It’s that time again folks. What time is it? Trini Critics League review collab time! *Cue applause*
And this time our intrepid reviewers are setting their sights on Spider-Man: Far From Home the latest film featuring everyone’s favourite neighbourhood webhead. So with an Elemental-sized SPOILER ALERT here are our four reviews:
Review #1 – Matthew Bailey, Guest Writer
Like 2018’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which worked as a diversion of sorts after the emotional heaviness of Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a lighter, funnier film which…well…works as a diversion of sorts after the emotional heaviness of Avengers: Endgame.
Spearheading a new, post-Avengers chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Far From Home follows our favourite neighbourhood Spider-Man (Tom Holland) as he juggles between officially declaring his love for Michelle “MJ” Jones (Zendaya) – NOT TO BE CONFUSED with the Mary J. Watson of the previous Spider-Man film incarnations – during a European school trip, whilst aiding super spy Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the “mysterious” Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) on a mission to prevent monstrous creatures nicknamed the Elementals from destroying the world.
Many of the aspects that made 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming a delight are here: an excellent performance by Holland; a mostly even blend of humorous set pieces and serious, life-threatening moments; appearances from and references to other MCU characters; great visuals; and sharp direction from Jon Watts and an exciting, engaging story. However, not all the jokes in Far From Home land, and there are a few minor characters who add little to nothing to the overall narrative.
Where the film falters the most, unfortunately, is in its villain who…DUH…is Mysterio himself. Yes, there are some great visual moments (a few of which I’ve always wanted to see portrayed in a Spider-Man movie) where we see Mysterio’s powers in action, and Gyllenhaal is admittedly fantastic in the role, thanks in part to his undeniable charisma. But it’s Mysterio’s egotistical, semi-developed motivations behind his evildoing that makes him less of a compelling villain than Michael Keaton’s still-memorable Vulture from Homecoming.
While I wasn’t completely blown away by Far From Home, it was still a fun, highly entertaining MCU movie that gave me a majority of the goods expected from a Sony/Marvel Studios Spidey collab. In addition, it left me thoroughly excited to see where the future of the MCU lies, given the life-altering events of the two previous Avengers movies. And yes, as you may have glanced in a Google search result or two for Spider-Man: Far from Home, there is a mid-credits scene whose DELIRIOUSLY CLEVER execution alone is reason enough to check the movie out at your nearest movie theater. At least you won’t be the only one screaming your lungs out when that scene occurs. Trust me!
Rating: A light 3.5 out of 5 stars (“Worth a look”)
Review #2 – Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Spider-Man has never been my favorite superhero but these movies have given me an appreciation for Peter Parker, not just as another Avenger but as a fully fleshed-out person. Where this movie excels is in further developing him as he deals with the fallout of losing Tony Stark, the responsibilities of being one of Earth’s Mightiest and the stress of just trying to survive as a teenager.
Tom Holland is adorable and the rest of the cast gets to stretch their acting chops a lot more in this sequel. Jake G delivers as the grandiose “hero” Mysterio, making for an instantly likable character that I most definitely want to see more of. Not to mention his costume managed to look awesome, fish bowl and all. The fight sequences between him and Spider-Man showed his powers off in a way that never felt rehashed or boring and that post-credit sequence is one for the record books.
That said, this web isn’t flawless as the story does suffer from a few pacing missteps and the CG wasn’t as flawless as its predecessor. Overall though Far From Home is another win in my book, not just for the MCU, but for Spidey fans worldwide.
Review #3 – Julien Neaves, Editor
I have seen some folks saying Far From Home is the best Spider-Man movie of all time and I think they may have been a victim of a Mysterio illusion.
Now don’t get me wrong; it is a pretty good movie. The visuals are spectacular, the globe-trotting is fun, I appreciate all the Snap and Blip stuff, Peter and MJ’s romance is sweet, the action is exhilarating and Jake Gyllenhaal (bloody hell that’s a hard name to spell) is a pretty comic-accurate Mysterio. And the mid-credits scene? Shut the front, back and side doors because it was 12 flavours of awesome sauce. #JJJlives
But this superpowered Euro trip seemed to have lost some logic luggage in the writer’s room. Now the theme of Spidey struggling to live up to Iron Man’s legacy is an interesting one, but I am sure writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers could have found a better plot device than Tony leaving him EDITH aka the Hydra-esque super spying super duper killing device.
And then we have Peter handing over the aforementioned overpowered MacGuffin to a brightly-dressed dude with a cockamamie story about parallel earths that he has known for like, two days. What the fudge? At least Nick Fury being a completely dimwit was explained in the post-credits scene showing he was, in fact, a dimwitted Skrull. What’s Peter’s excuse? And (rant almost over) Mysterio’s big plan is to fake becoming a superhero so people will listen to him. En serio Mysterio?
So because of all this plot nonsense I have to knock off a few ratings points ,and I went from potentially loving the movie to just liking it. It is still a solid flick and a whole lotta fun in 4DX though. Just switch off the logic centre of your brain and enjoy the ride.
Rating: 3.5/5 Night Monkey sightings
Review #4 – Wayne Rock, Guest Writer
I’ll just state my bias up front: I’m a huge Spider-Man fan and he has always been my favourite superhero ever, so I’ve found things to love in even his worst films *cough cough* Amazing Spider-Man 2 *cough cough*
So, while it’s very difficult for me to be objectively critical when it’s my boy Spidey up on that screen, Far From Home is just such a great film. Spidey’s first film under the MCU banner, Homecoming, delivered a very personal story about a small-time hero wanting to make a bigger impact and learning that you have to take care of home first. The title Far From Home is just as thematically relevant as not only does the majority of the film take place in Europe, which is a first for any live-action Spider-Man film, but also speaks to Spidey learning that once you graduate to an Avenger, your responsibilities aren’t restricted to the neighbourhood.
Jon Watts found a way to showcase the infamous Parker luck, but balanced it in such a way that the audience never had to feel like life was bullying Peter. It was classic Spidey through and through. From almost getting detained at the airport for fruit contraband to literally getting caught with his pants down, Watts grounds the humour around Peter’s hero life conflicting with his regular life, and that’s what really works here.
Another great aspect of the film is Jake Gyllenhaal’s fantastic performance as Mysterio and his awesome chemistry with Tom Holland. With Tony Gone, Gyllenhaal was the perfect stand-in as a mentor and voice of comfort to the inexperienced Peter. Their dynamic shifts later in the film and Gyllenhaal gets to flex his acting chops a bit more, giving us a whole lot to love about the MCU’s take on Mysterio.
I could go on and on about the great pacing, the twists I never saw coming, how perfectly awkward Peter and MJ’s budding romance was and how this film gives us not one, but two of the best action sequences in the entire MCU AND possibly the best mid-credits scene in all the phases, which changes the status quo of future Spidey films set in this universe, but instead I’ll just say, if you haven’t seen Far From Home yet, you are missing out.
Rating: 4.5 THWIPS out of Five
So that’s our reviews. How would you rate Far From Home? And here is where you can find the members of the Trini Critics League:
*Wayne Rock is at RockLee Productions on YouTube
For our collab review of Avengers: Endgame you can click here.