Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal
Runtime: 2 hrs 10 mins
Released By: Sony Pictures
Official Website: https://www.spidermanfarfromhome.movie
Opening Day: 2 July 2019
Synopsis: Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!
At the preview of this 23rd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), viewers were told not to give away spoilers. We guess this is how things are now – audiences are conditioned in such a way that there should always be some twists and turns in a film, and in this case, there should always be mid and end credit scenes which set up what is to follow in the MCU.
And we were wondering why the plot of the latest Spider Man film is so seemingly simple.
Peter Parker, who is also a friendly neighbourhood superhero, joins his friends on a European vacation. He also plans to profess his love for MJ in the most romantic way. With that in mind, he does not want to bring his Spider Man suit along (the audacity!), but Aunt May packs it for him anyway. During his holiday, Nick Fury tracks him down and enlists his help to fight off elemental creature (read: terrifying monsters made up of natural elements like water and molten). He is aided by Mysterio, a charismatic superhero from another dimension (discerning viewers would know this sounds a tad fishy).
For a good hour of the 130 minute movie, things do plod along in a straightforward manner. Bad guy appears to wreak havoc, Spider Man and Mysterio defeat it. Another bad guy appears to destroy things, Spider Man and Mysterio join forces again to save the day.
It feels a little mundane till the twist takes place. Without giving away too much, it is a nice change in tone, and dare we say it, a fun twist that suddenly perks things up. What happens for the rest of the movie gives the CG artists a great opportunity to showcase their craft, and the effects are best enjoyed on glorious IMAX 3D screen.
This plot development is also a wonderful platform to see Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance. He plays Mysterio, a mentor figure to Peter Parker (aww, we will never forget you, Mr Stark) who has some tricks up his sleeves. The assuring yet maniacal persona reminds us of his role in Jarhead (2005). We are glad to see the talented 38 year old actor, who has impressed us in other films like Source Code (2011) and Enemy (2013), join the MCU.
Familiar faces like Zendaya (MJ), Jacob Batalon (Ned), Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), Jon Favreau (Happy), Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) also return to remind us that we are in the MCU.
How does Tom Holland fare in his fifth appearance as Peter Parker and Spider Man? The 23 year old actor is as endearing as ever, and has the perfect personality to play a school boy who is given great responsibilities. You want to root for him, win the girl of his dreams, and cheer for him as he fights off villains. Fan girls are also in for a treat as there is a scene of the English actor showing off his bod.
Audiences who are used to the heavy tone of the previous Avengers films may be surprised by the lightweight approach to this movie. Serving as the 11th and final instalment of MCU’s Phase Three and the concluding episode of the Infinity Saga, it does a fine job as a summer movie without the theatrics and heavy handedness.
Of course, there are references to other characters in the MCU, and fans would know better to stay till the very end of the movie. Cynics may say there is already fatigue in the superhero genre, but we can’t see how things are going to be played out in Phase Four of the MCU.
(Aptly fun and entertaining, this final instalment of Phase Three of the MCU is a breezy summer blockbuster to sit through. Get ready to cheer on Spidey as he swings in to save the day!)
Review by John Li