Spiderman swings into action

Reviews

The latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe lineup is the second of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man trilogy. Swinging into theaters on July 2, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” raked in just over $92.5 million in its opening weekend and has now made a total of a little more than $1 billion worldwide, making it the first ever Spider-Man film to do so.

This action packed movie, starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jon Favreau, and Samuel L. Jackson, allows for an interesting and engrossing look into this particular world of superheroes in the aftermath of the events of the previous MCU movie, “Avengers: Endgame”.

Tom Holland delivers an inspired performance as Peter Parker who is currently juggling the challenges of losing a mentor, saving the world, and just wanting to be a regular kid. Holland, without a doubt, proves that he is the best man for the job, perfectly capturing the essence of not only Peter Parker, but Spider-Man as well. Holland not only does a lot of his own stunts due to his background in gymnastics and dance, but he is also able to portray the physicality and grace of Spider-Man with such ease that it’s easy to forget that it’s really just a 23 year old actor underneath that mask.

In this film, audiences are introduced to a well known villain in the Spider-Man comics known as Mysterio, aka Quentin Beck. Mysterio, played by Academy Award nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, brings a sense of mystery (no pun intended) to the plot of the film. Gyllenhaal’s performance as Mysterio is simply marvelous. He is able to bring the comic book character to life in a way that leaves audiences stunned and waiting for more throughout the entirety of the film. His ability to gain the audience’s trust and then completely blindside them is astounding. Kudos to Marvel and Sony; Gyllenhaal was the absolute perfect fit for the role.

Not to mention the chemistry between Holland and Gyllenhaal, who were able to bring their off-screen “bromance” on screen in a way that was seamlessly woven into their characters at the start of the movie, effectively capturing the attention of the audience from the very beginning. At first, Mysterio befriends Peter, but as time goes on and the plot unravels, they become enemies. Even so, the chemistry between Holland and Gyllenhaal is perfectly clear. They share the screen in a way that leaves the audience wanting more.

Another scene stealer was the incredibly talented Zendaya who plays MJ. Zendaya’s role in the first Spider-Man movie was small to say the least; she had about five lines, give or take. In this film, however, her character was explored in a deeper way that allowed for a romantic relationship to form between her and Peter. This relationship was no doubt one of the unexpected highlights of the film for me.

Going in, I was hesitant to accept that this film would somewhat revolve around just another love interest for Peter. All I really wanted to see was the action sequences and how the plot would develop for future movies (and Jake Gyllenhaal if we’re being honest), but the way it was portrayed made it so much more real, relatable, and relevant than other movies have done before.

More familiar faces from the MCU returned to the big screen in July, reprising their longtime roles as Happy Hogan, played by Jon Favreau, and Nick Fury, played by Academy Award nominee Samuel L. Jackson. Jon Favreau has been a part of the MCU since the beginning, when he directed and acted in “Iron Man” in 2008. Samuel L. Jackson has also been around from the start, making a cameo at the end of “Iron Man” and holding larger parts since then, such as in “Avengers” in 2012 and “Captain Marvel” in 2019.

Both actors have truly brought their respective characters to life like no other. Their charisma and raw talent have allowed for unforgettable roles, no matter how big or small, throughout the past 10 years of Marvel movies. Their roles in “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” however, reach new heights regarding technique, talent, and comedy, beautifully adding to the interwoven character arcs and plot of the ever-confusing MCU.

This notion of confusion extends into the post-credit scenes which had me on the edge of my seat and physically screaming in the theater. The first post-credit scene (aka the mid-credit scene) shows Peter and MJ swinging through New York on a so-called “date.” Seems all nice, cute, and fun, right? Wrong. When they finally get back to the ground a large screen lights up with none other than J Jonah Jameson, played once again by JK Simmons who is reprising said role from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films. The theater went absolutely berserk when his face came up, myself included.

My excitement, however, was squashed when it was revealed that Mysterio made a fake video claiming Spider-Man was the cause of all the destruction from the Elementals (the supposed “villains” of the movie). My anger rose to previously undiscovered heights when Mysterio then revealed Peter’s identity to the whole world. I was in absolute shock.

The second post-credit scene then revealed that Nick Fury and Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders, weren’t really there. Instead, it was Talos, played by Ben Mendolsohn, and his wife Soren, who are both shape-shifting Skrulls. Fury was actually on a Skrull spaceship. Again, pure shock.

Now that Spider-Man has been removed from the MCU (I know, I’m angry too), what does this mean for the cliffhangers fans are so desperate to explore? Who knows. All I know is that “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is undoubtedly one of the best Marvel movies to date, and I absolutely cannot wait to find out what happens next.