Far From Home – The Perfect Palette Cleanser

After seeing Spider-Man: Far From Home, there was a big smile on my face. The story was engaging and fun, it had some excellent action sequences and the villain is once again a relatable individual. Today I’m going to give my review of the newest addition to the MCU and one of my favourite Marvel heroes of all time. This will be a spoiler free review!

THE STORY

So this movie picks up directly following Endgame, which is to say, IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN ENDGAME, DO THAT BEFORE WATCHING THIS OR ENDGAME WILL BE RUINED! Now that the warning is out of the way… The movie centers on Peter (Holland) and his class trip to tour Europe. He’s joined by his high school friends who all, conveniently, were snapped away like him in Infinity War only to be brought back later. The movie starts with Peter and Ned talking about their trip and how Peter wants to tell MJ (Zendaya) how he feels about her. Despite the insistence of some close people, Peter opts to not bring his spider suits with him, wanting to have a normal vacation with his friends. The trip is quickly derailed when Nick Fury (Jackson), Maria Hill (Smulders) and SHIELD arrive with Mysterio/ Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal) to battle the Elementals which are threatening the planet. They abduct Peter and ask for his help because he is the only Avenger available. Peter agrees to help but only in the short term because he wants to get back to his trip. The story moves from Venice to Prague to London all the while Peter tries to balance his personal life with that of being a superhero.

Mysterio

The first thing I want to say, and the title of the post, is that this film was the perfect palette cleanser following Endgame. With the latest Avengers movie we were shown just how dark and hard hitting the MCU can be, and this movie was a fun lighthearted adventure that showcased Spider-Man in all of his glory. As I said before, this takes place nearly immediately following Infinity War and Endgame which is referred to as “The Blip” in the movie. There are quite a few jokes made about the whole vent, one comes from Peter’s teacher and it got quite a laugh from the audience in my theater. I will say that if you are any sort of familiar with the characters in the movie the big twist and reveal is seen coming from a ways off. That being said, it still delivers when it does happen and adds a whole new layer of tension to the movie.

ACTION

This is a great category for this movie because of a few reasons: 1. As a Spider-Man movie the action is quite something, 2. Because of the nature of the villains and their powers there are some very cool set pieces and sequences, and 3. Mysterio’s powers bring a whole new dimension of combat into play.

When the main character of your film is a guy who can dodge bullets and swing from buildings on webs, it instantly makes the need of your action sequences to ascend above the others. The showcasing of Peter’s abilities in this movie are really something to see. He gets to fully demonstrate his powers with his webbing and acrobatics, in the final action sequence especially. The final big fight takes place in London and shows us some of the ingenuity that we haven’t really seen from Peter. Keep in mind that he is supposed to be a genius high school kid, so watching some of the moves he pulls off is quite something to see.

Peter in Venice

The Elementals are the main villains of the movie and it’s easy to see why. The first one is shown in the prologue of the movie while the main “first” one is shown during the Venice portion of the movie, as seen in the trailer. Hydro Man was changed slightly so that he would fit with the theme of the movie but eagle eyed fans will see his origin story displayed in some of the new broadcasts throughout the movie. Molten Man is the “second” main elemental and the bigger threat of the two, in my opinion. He shows up during the evening when Peter is wearing the stealth suit (the black suit seen in the trailers) and lays a hefty beatdown on Mysterio and Spider-Man. The sets really lend into each of the villains as well. Having Hydro man attack in Venice when the canals are filled with water really added a leg to the severity of the sequence. And having Molten man attack during a Carnival with lots of metal to help him grow was also a fantastic idea on the creators’ part.

The best sequence of the whole movie comes from Mysterio and his illusions. Again, fans of the 90’s animated show are very familiar with how Mysterio operates, but seeing it in live action was something else entirely different. It honestly reminded me a lot of the Scarecrow sequences in the Batman Arkham games by Rocksteady. They both have the same style of “you’re not sure what’s real and what isn’t” and when is something real going to happen? I don’t want to talk to much more about for fear of entering spoiler territory, but the ending of the sequence actually garnered quite a reaction from the whole theater.

COSTUMES

Top of my list for this is the Mysterio costume. They took the original comic design, fishbowl head and all, and made it into a believable functioning suit. The green and the yellow blend well with the mute purple of the cape and the fishbowl head doesn’t really seem out of place at all. For some reason, despite the goofy look of the original suit, the MCU version looks like it would be an actual functional suit to wear.

Stealth Suit

The various Spider suits that we see in the movie are pretty great as well. He starts off with the classic Iron Spider suit that was given to him at the beginning of Infinity War by Tony. Then he is provided with his Stealth Suit, which in itself is a homage to Spider-Man Noir. Though by far my favourite is his Upgraded Suit he gets near the end of the movie. It’s a definite nod to the Superior Spider-Man suit with its colour scheme and design. I was very excited to see it in the movie, though I was silently hoping for the talons and the mechanical spider limbs… but beggars can’t be choosers.

Finally the costumes that the rest of the cast wear are pretty spot on. Ned has a great look when they go to Opera and Flash always looks like the preppy douche character. Their clothes are pretty normal though so there’s not much to say about them. The SHIELD agents all have their typical outfits. Fury and Hill sport the same costumes they have since they were first introduced, why mess with perfection right?

CAST

The cast delivers a great performance all around but for me the standout performance comes from Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck/ Mysterio. Knowing who the character was before going to see the movie was a bit of a bummer, but listening to everyone in the theater who didn’t know was priceless. Gyllenhaal continued with the more modern streak of the MCU in delivering a villain who’s motivations we can all get behind. Unlike Killmonger, who wanted what was right but used terrible methods to achieve it #killmongerwasright, Gyllenhaal’s Beck has legitimate motivations and decided to act in an inappropriate way. Again, I don’t want to spoil anything but he delivered a very compelling performance in the movie.

As always Tom Holland was a fantastic Peter Parker and while Tobey McGuire will always hold a special place in my heart, Holland is the Peter Parker we’ve all been waiting for. He plays Peter in such a convincing way and seeing his personality outside of the movies it’s easy to see why. He can be as awkward and meek as Peter in real life, but at times when he needs to, he can take on a very grown up persona. Not to mention his twitter presence is just fantastic. Marvel constantly has to come up with ways of fooling him with movies so he doesn’t inadvertently spoil it. At the final scene of Endgame, Tom was told it was a wedding and that’s why everyone was dressed to the nines. He didn’t know that it was a funeral until he went to see the movie. I have to assume they did something similar with this movie to keep him from spoiling it.

MUSIC

There isn’t much to say about this category for the movie. The classic rock songs were well picked and placed well, and the original score provided the correct atmosphere for every scene. I will say there is quite a funny moment when Happy tells peter he will take care of the music and puts on some classic AC/DC. Peter nonchalantly shouts back over his shoulder that he “Loves Led Zeppelin” and continues his work. It’s a small scene but it helps to use the classic music of some of the MCU movies to showcase just how young Peter really is.

OVERALL

This movie is a fun, adventure and comedy filled romp across Europe and it delivers in all aspects. We get great action, excellent character development, some well timed and some not well timed comedy, and a compelling villain with real motivations. Ultimately, I did like this one better than Homecoming, but that’s because I like Mysterio as a villain more than the Vulture. I would rate the movie to be a solid 8.7/10. While it is a fantastic movie there are some things that I would change from a stylistic point of view. I can’t go into them for fear of entering spoiler territory, but rest assured they would be small nit picky things that I would change and nothing big that could impact the story. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man or superheroes in general then I highly recommend that you go and see this movie. It’s great for all ages and really helps to show how different MCU movies can be in tone and severity.

Upgraded Suit

See you later!

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