Spider-Man: Far From Home – SMALL FIRST IMPRESSIONS!

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Spider-Man: Homecoming made a great impression when released back in 2016, and it put the young babyfaced Tom Holland on the map as a worthy web-slinger (not counting his already superb introduction in Civil War, anyway).

Now he returns for his second solo flick, Far From Home, with the added challenge of also having to provide a worthy followup to the events of the landmark Avengers Endgame.

Holland is on top form and at his best here. As a matter of fact, he’s undoubtedly grown into the role that he now perfectly encompasses, being a likable dork but also charismatic, and because of how young he is, as well as not being naturally powerful or coming from a rich background like a lot of the other Marvel folk, he’s perhaps the most relatable of the Avengers lineup.

The supporting cast are quite entertaining, and credit to all the actors for playing their parts well. Jake Gyllenhaal in particular really surprised me as Mysterio, and while a casual Spidey fan, I was still dead happy to see him finally make it into a film. Admittedly, he starts iffy, but as the plot progresses, there’s a significant improvement in the acting.

Speaking of the plot, it has to be one of the best in recent MCU memory. It begins on a basic note, but it escalates as a hefty amount of twists and turns come our way. The action is of the usual Marvel standard, with a number of creative ideas and one awesome sequence pulled off so stylishly that left me in awe.

A swift pace keeps the film rolling, and it’s hilarious too; in fact, a candidate for the funniest MCU movie yet, bare minimum right on par with Thor: Ragnarok and both Guardians pictures. The tone is considerably lighter as a whole, especially in comparison to Endgame, so a heads up there.

They do lend a couple of moments to some good drama, mainly focused on Peter Parker needing to choose between his life and heroics, and the aftermath of…you know what…but while effective, they do feel like they could’ve been fleshed out a lot more, and missed opportunities like that make for a disappointing downfall.

On a similar note, it feels like said aftermath wasn’t taken that seriously in terms of how it affected people across the world, with jokes even being constantly made out of it. and it’s both awkward and a touch undermining, honestly.

But putting those negatives aside, this was otherwise a total off the charts blast that rocks the socks off. The inconsistent serious matters are a nagging issue, but thanks to great characters, jam packed action, a healthy helping of comedy and no shortage of shocking spins – OMG! THAT MID CREDITS SCENE, BY THE WAY!! – this satisfied, and certified Spider-Man as one of the big boys for this new intriguing era in the Marvel saga.

EKFR | The Greatest Showman

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THE BASIC GIST

A glamorous musical (very loosely) based around the life and times of P.T. Barnum and the development of his freak show-turned-mainstream touring circus.


PRO

  • While overplayed, a phenomenal soundtrack loaded with cracker after cracker; Other Side the undisputed highlight, personally trumping This Is Me.
  • Rebecca Ferguson’s goosebump-level vocal performance in Never Be Enough
  • Through-the-roof production values, with a huge size and scale, cool sets and lots of colour, brought to life by marvellous, flowing cinematography
  • Impressively slick dance sequences
  • A consistent on-the-go pace leaves little room for dull moments

CON

  • While the acting is overall solid, the characters are generic and for the most part totally forgettable
  • Not exactly historically accurate. P.T. Barnum was less an inspiring, generous gentleman and more a big meanie in reality…
  • The plot is a standard one with heaps of cliches thrown in and such an obvious predictability that it’s easy to quickly figure out what’s going to happen.

OVERALL…

A hell of a mixed bag here. It’s clear a tonne of effort and passion was put behind it, and the final results speak for themselves through the visuals and the music, but it’s dragged down by a meh cast of characters and a bluntly by-the-numbers story.

At the end of the day, it’s glorious style over average substance. Admirable eye and ear candy, but not much else.


“Men suffer more from imagining too little than too much.”