Spider-Man: Far From Home

July 4, 2019

A lot of thoughts and feels with this one, and I’m having trouble anymore separating my expectations of MCU films from the actual films, and that’s partly because these films are so good at engaging with expectations, both to fulfill and overturn them.  And I also keep insisting on pulling back the curtain and looking at the scaffolding. Like, when we’re halfway through the film and I realize we’ve already seen every single moment from the trailers and we still have a ton of movie left, and that’s on purpose because the trailers are kind of a big fat misdirection. . .

I may already have said too much.

Like a lot of sequels, it doesn’t have quite the surprise and delight of the first one — Homecoming was just so, so good at combining the teen comedy with superheroes, and it was just so startling and wonderful because we’d never really seen anything like it. Far From Home does the same thing, but we’ve seen it before, so it’s still wonderful but not quite as startling.

It’s a sequel, it builds on Endgame. This is another chapter in the same story. Peter has a character arc, and he’s being set up as the core of whatever sequence comes next. He has survivor’s guilt, a huge amount of insecurity. It’s a different arc than any of the original Avengers’ arcs, and that’s good.

On one level the story is very, very trope-y, and I can’t really talk about the main trope in question without spoiling the whole thing. Sorry for being cryptic. It’s a trope we’ve seen before, a couple of times in big movies. But this film handles it so well I don’t even care that we’ve seen it before. One of the reasons we (or at least I) love superhero films is because of the tropes, and in this case it’s very well integrated in the into the existing world and stories.

In both movies, Peter Parker is dealing with Tony Stark’s legacy, the good and the bad. Peter is being set up as Tony’s heir — kind of against his will, but he’s really the only person standing in the right spot. That means being a hero, that means getting his hands on all this tech. But it also means dealing with Tony’s messes, the unintended consequences of Tony’s work. Tony made a lot of messes, it turns out.

And the post-credits scenes are back. And they’ve blown the story wide open again. There was a moment heading into this where I wasn’t sure I wanted any more MCU. Endgame was a really nice closing chapter. Satisfying. Did I really need more?

Yeah, I guess I do.


2 Responses to “Spider-Man: Far From Home”

  1. Saw it today and loved it. Spider-Man has been my favorite super-hero since I knew what one was, and they’ve pretty much nailed the way I’ve always imagined he should be like.

    I’ve always judged sequels on which I’d rather do next – go back and watch the previous movie or watch the next one right now, darn it! and I want the next one RIGHT NOW!!

  2. Carbonman Says:

    The engineer that downloaded the recordings of Spider-Man’s battle with Mysterio might be the next villain. Did anyone catch his name? I’ll bet he’s already a longstanding character in the MCU, especially considering he worked for Obadiah Stane in the first Iron Man movie.

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