Thursday, July 25, 2019

I’m Really Strong…And Sticky

Can the Marvel Movie Machine survive the giant emotional overload of Infinity War and Endgame?

Yes…yes it can!

This was a fun, exciting and heartfelt standalone film, and an outstanding post script to the giant Avengers phase ending.

In honor of Tom Holland, there will be spoilers.

Spider-Man: Far From Home was an excellent coda to the third phase of Marvel Films, an excellent continuation of Spidey and his friends’ stories, and a heck of a fun time!

And it had Mysterio!!!  YAAAY!

I have always been a fan of the special effects artist who harnessed his craft to use the power of illusion to commit crimes for a couple of reasons.

1) An illusion villain against a highly physical hero with enhanced senses like Spidey works really well. (Works with Daredevil too.)

But more importantly

2) He’s a totally narcissistic attention diva with a fishbowl on his head, which makes him both deadly and hysterical.

They recreated these ideas for modern times and the MCU as it has developed with Tony Stark at the center.  Mysterio's illusions would require a technical team, and holographic generators (already established connected to Tony).  By combining them with the drones capable of causing actual damage (like old school practical effects) and we have Mysterio in all his self-obsessed, technically brilliant, needing to be admired, fishbowl headed glory!

And in some weird “circle of special effects” thing, now the ability of digital effects to create anything the film makers can imagine, can finally render the horrifyingly mind bending illusions Mysterio has been tossing around in comics on the big screen.

While some see his having a support team as detracting from the character, there's something extra awesome about the possibility of Ralphie from A Christmas Story becoming a behind the scenes master villain for the next phase.

As for Spider-Man himself:  Tom Holland again oozes the enthusiasm and excitement of a young hero eager to join the ranks of the Avengers. But he also realistically conveys being a youth who needs the normal trappings of a high school life. 

This is not the Spidey of the comic book world- a teen aged hero that came into being during its formative years, who grew and evolved into one of the most popular and central characters of the franchise.

It is also not the Spidey of previous film franchises- the only superhero around.

This is a Spidey that is a teen aged hero coming into his own a decade after the crowd of other heroes started to form, in a universe that has Tony Stark at the center.

By showing his connections to the characters from, and his desire to fit into that universe is how this version of Spidey is moving into his historical popular and central position. Much like all the characters the MCU has given us before, Peter’s friends and family are well developed, resourceful, and a key part of making him the hero he is.  Aunt May and MJ are far more partners in his mission than their early comic counterparts ever were.  While connections with older members of the MCU connect him to the legacies Spidey is stepping into.

I think I teared up as much as Happy in that flashback to Tony in the “Back in Black” scene.

The mid credits scene reminded us (along with there being only one actor for that role) that the old Parker luck still holds.

However, with both Skrulls and Nick Fury on his side, that problem could be fixed easily if they want it to be.

One area I always felt was missing from these new films that the  Raimi franchise excelled at was showing Spider-Man’s epic swings through the concrete canyons of New York.  The end of Far From Home delivered the goods admirably on that front.

Peter’s character has always been visually dynamic on both big and small screen, but the MCU version is finally showing his strength, agility and “Peter Tingle” (hee hee) up to the comic book levels and it is glorious. 

Having the audience accept it is just another benefit of living in a universe with mighty lightning generating gods, invincible armored geniuses, incredible green rage monsters, and implacable sentinels of liberty.

But still with TONS of heart.

Bring on phase four!!!!!!


Unknown said...

Chara and I loved this movie so much. I welcomed its "teen foreign field trip comedy" mood it captured while keeping Nick Fury sufficiently frustrated. From start to finish it works as a well played Marvel film. Worth seeing twice at least for sure.

Jeff McGinley said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Brian. The Marvel machine has been successful in a huge swath of genres hasn't it. Thanx so much for reading and posting.