By Tyrone Velez
It was right at the peak of the third act of Spider-Man: Far From Home, where our friendly neighborhood teenage-super-hero was hyper-kinetically evading the drones and trying to get to bad-guy Mysterio, that I had these thoughts:
This is the third version, and third actor of Spider-Man in the past 17 years.
There have been seven Spider-Man movies in the last 17 years, plus one animation movie (Into the Spider-Verse) and three MCU appearances (Infinity War, Endgame and Civil War). He’s tied with Iron Man with the most appearances in MCU with ten movies, with Wolverine coming at second with nine.
There are hits and misses in the whole Spider-Man movie cannon. This one is more of a miss.
What I like in this movie:
1. Tom Holland is a great Peter Parker.
2. Zendaya is a nice version of MJ. Very millennial-geeky-cute. Her chemistry with Tom works.
3. CGI is good, especially when Mysterio wrapped Spidey into his cage of fear and confusion.
4. JK Simmons’ comeback as J Jonah Jameson in the mid-credits makes one excited for the next movie.
5. The mid-credit cliffhanger. Everyone knows who Spider-Man is.
6. The revelation reflects our world today of fake news, disinformation, news as entertainment and hero-worship built on news and hype.
Now the bad things of this movie. Plot holes and poor character development:
1. Peter Parker is smart, but how did he get so stupid to trust someone like Mysterio whom he just met for a day and gave him the parting gift that is EDITH of his beloved mentor/father-figure Tony Stark?
What is Peter’s motivation and character in this movie? The movie jumps right away into him hyped about a European vacation and going after MJ. Wait, is he supposed to be grieving?
2. Plot holes aplenty. How come no Avenger, or Doctor Strange, was available to check on Mysterio and his claim of a multiverse? Can Talos not ring the real Nick Fury for SOS? But that is the plot of the movie. Everyone got stupid.
3. What is the motive of Mysterio? Revenge? Attention? Gylenhaal is great, but he swings from cool to maniacal too much. Vulture from Homecoming was the well-developed relatable villain.
4. Too much Avengers and moping about Tony in this movie. Too caricaturist schoolmates and stupid teachers in this movie. There was not much time to develop Peter Parker and his angst, which should be the thing that draws us to relate to this character.
5. Too much CGI, sometimes it gets over the top. Go back to the story dude.
I remember watching Spider-Man 2 in 2004, and that was a great story of a young man facing the crisis of being a hero and the sacrifices one takes for saving the world.
Or as Peter B. Parker in “Into the Spider-Verse” (my second favorite of the Spidey canon) says: “It takes a leap of faith”. Far From Home was just jumping all over, without making that leap that we can cheer on. #