For this week’s post, I was honestly in a major toss up between talking about Stranger Things Season 3 and this week’s topic, Spider-Man: Far From Home. They are honestly very similar in a lot of ways, because they are focused on mostly regular kids and one not so regular fighting crime against super natural events. Or so this film would like us to think. What won me and made me interested in writing this post was the fact that there is a small controversy on Far From Home breaking away from the source material of Spider-Man comics. At least, I heard there was one. Even if there isn’t, that was enough for me to write about Spider-Man first. That just means that next week, there is going to be a post about Stranger Things Season 3. Keep your eyes peeled. Or not. That depends on you.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is european vacation movie with Peter Parker and some of his science club buddies. At the same time, it’s a movie that takes place after the ground breaking Avenger’s Endgame. Peter and his class disappeared for five years, so they are back in high school in the class redoing the class they were apart of before the blimp. (Endgame’s affects are going to be lingering around in the MC forever. So while Peter Parker is enjoying his trip around Europe to see the cities and the sights, Spider-Man is doing some crime fighting here and there by working for shield. Except, it’s not just crime that’s happening. Elementals Spirits from another dimension are on Planet Earth’s front door and want to destroy Earth. Spider-Man must team up with some lunatic from the same dimension as the elementals, Mysterio, to save the world. Again. Except, nothing is as the audience sees it or how I described it. Most of that plot synopsis is a ruse.
Far From Home is a lot of things. One part of it is a believable high school trip movie with the kids behaving like intelligent kids and the chaperones being useless adults. You know, the usual for trips like those. It’s also an epilogue to Avenger’s Endgame AND a film about inheritance and legacy. If you didn’t know this already, spoilers, Tony Stark died saving the Universe from Thanos’ iron fist in the previous film. In Spider-Man: Home Coming, Tony and Peter established a Father and Son sort of dynamic. With Peter Parker left on his own, this is a film about him dealing with being left behind. Peter Parker is granted the EDITH (Even Death, I’m The Hero) Glasses from Tony which means he controls his entire network. At the same time, Tony’s Image is all over this film reminding Peter of who he is supposed to be and what happened to him months ago. Is he ready for all of this responsibility? Can he be the next Iron Man? A lot of complicated things to consider for a little comic book film, isn’t it?
Breaking away from Spider-Man comic book conventions is where this film’s strengths lie. If Avenger’s Endgame was the ultimate, large comic book event film with tons and tons of comic book references all over the place, Far From Home is the exact opposite of that. It takes the concepts behind Spider-Man and Mysterio and uses those aspects however it wants to. Mysterio isn’t just a fraud, he’s a Tony Stark stand in that seeks to destroy everything that Tony was about. Peter Parker is looking for that kind of relationship with someone, so Mysterio is there to answer that sort of call at first until the inevitable betrayal. Why? Because Mysterio and his crew were screwed over by Tony. Peter finding strength in himself to hopefully conquer his crippling doubts on himself and how relationship with Tony Stark affected him was what the movie about and I really liked it. Another change is Zendaya plays Marie Jane instead of a hot red headed super model. M.J. is wonderful in this film AND she feels like a real person instead of an ideal figure to look up to.
Those weren’t the only things that changed in this film, but that’s enough to emphasize the point that the M.C.U. has built enough lore to its own thing now. It can use it’s established relationships from previous films and make films off them with some hints of comic book material. Why is that important? Because there has got to be so many out there going “they didn’t do this comic book related thing the way I like it” and just complaining about it. Iron Man 3 was the start of this, and I liked it even if it was hated, but the Spiderman films took some lessons from that to do what it wants to do. These are not comic book characters on screen in an adaptation kind of way anymore, the Marvel Cinematic Universe had over 20 movies. It has its own lore and its characters now. The universe took comic book beginnings and slowly navigated its own path and I like that fact. It means that everything that comes forward may have the heart and soul of a comic book but go in more creative directions. I would rather the movies do there own thing then being bound by source material. What about you guys?
Oh, and I really enjoyed the movie btw. I don’t think it’s that deep of a movie character wise, but it plays with some interesting themes that need to be covered in the wake of Endgame. Plus, the writing was pretty solid, the action scenes were awesome and everything. Far From Home is also made a little better and a little worse from the end credit sequences. It helps in context and there is some excitement to be had from them, but I can’t help but admit that there was a massive dick move that changes everything in Spider-Man films to come. Peter Parker and the rest of the cast is incredibly likeable, so I hope nothing bad happens to any of them.