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Spider-Man: Should’ve Stayed Home

The most commendable part of Spider-Man: Far From Home was the ending. I don’t mean the reveal itself, but just the fact Tom Holland managed to keep quiet about it.  Besides that, the film fell a little flat. Don’t get me wrong, Tom Holland as Spider-Man will always be incredible. As for the rest of the film though, I don’t think anybody would notice if it was “blipped” out of existence.

This article contains minor spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home

The Blip

“The Blip,” if you didn’t know, is the renamed Thanos’ snap. Like the movie itself, the concept is just not as good as the original. 

Maybe I’m just slow in maths, but their explanation for why half of them are still in high school made no sense to me. I spent far too long trying to work out why Ned looked 35 (I think he’s meant to be 20, but also 16?), but Peter definitely blipped and he looks the same?! Just as I started thinking I had worked it out, they stumped me again. 

On the plane to Italy, Flash orders champagne because he looks 21, but MJ calls the flight attendant over to inform her that he “blipped” and he’s actually 16. But his body is 21, so do he have the maturity of an adult or a teenager?  This is what I pondered for the next ten minutes of the film.  Maybe some super smart people could work it out, but I bet there were plenty of others who couldn’t. In a fun, superhero movie like this, I wasn’t really expecting to have to think quite that hard. 

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

One of things that set Spider-Man: Homecoming apart from the other films in the Marvel franchise was it was on a small scale.  Granted, one of the biggest things Parker tackles throughout Far From Home is wanting to remain “the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.” So, in some ways, the excess explosions and destruction seen in the film is justified. 

However, it may not be apparent to those who saw the film in 3D, but a lot of the big actions scenes appeared specifically geared towards a 3D effect. This has happened a lot in the past (both in Marvel films and other blockbusters), with scenes having unnecessary action just so it can look like that crashed car is spiralling towards the audience, or the building is going to fall on their heads. 

This is only amplified but the recent growth in 4DX capabilities. The new experience is not particularly common in Australia, but 4DX is the most recent development in cinema gimmicks, expanding from 3D’s apparent popularity.  It’s basically the cinema equivalent to those crappy VR rides at theme parks. But, you know, good. 

Originating from Korea, it’s spread across Asia and has only just started in Australia.  Fans pay extra to be drooled on by dinosaurs or get heat blown on the back of their necks when a volcano erupts.  Some of the effects are done really well, but it becomes hugely apparent what parts of the film are designed for 4DX when you’re watching in regular old 2D.  Especially when both Endgame and Far from Home have had huge promotional periods in Korea, it becomes pretty clear that the cinematography is pandering to these newfound gizmos. 

Maybe in ten years, I’ll go back on my words when nobody can imagine a time without using 4DX to watch a film.  But for now, seeing Venice crumbling without the bonus effects of air blowing in my face or water splashing on me when there clearly should be, this invention just takes normal cinema-goers out of the movie experiences. 

The big names were the biggest downfall

Any millennial with an internet connection knows who Tom Holland is, but he’s not quite at the same level of fame as some of the Marvel cast. In this case the big stars being Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and MCU newcomer Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio/Quentin Beck.  However, it was these two Hollywood heavyweights that let the film down. 

Jackson played a caricature of himself. Nothing felt quite right, as though he (or the writers) just couldn’t remember what made Fury a good character to begin with.  Some may argue that this could be explained by the end credits scene. But the Fury in that scene was equally as forced. The whole thing felt like a bargain basement version of Ragnorok’s humour, with none of the Taiki edge.  Maybe Jackson wasn’t at fault, but Fury was still sub-par through most of the film. He had a good one-liner, and it felt like the only time the genuine Samuel L. Jackson got to shine through. 

Gyllenhaal was by far the biggest let down. Once again, it could be argued that it was more the average writing that crippled his character development, but I still felt like the actor also missed the mark.  It is difficult to discuss his failures without spoilers. However, what can be said is with actors like Tom Hiddleston as Loki constantly dancing the fine line between good and evil, or RDJ making Stark’s genius both infuriating and lovable, Gyllenhaal just came up short. He just didn’t play his character with conviction. Throughout the first half of the film, he was dead bland – a poor man’s Tony replacement. This could be because of what’s revealed later in the film. Some might say Gyllenhaal cleverly intertwined complete average-ness into his character on purpose. 

But, that still doesn’t explain how lacklustre he still was when more about his background was revelled.  I didn’t care about him winning or losing. I didn’t care at all. While Holland continued to provide yet another incredible performance, the actor who has been in the industry twice as long just didn’t compare. 

Overall, Far From Home was fun, and definitely provided the Spider-Man spirit we all craved more of.  However, the plot felt rushed and unnecessary, trying to use a fan favourite villain that just doesn’t have the oomph for a feature length film. 

It came be argued that this film lost some of the innocence and inherent ‘goodness’ that the original possessed because of all Parker had been through. As mentioned before, Holland really did incredible work highlighting the teen’s internal conflict. But that is Tom’s success, not the film’s. 

With a boring villain and a web-shooter dick joke, it could be said that this film was pandering more to its huge young fan base. However, that doesn’t explain the stupidly complex “Blip” issue. Marvel has never needed to dumb down its films in the past for their young fan base, especially since it really is a fandom that encompasses all generations.

Early in the film, Peter Parker asks Fury ‘what about Captain Marvel or Doctor Strange?’ It’s ironic that he just listed the other recent forgettable Marvel films, to which Far From Home will soon join in rank. 

Have you seen Spider-Man: Far From Home? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Featured Image Source: Revenge of the Fans