Dare I say… the best Spider-Man movie in the franchise?
Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland) is putting the whole Avengers: Endgame episode behind him. Now he's looking forward to a summer school trip to Europe where he hopes to get closer to his classmate, MJ (Zandaya) and not be Spider-Man. But he can't outrun his superhero responsibilities as Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) recruits him for a team-up with another superhero from a parallel universe, Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) aka Mysterio.
Here be spoilers…
What we like
So, the other day, the film cast was on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to pimp the movie and Kimmel asked them this:
If you're worried about this being a major plothole, don't worry it's explained away. In fact, if you're fretting that this sequel is not going to live up to its predecessor, this and a twisty plot and action sequences turned up to 11, made this a very entertaining two-hours spent in the theatre.
You have Peter wrestle with living up to Tony Stark's legacy and just living up to the expectations of being a high-schooler. This gives the movie conflict but it is usually formulaic that it bogs down the pacing. It's a good thing that this movie has a great supporting cast to carry the movie. Consisting of Peter's best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon); his classmate, Betty (Angourie Rice); the love interest, MJ (Zandaya) and bully, Flash (Tony Revolori), the dynamics of the group never feel forced.
Tom Holland gets to channel a little angst with his character this time round. Usually, a Spider-Man film would reflect on Uncle Ben's death and that would give Peter with something to be emo about. This time, it's Tony Stark. And what's interesting is that it's not about having the responsibility to have power but rather whether one feels up to the task to have power. Peter suffers bouts of inferiority when he meets with Quentin Beck played by Jake Gyllenhaal.
The movie version of Quentin is different from the one from the comic books. In the film, Quentin is from a parallel universe. The trailer mentioned that due to Thanos' snap, it ripped a hole in Quentin's dimension, allowing him to pass to our world but this wasn't in the film itself (if I recall correctly). Anyway, Quentin is a hero trying to stop a bunch of Elementals (monsters possessing the powers of the four elements: earth, fire, wind, water… uh, heart?) in destroying our world.
Gyllenhaal is very entertaining as Quentin. With Tony's absence, he fills the role of a big brother, a mentor that is supportive and approachable. The presence of Quentin Beck casts Tony in an unflattering light. Sure, he saved the world but if you think about it, Tony Stark can sometimes be a grade-A jerk. People might chalk it up to Tony just being a 'loveable asshole' but the thing is, he's still an asshole.
What we didn't like
Look. I get why superheroes wear masks. They have to conceal their identities to protect their loved ones from any reprisals from the criminals that they put away. It's a pragmatic approach but the way that Spider-Man is often cavalier with his secret identity, that if his identity is ever publically revealed, the consensus is gonna be a nonchalant:
What to look out for
As with any Marvel movies, stick around for the credits. You'll be greeted to an unexpected and much-welcomed cameo, given how often the Spider-Man universe is rebooted, we're glad that some characters remain the same.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is out in theatres.