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Review – Spider-Man: Far From Home – “A most enjoyable time at the cinema”

The new Spider-Man movie is the first one after the events of Avengers: Endgame and the final part of Marvel’s Phase 3. The events of Endgame loom large in Far From Home, with the Five Year Gap between the Snap and the Return being referred to as the Blip. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) has the expectations of those around him to step up and take on the mantle of Tony Stark, which weighs heavily on him.

All he wants to do is go on a school trip to Europe with his friends and tell MJ (Zendaya) how he feels about her. He just wants to relax, as his Spider-Sense, or Peter-Tingle, is not working right due to all the stress he feels.

While in Europe strange Elemental creatures keep cropping up and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) wants Spider-Man to join forces with newcomer Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to fight this new menace.

What follows is a most enjoyable romp through various European cities, with lots of Spidey action, Peter Parker nerdiness, lots of laughs and some dark moments.

This is a film all about illusion and secrets. Everyone involved is hiding a secret or trying to unearth the truth. From Peter trying to keep his identity a secret (hello to Night Monkey) to Mysterio being all….mysterious, nothing is quite what it seems and the moments when you wonder why people are acting a certain way is often explained later when the various secrets are unveiled. The Far From Home title also refers to more than just the European trip. All the major players are far from what they want or need and everyone is trying to get what they want or would like.

There are a lot of secrets and surprises in this film and I will do my best not to spoil them for you.

When reading the Spider-Man comics some of the best moments are those with Peter Parker just being Peter and the new film carries that over very well. We get to spend a lot of time with Peter and his friends and I felt the film was all the better for it. We learn bits and pieces about the other school kids and teachers which makes them all that more rounded and relatable. Then, of course, we see the constant nerdiness of Peter Parker. He has some of the coolest powers, is one of the strongest heroes out there and he is incredibly intelligent yet he constantly messes up the simplest of things or events just don’t go his way. He has always been one of the most relatable comic book characters as there is a little bit of Peter Parker in all of us I feel.

Tom Holland does great things in the role. He just keeps getting better and better and can switch between action to deep emotion and to comedy moments in the blink of an eye. I do hope Marvel and Sony sorts out a deal so we can keep on seeing Tom Holland in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and not just the Sony Spidey-Verse.

There is a lot of heart in the film with Tony Stark’s legacy looming large. The moments between Peter and Happy (Jon Favreau) were handled well with the loss bringing them together.

Holland is ably supported by a great cast. Zendaya has a bit more to do as MJ this time around as do the rest of Peter’s classmates. Then we have Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, who was one of my favourite characters in the comic books. While they have updated his origin and skill set from the comics, I do love what they have done with him and the fact his costume is pretty much perfect is just brilliant.

Gyllenhaal is supremely good in the role making us immediately warm to the character and make us go along with Peter’s acceptance of him as a different kind of mentor. As the story develops we get to see Gyllenhaal do more in the role than we initially thought and it is all delicious to watch. What is also incredible to watch are the scenes when Mysterio just goes all out with the illusion technology he employs. One extended scene felt like it was ripped from the comic books and you are left dumbfounded and wondering just what is real and what isn’t. I loved the snowglobe moment and the nod to Marvel Zombies.

There are also lots of familiar faces throughout the film and there was one during the mid-credit scene that had me cheering out loud. It made me so happy.

I got to see the film in 3D IMAX and I did feel it added quite a bit to the goings-on, in particular, the action scenes. Spidey has always been one of the most active superheroes when it comes to fights. He bounces, swings and jumps all over the place and the 3D IMAX meant we could see him doing that in all his amazing spectacular glory. In particular, the battle of London Bridge worked well with the 3D as the fight takes place all around it. It also made the Mysterio moments all the more intense. As with most of the Marvel movies, the action sequences are done very well so we know exactly where everyone is in relation to everybody else.

All in all Spider-Man: Far From Home was a most enjoyable time at the cinema. I would say it was just as good as Homecoming and a pretty decent epilogue to Phase 3.

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