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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review By Steven Wilkins

 

Spider-Man Far From Home Review

Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Chris McKenna, Stan Lee (based on the Marvel comic book by)
Stars: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal

First of all…go see this movie.

Now that that’s out the way, FFH delivers in so many more ways than just action alone.  The unfolding story is pretty much exactly what you would expect if you’re a fan of comics (or animated series) and know the characters enough.  If you’re just a fan of the film series then you’re still in for a treat.

The onscreen chemistry between Holland and Zendaya is awkwardly perfect and so much fun to watch take shape.  The unnerving of character within Parker is deeply felt from the start of the film and almost never let’s up until the movies end.  As for the action, it’s ever present and amazing as Peter and the new hero on the scene, Mysterio (Gyllenhaal), fight to ward off elemental beings  from a different universe before they destroy earth.

With some twists and turns, FFH is a blast and though gone, Tony Stark/Iron Man is present without ever being present. There are two end credits scene, the first of which is quite the jaw dropping eye opener, the second being a bit comical but also pointing in a certain direction obviously to what may lie ahead.

Whether IMAX, standard or 3D, FFH is absolutely enjoyable and a solid end to Phase 3.  Get out and go see it!

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review By The Movie Couple

Spider-Man Far From Home Review

 

Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Chris McKenna, Stan Lee (based on the Marvel comic book by)
Stars: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal

Moviie Couple here!   We went to see Spider-Man: Far From Home this Holiday weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system. Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

Spider-Man: Far From Home continues the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) adventures of Peter Parker, high school science student, and of course Our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, from his first solo film, Spider-Man: Homecoming.  Now, he’s a bit more famous thanks to his previous adventures and the world apparently knowing his role in both of the last Avenger films (Infinity War and Endgame).  Peter finds himself struggling with his new found responsibility, his attempts to live up to the legacy of his mentor and friend Tony Stark (Iron Man) and his desire to just be a kid.  He knows what he does is important, but the kid in him still longs to hang out and chase the girl he is crushing on.  As the title alludes to, the class is chosen for a tour of Europe!  This seems the perfect time for Peter to slow down and spend some time with the enigmatic MJ, who he so far has only admired from afar. But as fate would have it, a new Earth shattering threat has begun!  Nick Fury and Maria Hill need his help!  And a new costumed figure has entered the field of play, the handsome and charming Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio!  Will poor Spidey save the day!  Will he get the girl?  Can Beck/Mysterio be his new Tony Stark/Iron Man?  Nothing comes easy for  Old Parker, the stakes are high, MJ has a new suitor, and all is not as it seems!  He catches thieves just like flies, but can he save the world and save his love life?

Directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland as Peter/Spider-Man, Samuel L. Jackson (He’s nearly in as many movies this year as Keanu Reeves!) and Cobie Smulders as Fury and Hill, Jake Gyllenhaal as Beck/Mysterio, Zendaya as MJ, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and yes all the kids and faculty from Homecoming are back as is Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan.  So is this a good sequel to Homecoming?  Is it as advertised, an Epilogue to Avengers:Endgame?   Well, come join Mr. and Mrs Moviie Couple as we give this film a swing and review this latest entry in the MCU saga!

So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  Let me start by saying I love comics.  If you follow us here at all you already know this, but if you are reading us for the first time you need to know that.  So that being said, I am a huge Spider-Man fan.  I love Tom Holland as Peter Parker.  I think he embodies Peter in the same way Chris Evans does Captain America or RDJ does Iron Man.  He’s just perfect.  I was in love with his first film Homecoming, but I am actually sad to say I don’t feel the same about Far From Home as I did for the first one.  The film starts way too slowly.  It is part John Hughes Wannabe (Homecoming did a far better job of capturing this energy than FFH) and part MCU blockbuster and I feel that is part of the problem.  Not every MCU film needs to be the end of the world type threat to be a success.  Just ask the Antman/Wasp films.  We do not spoil here at Moviie Couple, so we will not explain the villainous plot outright, but if you’ve ever read Spider-Man comics at all or watched a Spidey cartoon like… ever or even really payed attention to the advertising for this film you should be able to guess the bad guy immediately.  So I say that to say this, The villain is not a world threat traditionally and I believe if anyone actually thinks over the plan, at the films conclusion, it really doesn’t hold up.  Shield should have been able to handle this or at the very least if the stakes were set lower it would have made a more credible Spidey level threat, but the filmmakers by this point in the MCU, feel the stakes HAVE to be earth threatening I guess.

 Now don’t get me wrong, they creators try and explain a lot of this away (PLEASE stay for the end credits), but it just doesn’t hold water for me.  The action is ratchet up to Avengers level and as I already stated, I feel it wasn’t needed.  A bit of cinema overkill.  The best action scene comes in the middle where Spidey doesn’t know what’s real or what isn’t!   This fight scene was nearly a comic book battle leaping from the page and almost made the entire movie for me!  But the final fight scene was over done in my opinion.

Gyllenhaal is great as Mysterio and a natural addition to the MCU.  His backstory is tragic and unexpected!  He does a great job!  The stand out actors to me where Holland and Zendaya!  The scenes with Peter and MJ are the best of the film and they seem natural and absolutely believable.  I missed a bit of MJ’s awkwardness in this film, she seemed to go from Ally Sheedy in the Breakfast Club to the prom Queen everyone is suddenly chasing between movies and it felt unearned, but that’s not her fault it’s the writers. She was great in her role as is Holland.

 It just didn’t balance the Teen Romance and the Superheroics well in my opinion.  The superhero plot was basic,  I do give it points for tying itself into the past MCU films, but it was an underwhelming plot. Great acting and a wonderful soundtrack, nearly save this for me, but there has only been one MCU film I didn’t want to see again after I saw it in theatres, Captain Marvel, now there is two.  Far From Home isn’t terrible, but it isn’t amazing either, and with this cast and this legendary character that is the real shame.

Far From Home is better than MEH and close to Pretty Good, So I’m going with 3.5 Bills.  To be honest, I think Tom Holland can make the perfect Spider-Man movie, unfortunately I’m still waiting for it.

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  Remember, it was your votes on Twitter that even got her to go see this film!  She found Far From Home to capture all the ups and downs of High School life accurately.  It really took her back.
She did say this had all the “typical”attributes of superhero films, Superhero Vs Supervillain, hero chases girl, hero has funny sidekick that knows his secret, Hero forced to decide which path he will take in life, Yada, Yada,  Yada…..she was starting to doze early in this film.

But then she was taken in by Tom Holland’s performance.  She finds him absolutely, adorably lovable as Spider-man!  She found herself really liking MJ with all her quirks and mannerisms.  She started to really like them as a couple.  Their relationship kept her interested.  It was very believable and fun despite all the typical explosions and action scenes. She loved them as a couple and found herself paying attention and rooting for them more than if Spidey saved the day or not.  She also enjoyed seeing Aunt May move forward with her life and start a relationship.  She didn’t expect that and liked that addition a lot.

The villain (No spoilers) was slow to get to his point, but she was surprised by his plans and found him to be a clever and sly villain rather than one that simply overpowers their enemies!  She loved how he used his wits and mind rather than brute force to challenge our hero!  Wow, something different in a superhero movie! Who’d a thunk it?
She liked the various Spider-Man costumes used throughout the film and liked how they all served a purpose rather than just selling different toys or Halloween costumes.

But her favourite part was the End Credit scene!  Especially the first one!  It really pulled her in!  They got me!  She said.  I have to see just what Spider-Man is going to do now!  A huge endorsement from the woman who swore off superhero movies just a few weeks ago.  Now that’s a powerful end credit scene right there!

Overall, despite her positive feelings toward a movie she nearly skipped entirely, she still left saying She should have waited till Netflix to see it.  I had to correct her that it would probably be out on Disney +, Netflix and Disney would soon be parting ways.  I think that’s when she called me a nerd and warned me I could walk home.  She gives Far From Home 3.5 Bills.  Not quite Pretty Good, but not nearly as bad as she expected it to be.

On the way home, We talked about the villains plot, the kids, how great Holland and Zendaya were and how despite a lot of good things, the movie just left us uninspired.  I know people will hate this opinion, but we are just being honest.  It wasn’t bad, but man, with all the talent and money on the screen it really should have been …more.  Not quite an Amazing Spider-Man, not a Spectacular Spider-Man either, more like an Almost Pretty Good Spider-Man hence the 3.5 Bills average!  We both gave it the same 3.5 so its was a unanimous decision.

So until next time, remember we are just Your Friendly Neighborhood Moviie Couple!  Be sure to check out our Twitter or Facebook for a clue to our next movie review.  Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING.png

Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Jonathan Goldstein (screenplay by), John Francis Daley (screenplay by)
Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.

Plot:  Peter Parker balances his life as an ordinary high school student in Queens with his superhero alter-ego Spider-Man, and finds himself on the trail of a new menace prowling the skies of New York City.
Running Time: 2 hours 13 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 92%   Audience 88%

Why I Watched it: It’s a Marvel movie and so far I’ve only missed two, and I love Spider-Man as a character and hope to all that is holy that this is the last reboot and we get to move forward with this character.

Random Thoughts: So Marvel gets Spider-Man back and they make him younger but now they get to have Spider-Man grow inside the Marvel Universe.  At first I wasn’t happy that in a stand alone Spider-Man film, well as stand alone as you can have with Marvel that they put Tony Stark in this, I was a little nervous that Marvel felt they had to hedge their bets.

What I liked: It’s hard to not like a Marvel movie, they put the money on the screen and they know how to tell a story and with the last few films they’re getting better at telling a story with three acts but also tie that story into a larger arc, they’ve come to understand that you have to deliver on the film people are paying to see now and not be so worried about the ten films coming out in Phase Three. They’ve nailed the Peter Parker character and with this film that’s what they seemed to want to do, I would think the next film we’ll deal with Spider-Man more.  Tom Holland is very good here and I like that he’s young enough that he can grow with the character.  He’s funny but he’s also a solid actor, they can go with whatever direction they want cause he has the chops.  I’m very happy that we didn’t do the whole original thing, I like the set up with this film tying in with Civil War and the beginning is very well done.

Another thing Marvel is beginning to do well is have fleshed out villains, if Marvel has had a problem is that their villains are bland and boring and we end up with CGI battles to finish every film, here we get Michael Keaton as a real character, and he’s not only a good bad guy but he’s likable, he’s freaking Michael Keaton, there’s a couple of scenes where he’s just great, the cab ride scene with him and Holland is very good.  They also make him a person and not a cartoon character.  Also there’s a twist that is handled very well. I was very happy to see that Iron Man Tony Stark isn’t in it that much, he’s good without him taking over the movie.  The tech stuff here is of course great, the film is bright and vibrant, the sound is great, the CGI is pretty good, Marvel does this stuff very well. They also nailed the High School pretty well and I like how they’ve planted seeds so certain characters are introduced but not used yet, I’ll call them teases.

What I didn’t like: It’s long, yup my old whipping horse, at 2 hours and 13 minutes it’s a tad too long and yes it does drag, the film could have been tighter.  Also the arc with Spider-Man and Iron Man is very ham-fisted and cliched, it’s the only part of the film where I felt they just cut and pasted scenes from other comic book movies, we get it Tony Stark is a father-figure and Peter Parker needs guidance and he needs to grow up. My only other grips are nit picks, they didn’t use his Spidey sense which is a big thing with his abilities and they wasted Shocker.

Final Thoughts: The film is very good, very entertaining, the other thing I have to give credit to Marvel is they cast their films so well, even secondary and smaller characters have good actors and even name actors, very deep roster.  It’s a good starting point for this Spider-Man.
Rating: 8/10

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) Movie Review by John Walsh

SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING

Director: Jon Watts
Writers: Jonathan Goldstein (screenplay),  John Francis Daley (screenplay)
Stars: Tom Holland,  Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.

Coming off the back of the highly successful cameo in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man returns home once more to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the aptly, double entendres, named Spider-Man: Homecoming. Featuring the directorial talents of Jon Watts, a man I’m not even going to kid on I knew about prior to this, and the refreshingly energetic acting talents of Tom Holland, this is a fantastic film packed full of action, comedy and sheer, unadulterated fun.

It thankfully doesn’t delve into the well trodden backstory of Peter Parker and how he developed his web slinging talents (no spider bites to be seen here). Instead, it quickly introduces the main villain, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), setting up the story of Homecoming off the after events of the alien attack seen in Avengers (his team of salvagers steal and reverse engineer the alien technology), before jumping in pretty much right from where Civil War ended and nicely connecting the two via a cool vlogging style, Spider-Man perspective on THAT airport scene. Before long Peter’s mentor, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jnr) pops up with some pearls of wisdom and a shiny new suit for our web slinger to kickstart the action.

It might not be a typical origin story, but Parker who’s staying with his aunt May (Marisa Tomei), is still very much maturing into an adult and learning how to be a superhero. There’s a sequence early on (Blitzkreig Bop playing out) where he tries on his new Stark engineered attire for the first time and heads out to stop some petty criminals. Trouble is, in his new found eagerness to be a local crime-stopper, he often gets in the way nine times out of ten, decides to intervene in a bank robbery being committed by Toomes’ crew, that ends spectacularly wrong with his local deli being destroyed and, to add insult to injury, he loses his backpack. There’s a shy, underlying awkwardness to his personality (offset by his extroverted alter ego), that manifests itself in his crush for Michelle (Zendaya) and this budding, on-off relationship pretty much fuels much of the events that transpire in Homecoming.

There’s a myriad of positives, including absolutely beautiful visuals, CG and well handled fan service that connects Parker with the already established universe around him. I loved the humour in this film too and the way it was organically introduced into the story. A good example of this being the scene where Stark berates a reckless Parker from a remotely controlled, Iron Man drone, whilst chilling on holiday and even just the silly misadventures he and his friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) get into. The action was exhilarating and complimented the somewhat quieter moments (a rare thing) perfectly. Holland delivered a fantastic performance and was a key player in the comedic moments. For me, he’s already eclipsed both Maguire and Garfield in this portrayal.

Michael Keaton was also tremendous as Vulture. His career has been resurgent lately and this continues that renaissance. Having said that, if I was to have one criticism of this film then it would be the lack of back story or reasoning behind the motivation of Toomes/Vulture and his crew for their wanton lust for destruction. I get that they were feeling disenfranchised by Stark and the establishment after being forced to leave a profitable salvage operation, but their part in the film felt slightly neglected and a little rushed. It certainly wasn’t down to a lack of screen time either. They focused plenty on Toomes and his crew, but it was mostly superficial, never really delving too deep into his psyche, but maybe that’s still to come in future films. Despite this though, Keaton really did take the character and make him a ominous presence from start to finish.

Downey Jnr also has a massive presence despite his relative cameo in the film. I’ll be incredibly saddened when he decides to end his tie (he’s heavily hinting at it) with a character he’s synonymous with and been playing for over a decade. Tony Stark pretty much plays the mentoring role in the sporadic appearances he has, identifying the huge potential Parker possesses to be a new Avenger, but also recognising the impulsive, immaturity that threatens to be his undoing. Hence why he implements a ‘training wheels’ lock on the suit, which of course Parker discovers, hacks and unlocks, and nearly kills himself along with dozens of others after another showdown (Peter’s persistent) against Vulture on a boat. He brings laughs and almost a disciplinarian father figure to the story and his tough love approach ultimately results in Peter maturing.

I absolutely loved Homecoming. Spider-Man has always been one of my favourite superheroes and I have fond memories of the first two Maguire films in the early naughties. It’s great that Sony, Marvel and Disney have finally resolved their differences to bring this great character into the MCU. It’s not a perfect film, there is one or two small issues. I.e. The unnecessary secretive MJ/Michelle thing. These are unimportant in the grand scheme of things however and do nothing to impede my enjoyment of the story or action that unfolds. The lack of real backstory allows Watts to dive right into said action and the pace, often frenetic, rarely dips throughout. I don’t think there’s been a post credit scene that opens up so many possibilities for future instalments too. The second one is a hilarious continuation of Captain America inspirational videos that pop up throughout.

Easily the best Spider-Man film since 2004’s Spider-Man 2. I still rate that above the 2017 iteration, but nonetheless can’t recommend this film enough.

Rating: 4/5