The Science with Spider-Man, Far From Home and My Wishlist with the MCU

7 Jul

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Spoiler Alert

Spider-man: Far From Home is an action-packed fun-filled ride that’s less about being an epilogue to Avengers Endgame and more about Peter Parker (Tom Holland) growing up. The explanations of those returning from nothing gets explained very conveniently and felt more like a tacked on response.

At the same time, this movie also very similar to the first one as Petey leaves New York to stay with the decathlon team when trouble keeps on showing up–whether he likes it or not! (and also tries to get used to new Spidey suits)

Just who disappeared in the main and supporting cast of Sony’s Spider-Man universe show no trauma of being displaced. We know from the main Marvel Cinematic Universe films that people were emotionally affected by the sudden disappearances. The discourse in Far From Home went by too fast before jumping into a story about a small group of high school students going on summer vacation.

As constant reminders of Iron Man are nearly everywhere Peter Parker goes, the trauma has not really hit him. Ned (Jacob Batalon) continues to be the comic relief, Flash (Tony Revolori) is a thorn on Parker’s side and MJ (Zendaya) continues to be as moody as ever. “Happy” (Jon Favreau) has more of a role in this work, and he functions more like a liaison between the Parkers and S.H.I.E.L.D.

When the original Avengers have gone their separate ways after the events of the last movie, the world is without heroes. Just how much they know about the big battle between them and Thanos–who snapped half the universe out of existence–is still relatively unknown. For some people, they chalk it off as a blip, like Einstein’s theory of relativity had something to do with the sudden disappearances instead of knowing a big mean despot had other ideas. To know the latter would cause massive anarchy and fear in the streets.

Since the world knows superheroes exist, the basic populace can live comfortably. To not have anyone now, a touch of worry exists.

The wall-crawler in his Iron Spidey suit is in the running of being the next Iron Man, but Nick Fury doesn’t think he ready yet. When Mysterio from “an alternate Earth” arrives to save this dimension from Elemental forces bent on destroying planets for no particular reason, getting more heroes to help means no one is assembling anytime soon. The bulk of the film continues in its own little universe and makes amusing nods to previous interpretations. From the original comics, the glasses Pete wears are just as dorky. From Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, the fire beast in the intro is used. Director Jon Watts confidently piles on top some good Easter Eggs for those long-time followers of the web-head to find.

The only time we know Sony’s films are part of the greater whole. As Pete juggles being a hero and teenager, the only other thing which dogs him is with where his heart lays. Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) needs a hero. Instead, we see a teenager still struggling with life and trying to get the girl. This story element has always been true of how Stan Lee envisioned this character, and it helps make part two better than the first film. Parallels to Superman is made. MJ has the same level of smarminess as Lois in the films. Even both realize that when the superhero appears, that dorky kid or reporter is strangely missing.

Though with this narrative, the highlight is in realizing Mysterio with all the high budget Hollywood style big budget pageantry expected. Anyone who knows this character expects him to be a villain. He uses practical special effects and illusions to trick everyone into believing his powers and the monsters are real. The result is pure comic book joy. The big moments are taken right from the books and various Spider-Man cartoons and they were wildly imaginative. I’m surprised he does not have hard light technology from Red Dwarf to make the illusion even more real. With a mix of smoke, light, and mirrors, all those hologram images define the augmented reality moments that I wish those smartphone games can imitate.

The only problem is that Mysterio has to program those illusions in advance–leaving a few moments of the battle and ‘kidnapping MJ’ implausible. His version of the Iron Man armour (without nanites to alter his costume) is nothing more than a motion-capture suit so the camera that is looking at him can mimic his actions elsewhere. Some suspension of disbelief is needed to understand how Magneto put two and two together. He’s not fully aware of Pete’s interest in M.J. and that pre-programmed moment of him with her made little sense. Another fail is with his growing arrogance of how perfect his technology is.

As much as I like to see Kraven the Hunter be in this cinematic universe, it may not work when considering the huge cliffhanger. Just when fans thought Avengers: Infinity War pièce de résistance was terrible and made us wait for part two, the creative minds with Spider-Man, Far From Home upped the ante.

I’m honestly more excited for part three of this Spider saga more than phase four of the MCU. The main reason is the lineup of films to come. Some of the new characters to be introduced are third tier level characters, and all I want to see is Black Panther and Doctor Strange back in action!

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