest Spider-villains and cast Jake Gyllenhaal of all people to play him, is a mad genius in my book. Hats off.

Despite a wobbly first act peppered with humor of varying degrees of success (the highlight being a hilarious opening sequence), this is a really, really fun movie. Zendaya finally gets more to do (although I'd be lying if I said I didn't have trouble shaking her terrific work on Euphoria from my periphery) and the supporting cast is winning (special shout-out to the woefully underappreciated Tony Revolori).

This, at least in my book, was an improvement on the playing-it-safe Homecoming. It also somehow has a couple of my very favorite and gleefully comic-inspired sequences in the MCU to date (seriously, can you tell I loved Mysterio?).

I'm hopeful that we're moving toward a third Spider-focused MCU entry that gives us the S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark-less story this character deserves. For now, I'll happily accept the gift of Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal being in a movie this amusing together.

As a true Spider-Man movie, Far from Home leaves something to be desired. As a kinetic superhero flick with a cleverly subversive agenda and impressively comic-faithful turns, this is a super-powered treat.

Scavenger Hunt 52 - #6 - A film you remember watching in school. If you never watched any movies in school, pick whatever you like...The only movies I remember watching in school were Finding Nemo (multiple times) and Ghandi and...hell no. I'm going with a school-related one!

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