Far From Home: The REAL “Amazing” Spider-Man

Spider-Man: Homecoming told the story of a young man, Peter Parker, who wanted to rise up higher while the world was pushing him down, and then he chose a humbler path after his ultimate triumph. Peter’s second solo movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe caps reverses this, as others pressure him to be greater, to be the young heir of Iron Man himself, while he wants to live a humbler life, just going on vacation and telling the girl he likes how he really feels. But the world, and the machinations of the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing, refuses to leave him and his loved ones be.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is absolutely amazing. After the glorious, climactic fireworks of Avengers: Endgame, it caps off the MCU’s third phase with yet another distinct and riveting story, filled with the drama of humanity in the midst of things so remarkable that they beggar belief, and a fairly grounded look towards the future. The torch is finally passing, gradually, from one generation of Avengers to the next, with Spider-Man blazing the trail anew.

Speaking of the future, I’ve heard it said that some people wonder what more Marvel Studios can do, having wrapped up the Infinity Saga that stretched for almost two dozen movies over the course of eleven years, and in such a complete, final way. Added to that, some of their biggest names are gone, possibly for good. So, what can they possibly do next?

The answer, provided by Peter Parker’s latest adventure, is what they’ve always done: tell good stories in an entertaining way. The whole overarching plot of the first three phases was neat, but it’s not the be-all, end-all of what Marvel has to offer. Neither are Iron Man or Captain America. The story continues, and this one draws on the past in surprising ways while also clearly making an impact that will shape the future, especially for Spider-Man.

Stunning performance by Jake Gyllenhaal!

Indeed, there are a number of surprises throughout the movie, most of all in the nature of the villain, the evil Mysterio, and how he manages to do what he does. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it, so suffice to say he represents everything that is false. He stands for the pretenders, the envious, self-entitled failures who stand behind the scenes, or off to the side of the spotlight, someplace just below the godlike heroes of the day, and dream of usurping the throne through cunning deception, supposing that they have somehow earned it. He is not what he seems, in every sense of the word, and that makes him both weaker than he tries to appear, and more powerful than others know. Most shocking, one can make a compelling argument that he even manages to win, in the end, albeit in a most unexpected way.

Standing opposite Mysterio is, of course, Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, and I love the parallels between him and his antagonists thus far. In his previous movie, the Vulture and Spidey were both struggling to rise after being pushed down. In this one, Peter is trying to avoid the duty, and the acclaim, that Mysterio is trying to steal. But he can’t avoid it, and he makes costly mistakes, again and again, because Mysterio’s deception is tailored to target that vulnerability. In essence, Peter tries to evade the weight of the world, until it all comes crashing down on him anyway. Unable to escape his responsibility, Peter finally begins to embrace it in a way that is far more mature than the grown man who thinks only of himself.

Stepping up to the challenge is not about the glory, which so many others covet. It’s about saving lives.

MJ should have been a redhead, but Zendaya is awesome.

All of this is set amidst both the ongoing covert operations of Nick Fury and Peter Parker’s class trip to Europe. (not really that “far from home” when home is New York and he’s already been to a distant planet, but whatever) The colliding duality of this, as well as Peter’s struggle with the legacy Iron Man left for him and his dearest desire to confess his feelings to the awesome girl he likes, results in a spectacular waltz of drama, hilarity, and action. And just a bit of romance.

In short: quality storytelling! 🙂

Everything about this movie, including the characters, the plot, the themes, the fights, the setting, the acting, the music, and especially the visual effects, is absolutely excellent!

Marvel Studios has certainly guaranteed my continued interest in seeing their movies!

In short… this movie is amazing! 😉

Rating: 10 stars out of 10.

Grade: A-Plus!

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