Spider-Man: Far From Great

Today is the premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home in Japan, a full week before its theatrical release in the west. Here’s the trailer…

In Japan, it’s rare for Hollywood movies to be released this early. Normally we’ll receive a film far after its premiere date in The States. I’m not sure what sparked the “higher ups” to release this film one week ahead of the rest of the world, but I won’t complain.

Going to the cinema as a foreigner in Japan is a challenge.

Not only do we receive movies late after its stateside release, sometimes it’ll already be available on home video when it finally reach our shores. If you’re wondering why that that’s the case, it’s because Japan has its own entertainment industry. They only import those Hollywood blockbusters that’ll yield large returns.

The Japanese market LOVES Spider-Man.

I think the international appeal of this character is largely due to the fast that Spider-Man wears a body suit. Anybody can wear the mask. Anybody can be Spider-Man.
Tokyo Comic Con is littered with folks in Spider-Man costumes. Not only is it an easy costume to pull off, but its also based on an outstanding character concept.

I have to admit.

Initially, I was not a fan of Spider-Man’s inclusion into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Up until Captain America Civil War, Marvel Studios has successfully transformed obscure characters into top tier earners; they were doing wonders without Spider-Man. In a film franchise dominated by grown men, introducing a teenage hero works as a great contrast; but I stand by my objection to his introduction in that movie.

Set aside powers, Peter Parker isn’t even old enough to join the military.

When Tony Stark traveled to Queens, he used his genius and celebrity status to recruit Peter into his fight against Captain America; effectively bringing a child into grown folks’ business. That’s child endangerment. I don’t care about your head cannon excuse for it, it’s wrong.

The action played out well on screen, but getting there was sloppy.

And then I saw Homecoming. With the mediocre Marc Webb and amazing Sam Raimi films behind it, Spider-Man: Homecoming had a lot to prove.

Homecoming helped me to accept Baby Spidey. The most redeeming quality of the film was Michael Keaton as Vulture. After the movie’s twist, Vulture talks down to Peter in a way that really solidified the danger of Spider-Man being a teenage superhero fighting grown men. He realizes that if he’s serious about his commitment as a crime fighter, then he has to grow up fast. That’s Spider-Man. Despite my not loving the film, much of it is stupid, I give it a ton of respect for trying to do something different with the interpretation of the character on screen.

Of course, Avengers Infinity War and Endgame were amazing. They felt like what should’ve been a series finale to an amazing ten years of fantasy films.

I never liked Tony Stark’s characterization.

But his sacrifice at the end of Endgame solidified his character growth, and they brought it back full circle to his first film. It was perfect.

And then, I saw Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Its not a bad film, you might even love it, but I have one serious issue with the main element of the film.

Spider-Man: Far From Home betrays Tony Stark’s Endgame sacrifice and legacy.

The beginning of the film is really good. You’re made to feel like you’re living in a world that’s still recovering from the effects of Thanos, with Tony Stark is martyred in a way that’s fitting to the character.

Unfortunately, the main conflict of the film is based on Tony Stark posthumously bestowing a significant amount of responsibility on Peter. Which led to our hero making critical mistakes that nearly cost the lives of his friends. Jumping at the first opportunity to relinquish his responsibility and chase his love interest.

Spider-Man has always struggled with his dual identities in other incarnations. That’s okay. But this film only helped to remind me why I never supported his inclusion with Civil War, and Tony Stark’s irresponsible relationship with this minor. Tony Stark sacrifices his life to bring Peter Parker back to life, only to find out he made another dumb ass mistake before said sacrifice.

I know I’m being hyperbolic, but this is my perspective.

If you know anything about Quentin Beck, you know this movie.

Two thirds of the movie was waiting for the twist I already knew was coming, then rolling my eyes at the exposition dump that followed. The film was Ant-Man and the Wasp level basic. It’s a Spider-Man movie that wants to be a euro-trip comedy but fails at being funny. And whack action sprinkled around in the most basic way.

I wanted to love this movie, but I don’t

Last year I saw the best Spider-Man film since Sam Raimi’s Spider-man 2. Into the Spider-Verse was a phenomenal piece of art that focused on a boy learning to be a hero. Learning to take a leap of faith to trust himself and his abilities.

Last point. The Spider-Sense is now The Force. Instead of acting as an autonomic response, it’s portrayed as being an ability that Spider-Man has to focus in order to use effectively. Whatever.

I can go on forever nitpicking other details I disliked about the film, but I’ll leave it there… Just remember, Disney has the cinematic license to nearly all Marvel characters. While some films present strong thematic elements like Black Panther or Captain America Civil War, most will be basic like an Ant-Man or Doctor Strange.

Let’s hope the X-Men will at least get the respect that they deserve.

Comment below and let me know how you felt about Spider-Man Far From Home and your overall feelings about the Marvel comics movies.

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