SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME – Holland is the Best Webslinger of All Time

It was the perfect end to having Nate as my work experience kid last week, an invitation to the somewhat low-key Sydney premiere of SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME. It was questionable who was more excited; Nate, the kid the same age as Peter Parker, or Salty, the middle-aged worshipper of all things Spidey and Tom Holland.

But we both got exactly what we wanted out of the movie. A borderline masterpiece for the webslinger to not only be the first sequel to the 22 film meta-conclusion of END GAME, but the perfect film, that is not always what it seems, in setting up an exciting beginning to Phase Four of the MCU.

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is oddly releasing today, Monday July 1st, in Australia. No doubt releasing early to cash in on the school holidays this Spidey film is one of the shorter of the most recent MCU films coming in at 129mins. It scores an M rating and is a joint release from both Marvel and Sony Pictures.

Spider Man Far From Home Tom Holland
Tom Holland

BY JASON KING (and Nate the Work Experience Kid):

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME SYNOPSIS:

FAR FROM HOME kicks off mere weeks or months from the emotionally bludgeoning ending of AVENGERS: END GAME. Spidey, aka Peter Parker, is trying to return to being a friendly neighborhood hero while living in the shadow of the loss of Iron Man. The world wants a new Iron Man figure and people are wondering if that will be Spider-Man. Peter on the other hand is recently turned sixteen, still in school, very much crushing hard on MJ and desperate to head overseas for his school’s European vacation.

He never assumed he would have to save the world so soon but it’s a) the MCU and b) he’s a hero so with Great Power comes Great Responsibility so in no time Peter/ Spidey must join up with Mysterio, a.k.a. Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaall) and S.H.I.E.L.D. to save the world from Elemental monsters. One thing leads to another, Spidey mostly makes it worse and then has to save the world and work out whether he wants to be as great as Iron Man and the adult Avengers. The little caterpillar morphs into a true hero butterfly.

Spider Man Far From Home Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal
Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME GIVE US THE BEST OF THE SPIDEY-VERSE:

Spider-man movies need to fall into two camps. They must successfully give us the friendly neighborhood, geeky teenager with a stinging hilarious attitude and then, there must be action. FAR FROM HOME literally gives us the two as almost separate films split in the middle. The first half of the film is more intimate and gives us the awkward teenager we all love and embrace. The second half of the movie gives us a full blown high-end Marvelesque CGI Avengers battlefest. Add them together and this film is genius in its creation.

I absolutely love the release timing of SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, the film that is, not the trailer, it was released way too early spoiling Spidey possibly being dead post snap. Peter/ Spidey is vulnerable. He has lost his mentor and father-figure and he is facing the teenage years of becoming a man while dealing with hormones and being a teenager and the world wants more from him. They don’t know he is a 16yr old boy. The world is also aching from losing so many Avengers and out here in the real world we are still dealing with the momentous ending of a 22 film storyline.

FAR FROM HOME bridges our loss and gap marvellously by giving us a film that starts heartfelt, but light, and then builds and builds to allow Spider-Man to become the Avenger we all know he is. This is a coming-of-age film that sees Peter become a young man who doesn’t need help, someone who is a true hero, and when the chips are down can pull out more than he would have imagined and shine as a Super-Hero.

Spider Man Far From Home Tom Holland in the Stealth Suit
Tom Holland in the Stealth Suit

TOM HOLLAND SOLIDIFIES HIS POSITION AS THE GREATEST SPIDER-MAN OF ALL TIME:

I will drop my humble brag again – the very first time I saw Tom Holland on screen I said the words “watch out for this kid, he is going to become a household name in the coming years.” And he has more than done that – he is so huge I even have a T-Shirt with the words “Holland 96” written on it. I cannot get enough of his doey eyed innocence. His comical delivery, flexibility and presence on-screen combined with his HUGE success in the MCU, and now stand-alone films, has elevated him to the greatest Spider-Man of all time. He is perfection in the lycra and I hope we see him for years and years and years taking this character on a long journey.

The rest of the cast is also wonderful, his school friends played by Angourie Rice, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya, are hysterical. The blossoming relationship from Rice and Batalon’s Betty and Ned is one of the hilarious highlights of the film. I quite like the blossoming relationship from Peter and MJ (played by Zendaya) but am still confused about the MJ love – wasn’t he in love with someone else in HOMECOMING? I totally need to see that again!

Jake Gyllenhaal nails Mysterio – he is both supportive, gorgeous and fatherly to Peter/ Spidey, and how he managed to make that costume look sexy is incredible haha. The onscreen chemistry between Tom and Jake works so well, as does their press tours together – love them!

BACKBONE CHARACTERS:

Then there is our long standing characters; Happy Hogan, Nick Fury, Maria Hill and May Parker. These guys are the backbone of the film and give a lot of familiarity. Happy provides some great comic relief and his blossoming relationship with May is cause for some fun but his emotional comparison observations of Peter filling Tony Stark’s shoes was cause for my eyes leaking at one stage.

Spider Man Far From Home Angourie Rice, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya
Angourie Rice, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME IS A CLEVER SET UP FOR PHASE 4:

The writing and direction from Steve Ditko and Jon Watts is a work of genius combining everything about Spider-Man we love while making a film that is both Marvel and Sony and while also being as clever as they can be with misdirection and subtlety. I clap at the little odd things you could miss if not paying attention that turn out to be huge items in the many reveals during the film. Having these onion layer elements give this film a nice little piece of being incredibly clever.

Besides the humour, action and wonderful writing and direction in FAR FROM HOME it also heavily utilises CGI, like all superhero movies. I do find the fighting action scenes, of which there is plenty of in the last half, offering up the same kind of fighting CGI we are used to. It’s OK, and there is some highlights to it, like Peter swinging into water to put out himself on fire (total spoiler – SORRY) but it isn’t overly new and groundbreaking.

However, it does turn at one stage and take on a new level of CGI that is more INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE than what we expect from Holland’s Spidey films. This is an AWESOME THING!!! The little nod to holographs, CGI and VR take Peter into a world where things aren’t what they appear to be. It would have been off-the-charts seeing this in 3D!

POST CREDIT SCENES:

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME sees the return of the post-credit scenes, of which there is two. These two post-credit scenes are the two greatest post-credit scenes in MCU history that set up the entire commencement of Phase 4 and will possibly make your head explode haha. They also provide two of the cleverest reveals in the MCU that will have you salivating for more!

Spider Man Far From Home Tom Holland and Zendaya
Spider Man Far From Home Tom Holland and Zendaya

IN CONCLUSION:

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME could possibly be the greatest live-action Spider-Man movie ever released. It was perfectly timed and more than just a Spidey movie, it is the MCU bridging film between Phase 3 and Phase 4 of the MCU and it delivers on everything we love about the MCU and Spider-Man. Tom Holland is a revelation yet again and I cannot wait to see more from him. Where this film leaves the story set-up for Holland’s Spider-Man 3 is more exciting than I could have imagined.

Nate described it as “the best film ever” and rated it a 10 out of 5 – I am ok with this.

NATE’S POP SCORE – He seriously scored it a 10 out of 5 haha

SALTY’S POP SCORE:

YOUR CRITIC:

Jason King owns, writes and edits Salty Popcorn and Spooning Australia. He is a movie, food, restaurant, wine, chocolate, bacon, burger and brussels sprouts addict. He is a member of the Australian Film Critics Association and has been in the Australian movie industry for 26yrs. Furthermore he loves watching people trip over and is Leonardo DiCaprio’s biggest fan. 

** Images used are courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the distributor or publisher. Credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.