Watching Spider-Man: Homecoming was a gut wrenching experience. I love Tom Holland, he’s great. He’s as good for Spider-Man as Robert Downey Junior has been for Iron Man this whole time – but those of you who read my Homecoming review will know that’s what my problem has been with the franchise so far. Good film, shame he was just a Spider-Minion.
I’ve had some time to reflect on things since then, and I think it’s really difficult for anyone to not enjoy Homecoming, or to try and say it’s a bad film. Because it isn’t. It’s an easy candidate for one of the best Spider-Man films. Sure, it’s not perfect. You’re lucky if a film is perfect, especially if you’re a fan of the subject. This is the problem with large fanbases; everyone appreciates different things and they’re all looking for those things to be in their movie. Fan-butt hurt is so real and saltstorm boycotts of entire franchises happen, even in a world where Michael Keaton is just as good a Vulture as he is Batman…
So what about Far From Home?
I was excited about it from the moment trailers hit, not least because of Tom Holland’s performances in the Avengers films. His repartee with Tony Stark was so natural, and their on-screen mentor/pupil (father/son) relationship so believable that it not only added depth to both characters, but also took away some of the bitter taste I had at the end of Homecoming. The overriding thought that hit me was “well, that explains why they did that”. It’s hard to look at the big picture with only the first piece. Cue the tried and true pieces of advice about jumping to conclusions.
The film didn’t let me down. It builds on the foundations of what has come before and it does it very well. It hammers home the central principle of Spider-Man writing (“With great power there must also come great responsibility”). It doesn’t try too hard to bend what you see on the pages of a comic book so that it fits real life, maybe because they picked characters that made that easy. It’s worth warning you that if you want a third part to Infinity War/Endgame, this is not it, but this film does provide several intriguing lead-ins to the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The characters are, once again, top-drawer. The humour is well-placed. There are some nice nods not only to the comic books but to the wider Cinematic Universe as a whole. In fact, some of the major plot developments (no spoilers) cast what happened in the first film in quite an interesting light. There’s a mixture of familiar and new, some very well constructed action sequences (that frankly must have had the headache pills a poppin’ in the graphics department as they figured out how to stitch all the storyboards together). Efforts have even been made to incorporate the good ol’ Parker luck and the spider-sense, notable by its absence from the first film.
This isn’t the best film that’s ever been made. Quite a few people will prefer the super-blockbuster Avengers films, rather than something that’s quite a lot more low-key in terms of storyline. However, this film comes with a feel good factor and a very generous helping of entertainment, which to me is what a film is for. Even when my up-tight fan-boy brain started trying to pick holes in the fact that Mary-Jane is clearly very different than what we’ve come to know, I told it to shut up and just accept that this is a different take on the comics rather than a faithful representation.
You’ll also be pleased to know that the post-credit (and during-credit, yes there are two) cutscenes are back, and one of them was gold. That’s not a cryptic clue, it was just that good, and it’s the reason why I can’t wait for the next film.
But hey – don’t just take my word for it, get out there and see it for yourself. If you don’t, Iron Man 5 will be the best film you never saw.
Hmmm… maybe I do still have a little of that Spider-Minion hangover…
Many thanks to our guest blogger for this week, Ed – Share your thoughts and opinions about Spider-Man: Far From Home in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter. Do you agree with Ed’s views here, or did you not enjoy the film? Let us know what you thought!