Heroes & Villains Goes to the Movies, Ventures ‘Far From Home’

It’s a very special low power/no power edition of Heroes & Villains today. Now, before you ask, yes. I have paid my electric bill. There just so happened to be a delightful summer storm that blew through here while I was seeing Spider-Man: Far From Home and while the movie theater I was at wasn’t affected, my home sure was.

Currently, I’m sitting in the dark, my laptop is at 52%, and I have no way to access the PDFs of the comics I was going to review this week. However, part of my plan was to review the movie this week so it’s not a total wash. Join me as I shall blog like the pioneers used to!

Spider-Man: Far From Home

How do you follow a movie like Avengers: Endgame? Well, you more or less address the whole Thanos snap and un-snap (referred to here as “the blip”) in the first few minutes of the movie and then move on… unless you’re Peter Parker.

Peter spends a lot of the movie trying to deal with the events of Infinity War and Endgame, with shades of Iron Man 3 thrown in for good measure, as he works through the trauma and grief he’s experiencing. As some of you may have noticed from the trailers, he has a pretty solid support structure in the form of his Aunt May (who’s very cool with him being a superhero) and Happy Hogan.

A minor sticking point for me was the whole plot thread of, you know, May finding out he’s Spider-Man played out entirely off-screen. While it gives you the sense that the movies are taking place in “real time,” that was a conversation I personally wanted to see happen. I can only hope there’s some kind of payoff coming in the next movie to all this.

Far From Home is a great follow-up to Homecoming and it really gives Tom Holland a lot of room to work with his version of Peter Parker. To date, his adventures have been almost exclusively Iron Man or Avengers focused and he’s forced to come into his own during the events of this movie.

Spider-Man, as a character, is at his best when Peter Parker is dealing with the absolute worst. There’s something universal about Peter Parker being perpetually down on his luck. Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter was a bit hangdog. Andrew Garfield was a bit sulky and bitter. But Tom Holland really seems to be the most relatable of the three so far. His Peter Parker is trying his hardest to do the right thing, but life keeps getting in the way. You’re rooting for his Peter Parker and you desperately want him to catch a break.

I won’t be going into spoiler territory here and I would encourage you to stay as FAR AWAY from spoilers as possible. I went into the movie cold and I’m so glad I did.

All that being said, if you’re reading this, you know what’s up with Mysterio, right? I had always had a soft spot for ol’ fishbowl-head before but Jake Gyllenhaal’s turn as Quentin Beck catapults him into the pantheon of great Spidey villains. These movies somehow walk the razor-thin line of being accessible to the general public and just fan servicey enough to please the die-hard fans. In brief, there’s a moment where things turn on their head as far as Beck is concerned and it’s so worth it. 

Peter’s core group of friends get fleshed out just enough so that the audience is invested in them and they all have fantastic chemistry together. Tony Revolori’s Flash Thompson manages to slightly evolve beyond his douche bro persona into a more contemporary portrayal of a school bully than the tired trope of “mean jock.” Zendaya is also given more to work with this go around and I’m looking forward to more of her MJ in future installments.

Now, on to the elephant in the room: the post-credits scenes. As I mentioned above, this is SPOILER FREE and I aim to keep it that way. Prior to going to the movies, my YouTube feed was positively filthy with HOT TAKES and “FAR FROM HOME’S POST CREDITS SCENES EXPLAINED” videos. I get it, clickbait pays your bills. Cool flex, bro.

What I will say is that the two post-credits scenes were two of the MOST WTF Marvel stingers to date. They were positively seismic in how they’re going to affect Spider-Man and the MCU moving forward. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the second one. Surprisingly, I was the last person to leave the theater as everyone else left after the mid-credits scene.

So, there you have it. Spider-Man: Far From Home was a great follow-up edition of the MCU’s Spider-Man’s adventures and overall a spectacular Spidey movie (I had to work in just one). Huh… how about that? I managed to get this whole column written before my laptop di…

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