Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has swung back into theaters with the highly anticipated sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. The twenty-third entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe sees Jon Watts return as director and he’s accompanied by returning stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, and Jon Favreau. As the last entry of Phase 3 of the MCU, Spider-Man: Far From Home follows up on the events of Avengers: Endgame and sees New York City’s favorite hero take on a world-ending threat while vacationing in Europe. Spoilers after the trailer.
Don’t let the trailers fool you, Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s (Tom Holland) foe in this film. Beck claims that he’s from another universe and Thano’s Snap aka The Blip tore a hole into the universe and he’s come here to protect Earth from the Elementals, a group of villains that have the power of various elements such as earth, wind, water and fire. Once Mysterio arrives on the scene, he tells Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smuthers) that they do not want any parts of the Elementals.
Gyllenhaal’s performance as Quentin Beck/Mysterio is one of the best performances as far as villains go in the MCU. In the first half of the film, Beck is living up to his villainous alias by keeping his character’s true motives a mystery. Gyllenhaal was perfectly cast because once the film decides to reveal Mysterio’s secret plan, his demeanor does a complete 180 to fit within the confines of the story. Beck went from a loyal, heroic, cool uncle-like figure to Peter Parker to an unhinged, sycophant madman who wants to be the next Tony Stark.
The ethos of the Mysterio character shines throughout the film. From Beck’s background to Mysterio’s costume including his signature fishbowl helmet, Mysterio looks like he stepped straight out of a comic book. The intricate details include the fog in his helmet, the eyes on the pins of his cape and the mastery of his illusions which combine into making this film a spectacle to watch on the big screen.
Spider-Man: Far From Home proves its ambitiousness when Spider-Man takes on Mysterio and the Man of Mystery gets the best of the wall-crawler. The visual highlight of the entire film is when Mysterio creates an illusion that not even Spider-Man’s Spider Sense aka Peter Tingle can detect. During this scene Mysterio changes the environment, Spider-Man’s suit and manipulates everything around him.
Quentin Beck was just a mere mortal but Far From Home does a fantastic job at making him feel like a foe to Spider-Man. Mysterio’s mastery of illusions is up there with the God of Mischief and the Master of the Mystic Arts which makes him more impressive. By the film’s conclusion you’re not even sure if he really is dead.
With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
Uncle Ben is nowhere to be found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (so far), but his mission statement — “with great power comes great responsibility” — is ever so prevalent throughout this film. Following the events of Avengers: Engame, Peter Parker just wants to enjoy his summer vacation in Europe and not deal with the responsibilities of being Spider-Man.
The ethos of the Spider-Man character and what makes him relatable is that he just wants to be a normal kid but he has the world thrust upon him.
Like its predecessor, Spider-Man: Far From Home’s mid-credit and post-credit scenes end in a cliffhanger that sets up many possibilities for the Wall-Crawler’s future within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Far From Home is a fun, comedic sequel that does not disappoint, and as far as solo franchises in the MCU, Spider-Man has the best one and two so far, most MCU solo films have disappointed in their first or second entry. Director Jon Watts and returning screenwriters Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna did a fantastic job at capturing the high school charm that made this version of Spidey enduring in Homecoming without it ever becoming a parody of itself.
Promoting Mysterio as a hero from another universe was a unique twist and creating the idea of there being a multiverse in the MCU was a clever selling point for the trailers. Not going the route of the multiverse was a smart move by Marvel Studios because that would have weakened the impact of the deaths in Endgame. Having Mysterio turn out to be the villain is on par with his comic counterpart, and his death is still open enough for Gyllenhaal to return in a Sinister Six film (we can dream!).
Spider-Man: Far From Home was a perfect way to end Phase Three of the MCU while setting up Phase Four. At this time we do not even know what the next film in the MCU will be but our Spidey Senses are tingling for another appearance of the Web-Slinger in 2020.
[All Mames Wey]
Spider-Man: Far From Home was released in theaters July 2, 2019.
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