Spider-Man: Far From Perfect

Griffin Greene

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Spider-Man: Far From Home is the long-awaited sequel to the beloved 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming. Just like Homecoming, Far From Home was directed by Jon Watts, and written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. It stars current teen heartthrob Tom Holland as Spider-Man, and has a large and diverse cast of talented actors and actresses, including Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, and Tony Revolori. 

Spider-Man: Far From Home follows high school student Peter Parker on a school trip to Europe as he deals with the past events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. This film tells a classic Spidey story of Peter Parker just wanting to be a normal kid, but having to give all that up for the greater good. All Peter asks for is to be able to hang up his suit to have a fun vacation alongside his friends, and to finally tell his crush how he really feels about her, but of course that’s not how things are going to play out. Under pressure from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Peter has to team up alongside Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to battle the elementals. Now the question everyone is asking: Does it live up to the fan favorite Spider-Man: Homecoming

The answer to this question, or at least my answer to it, is “sort of”. By no means is this movie bad, I actually believe it’s really good. Certainly better than most blockbusters being released today.  To me however, it almost pales in comparison to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Homecoming felt like a much more personal and genuine story, and it’s an important movie to kids like me entering high school, as it tackles Peter Parker’s constant stress, and how overwhelmed he becomes with all of his tasks- which many kids my age relate with. But while I love Homecoming, there is still plenty of great stuff in Far From Home. 

One of the best parts in Homecoming, which I’d argue is the best part of Far From Home, is the chemistry between the actors, and therefore the relationships between the characters. The dynamic between Peter and Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), his best friend, will never cease to make me smile. Their friendship feels so natural, which is most likely due to the amount of time Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon spent together working on these two Spidey flicks, and how they are such great friends in real life. Both films highlight the fact that having each other’s backs is what really makes a good friendship. 

The chemistry between Peter and MJ (Zendaya) is also perfect. The romance between them is adorable, and there is just enough awkwardness to make it feel like a real high school romance. Not only that, but the two characters seem to really like each other, so the whole movie you just want to see them get together, and when they inevitably do, it is incredibly rewarding. 

Tom Holland is just as good as he was in Homecoming, if not better. He pulls off plenty of different emotions and really shows who Spider-Man should be. He works insanely well with all of his co-stars and he is just flat-out likeable, which is probably the most important thing to get right with the character of Spider-Man. 

I had a problem with the comedic aspect of Far From Home, however. Don’t get me wrong, I thought some scenes and jokes were actually hilarious, but I found myself thinking that the film was overcrowded with comedy. It felt as if every five seconds there was another joke, and a few fell flat. The jokes also never seemed to advance the story. Sometimes the comedy ruined scenes and just made them ridiculous. In Homecoming, Jon Watts let the sweet and emotional moments sit and didn’t put in a joke right after, but in this film the comedy came in too soon. 

I do have a few other complaints. I found the pacing for the first hour to be strange and clunkily edited in some parts, therefore, it didn’t flow well. Another minor issue I have is that the cinematography is nothing to call home about. A lot of the film’s appearance is just standard, with many reverse shots. I would’ve liked for the cinematographer to have been more creative, especially with the beautiful locations, like Venice, that the characters visit. I do have to give credit where credit is due though- the action scenes are shot extremely well, with the camera following Spider-Man’s moves, making us feel like we’re in the action scene webslinging alongside him- and there are a couple of scenes involving illusions that are almost mesmerizing to watch. 

By far my biggest complaint is that I found the stakes in the film to be way too high. It just didn’t feel like personal enough of a story. I really appreciated the grounded (and to a certain degree) realistic plot of Homecoming, because it made us feel that Peter was just a normal kid and only a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man trying to do his best. Bringing in all these crazy, huge action scenes makes it feel as if we’re watching an Avengers movie, and I would have preferred a more Peter Parker level story. Spider-Man should be relatable, he should have relatable issues. Kids like me should look at Peter Parker on the big screen and think, “Wow, he’s struggling in a way this is very similar to the way that I do,” because it just makes us like him and care about him so much more. Homecoming excelled at this, and while Far From Home did well with handling relatable teen issues, social media, the bullies, the crushes, etc., having the stakes be so high can make it feel as if Peter Parker isn’t like us anymore. 

Overall, though, despite the few flaws I mentioned, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a fun film from start to finish. It excels at showing what Spider-Man truly is, and what he should mean to all generations of people. Far From Home shows that Peter Parker isn’t perfect, as no one should be. He’s going to make mistakes, as everyone should. He will be constantly stuck between what he wants and the greater good. This film shows that it’s not easy being a hero, and that’s why there are so many villains. It shows that Spider-Man doesn’t take the easy route, and that we shouldn’t either, because after all the pain of trying your best to be a hero, good will always come out of it, even if it doesn’t seem like it. 

Just like all Spider-Man films, Far From Home makes sure we know what makes Spider-Man, Spider-Man. It’s that after every hit he takes, he still finds a way to get back up.