‘SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The ‘MCU’ Spider-Man with Mysterio and…Nick Fury(?!)
Watch the short film ‘Peter’s To-Do List’ on the DVD/Blu-ray before watching this movie!
In the summer of 2019, I saw the movie ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ at the cinema. I saw it twice at the cinema. I saw it at my local Showcase Cinema in Nantgarw in July and I saw it at an ODEON cinema next to the Braehead Arena before I went to the ‘Film & Comic Con Glasgow’ that August. 😀
Over the years, I’ve seen three different live-action versions of Spider-Man on the big screen. As I’m a huge Spider-Man fan since the days of the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi era, I’ve enjoyed the films with varying measures of quality. Although I don’t rate the latest films so highly, I’m glad I saw them.
The latest version of Spider-Man in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’ has had a huge following and dedication. Audiences and critics have raved about the latest ‘Spider-Man’ films with Tom Holland at the cinemas, giving them positive reviews. Some say ‘Far From Home’ is a ‘fun and satisfying sequel’.
Many have praised the actors and the action scenes featured in the film. But, and I’m afraid I have to say this, I don’t find the ‘MCU’ version of Spider-Man to be a faithful adaption of the original comic book hero by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. Or at least…not in the way people have made him out to be.
I did enjoy ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ twice at the cinema in a strange way, but I couldn’t help feel that the film was underwhelming. I know people praise ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ highly, and if you love the films, that’s fine. I won’t hold that against you here.
But the ‘MCU’ version of Spider-Man just doesn’t sit well with me in terms of how I perceive the character. That’s due to the creative choices made by Marvel Studios and Sony, and how Spider-Man is hampered by a lot of ‘MCU’ elements. I will try my best to explain why I feel like this in the review.
I didn’t purchase ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ when it came out on DVD/Blu-ray at November time in 2019 after it was shown at the cinemas in July 2019. I had it given to me by my parents as part of the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Three: Part Two’ Blu-ray box set for Christmas 2019.
‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ of course stars Tom Holland as the main character. The film was directed by Jon Watts, who previously directed ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. The film also has Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal starring in it. 😀
The movie takes place after the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ where Tony Stark/Iron Man died. There’s a memorial given at the film’s start, which is dedicated to Tony Stark, Steve Rogers/Captain America, Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow and Vision, and it’s being broadcast at Peter’s high school.
Honestly, unless you saw ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ before this movie, I’m sure there are many people who went into this movie and got confused about what was going on and what had occurred in previous films. More emphasis is on ‘MCU’ stuff than on Spider-Man stuff.
Also, on a side note, it’s argued that Tony Stark was meant to be a parental figure as well as a mentor for Peter during ‘Homecoming’ instead of Uncle Ben. This…does not work for me. Tony Stark wasn’t ideal as a parental figure. It makes the film less of a faithful adaptation of the original comics.
Uncle Ben is supposed to be the parental figure for Peter Parker. We haven’t even had a mention of Uncle Ben in these movies and why Peter Parker is doing this Spider-Man stuff, apart from the initials on Uncle Ben’s suitcase. 😦 In fact, which words of wisdom do you think is better? Uncle Ben’s:
Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Or Tony Stark’s:
Tony Stark: “If you’re nothing without the suit, then you shouldn’t have it.”
If you’re like me and more the traditional Spider-Man fan, you’re bound to go for Uncle Ben’s words of wisdom than the modern version’s. Even ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ did it right by saying “With great power comes great responsibility!” in their film! And that’s a CGI animated movie! CGI!!!
Anyway, the film has Peter Parker on a school trip around Europe with his friends. And there is way too much comedy in the first 20 minutes! Seriously, I’m alright for comedy, but it’s got to be balanced out by solid drama. Many of the characters in this movie come across as idiots and morons.
This includes the two teachers – Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington and J. B. Smoove as Mr. Dell – who are meant to be looking after the school kids on their school trip. Where did these two teachers get their degrees from? I’m sure I wouldn’t want to have them looking after me if I was on a school trip!
Peter Parker soon gets recruited by Nick Fury to stop some elemental forces in the forms of Sandman, Hydro-Man and Molten Man. (Seriously?! Although they have been in the ‘Spider-Man’ comics) He teams up with Quentin Beck/Mysterio, who ends up becoming one of Spider-Man’s foes.
I’ll get into Mysterio more as we progress later on in the review. Suffice to say, I found there were several stupid moments to be found in this film. I actually find the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game more believable as a ‘Spider-Man’ story compared to how the ‘MCU’ movies are doing their ‘Spidey’ tales.
To be fair though, Tom Holland is still a good actor to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I still like his interpretation of the character and the performances he gives in these movies are good. Even his acrobatic style manages to impress me. It’s just the scripts he gets given don’t do him any favours. 😦
I wish I could see Tom Holland in a ‘Spider-Man’ film that had more emotional depth to it as well as not feeling flat throughout. I struggled to feel any emotional depth with the characters in this film, which is a pity, since I don’t feel Tom Holland is given enough ammunition to enhance his character.
This is especially when it isn’t explored why he decided to become Spider-Man because of his Uncle Ben. Even a flashback to when Peter/Spidey lost his uncle would’ve done its job for me. The balance of Peter being on his school trip and him wishing to be with his friends and not fight crime is uneven.
Samuel L. Jackson stars as Nick Fury in the film. He’s the ‘MCU’s representative instead of Tony Stark, since Tony died in ‘Endgame’. It’s interesting how Nick Fury interacts with Peter/Spidey. Fury does seem to rely on Spidey to help in this ‘elemental’ business during Peter’s school trip across Europe. 😐
Mind you, Fury could’ve relied upon any other Avenger to sort this business out as well as Spidey! Fury keeps telling Peter/Spidey to ‘step up’ and be more than just a ‘friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man’. Even though we haven’t really seen enough of him as a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man! 😦
I do think that Fury can be quite hard on Peter/Spidey, especially when Peter tries his best to help out with sorting the ‘elementals’ in Prague. Mind you, Fury’s motives can be questionable, especially when it turns out that he’s not Fury at all in the movie, but we’ll get to that at the end of this review.
Nick Fury provides Spidey with a black stealth suit. This ends up with Spidey earning the name ‘Night Monkey’. The black Spidey stealth suit I don’t mind so much, though I prefer the black alien Spidey costume more. With that said, I’m not keen on a Tom Holland Spidey/Tom Hardy Venom crossover.
Actually, here’s an interesting fun fact. When I read ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ comics as a teen, I was introduced to Nick Fury who looked like the Samuel L. Jackson version in the ‘MCU’ films. It’s nice to see that come full circle with Peter Parker actually getting to meet Nick Fury in this ‘Spidey’ movie. 🙂
The film also features Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, Angourie Rice as Betty Brant and Zendaya as Michelle…and yes, she is ‘Michelle’ in these movies! Not MJ! I don’t care what the movie says! If you’re going to nickname her ‘MJ’, at least call her ‘Mary Jane Watson’!
You can change the hair colour and the nationality of the character, but just giving her the nickname doesn’t quickly make her the same character! Heck, they should’ve called her ‘Mary’ first in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ before it was revealed to the audience that she was Mary Jane Watson all along.
But yeah, in the film, Peter and Michelle get to be a romantic couple! (wryly) Yes, it’s nice to see this poorly developed romantic relationship between these two characters in the course of two films. Like seriously, I get it. Peter needs to have a romantic relationship with someone during these films.
But honestly, I was rooting more for Peter and Liz Allan in the first ‘MCU Spider-Man’ film. Which, wasn’t that the point of the first film? Michelle wasn’t even a love interest for Peter in that, so why should she be a love interest here? Wouldn’t it have made sense for Peter to be with Betty Brant? 😐
She’s in this movie and instead she’s dating Ned, Peter’s best friend. Although that is faithful to the original comics! Yeah, in the comics, Betty Brant and Ned Leeds did fall in love with each other and they eventually got married. But even here in this film, Ned and Betty’s romance feels rather forced.
It was also uncomfortable, not set up well and it was utilised for comic relief instead. Even Peter had looks of “What are you two doing?” when he saw Ned and Betty together. Honestly, I was like that when I saw this film! Why couldn’t they have a presented a proper romance for the two characters?
But hey, I’m sure something can be gained from Peter and Michelle’s relationship when they’re taking an interest in each other. Like when Michelle works out Peter Parker is actually Spider-Man. 😐
Peter: “MJ, I…”
Michelle: “I’m Spider-Man.”
Michelle: “That’s what you’re gonna say that you’re Spider-Man.”
Peter: “No. I’m not Spider-Man.”
Michelle: “I mean I’ve been watching you for like a while now. It’s kind of obvious.”
(confused) Really? Was it that obvious? I didn’t pick up that you were noticing Peter was Spider-Man when I saw you in the first and second ‘MCU Spider-Man’ movies – What the heck?! I honestly don’t feel the emotional connection between Peter and Michelle in these films and it does feel rather flat.
I was able to get into the relationship between Peter and Mary Jane in the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy because it was stemmed from childhood and Peter had a crush on MJ before it blossomed into something good. MJ fell in love with Peter and was willing to risk having a relationship with him.
This was despite him being Spider-Man by the time ‘Spider-Man 2’ ended. Yes, there were flaws in their relationship, especially by the time we got to ‘Spider-Man 3’, but honestly I found that believable and real to watch. I was rooting for Peter and MJ to be together throughout the trilogy. 🙂
It wasn’t the same with Peter and Gwen’s relationship in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ movies, but I was able to feel something from that relationship in the chemistry Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone had, both on-screen and behind-the-scenes when they were dating each other at the time. I did feel it!
But now we have Peter and Michelle and their relationship…is not well-handled in my opinion. I don’t know what Peter sees in Michelle, as it’s not well-established. Quite frankly, Michelle’s attitude is rather off-putting in being rude and being a know-it-all, making her less an ideal romantic partner.
Mind you, I can see what the filmmakers were going for in this romance. In the first movie, Michelle was meant to be observing Peter’s actions. But to me, that didn’t come across as taking a romantic interest in Peter. On the contrary, it came across as if Michelle was mocking Peter during detention.
What’s supposed to happen is that Michelle was watching what Peter did when he went off unannounced and suited up to become Spider-Man to take on his superhero duties. I think it would have worked a lot better if Michelle was sweeter and she had less the anti-social problem about her.
It also would’ve worked if Michelle actually saw Peter don the Spider-Man outfit rather just figuring it out on the off-chance that he is Spidey. I like the idea behind this romance, but it just comes across as flat, poorly worked-out, awkward, uncomfortable, and not having enough emotional depth to it. 😦
In fact, let’s do a little comparison. In ‘Spider-Man 2’, Mary Jane’s reaction to Peter as Spidey towards the end of the film is one of joy and relief. I felt the emotional weight of that scene. It had been well built-up with MJ wanting Peter to confirm that he is Spidey and admit his feelings to her. 🙂
It wasn’t the same in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ when Gwen found out Peter was Spidey once he pulled her in for a kiss with his web-shooters, but the reaction Gwen gave was “Oh, I’m in trouble!” That at least felt believable, especially when her father George Stacy was out hunting for Spider-Man.
But here with Michelle, when she figures out Peter is Spidey, she says, “It’s kind of obvious.” That ruined and spoiled the surprise when we’re meant to feel an emotional connection between these two. I know audiences rate the ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films highly, but I feel the original films are better!
Cobie Smulders stars as Maria Hill, Nick Fury’s assistant. Now interestingly, Maria Hill has been in several ‘MCU’ movies over the years. These movies include ‘Avengers Assemble’, ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and…‘Avengers: Endgame’. 😀
I’ve also seen Maria Hill at the ‘Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N.’ experience in Cardiff. It’s interesting how she’s in this ‘Spider-Man’ film with Nick Fury, even though she’s Nick Fury’s right-hand woman. I can’t help but feel though that Maria Hill is quite wasted as a character in this ‘Spider-Man’ movie. 😦
I mean, she doesn’t have much interaction with Peter/Spidey and the only standout moment for her that I can think of is when she rescued Fury from a robot drone about to attack him in London. Mind you, like Fury, Hill isn’t what she appears either, and I will explain by the time this review has ended. 🙂
There’s also Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. Jon Favreau has come a long way from being the director of ‘Elf’ and appearing in the 2003 ‘Daredevil’ movie. He’s contributed hugely to the ‘MCU’ film series, what with directing the first two ‘Iron Man’ movies as well as playing Happy Hogan in certain films. 🙂
In this film, Happy looks after Peter following the death of his former employer Tony Stark. I did like that scene between Peter and Happy Hogan where they were talking about Tony Stark and how Happy encourages Peter not to give up being a superhero. Quite a contrast to the first film, isn’t it? 🙂
In the first ‘MCU Spider-Man’ film, Happy was rather dismissive and sceptical of Peter’s abilities as Spidey. Here, Happy is more understanding and he’s willing to help Peter when he goes out to stop Mysterio. Happy’s relationship with Aunt May however…I find that pretty debatable to say the least.
Speaking of which, Marisa Tomei returns as Aunt May! And yeah, Aunt May and Happy seem to be seeing each other in the film! Seriously, I was like Peter. What was going on between these two? Again, this was all played for laughs and there isn’t a mention about Uncle Ben by Aunt May either. 😦
I don’t find the ‘MCU’ version of Aunt May to be as good as the other versions of Aunt May in the other ‘Spider-Man’ films such as Rosemary Harris and Sally Field. I mean, all Marisa Tomei as Aunt May did was put Spider-Man’s suit in Peter’s suitcase and that’s it, which even then is quite awkward indeed.
Especially when there’s a posit note attached to the suit. But a security lady doesn’t seem to be surprised by Peter’s Spidey suit in the suitcase. She was more concerned about the banana he had, which, I didn’t get. Why would the security lady be ‘no banana’? Is it because bananas look like guns?
Wouldn’t it have been funnier for Peter to make some excuse to the security lady and say that the Spider-Man suit was for fancy dress or something? That would’ve been funnier instead of a banana not being allowed at an airport or on a plane. At least, I would’ve found it funny to watch in the film.
The supporting characters like Michelle and Ned aren’t in the same league of characters like Mary Jane, Harry Osborn and Gwen from other movie eras. I wish there were more Spidey-orientated elements in these moves and less ‘MCU’ ones. Perhaps that’ll happen in future ‘Spider-Man’ movies.
And now let’s talk about Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck/Mysterio. I wish I could say Mysterio is a very impressive villain in the film, especially with the domed head. But quite frankly, I found Mysterio’s motives as a villain rather petty. I feel that more effort should’ve been put into Mysterio.
You see, in the original comics, Mysterio was a special effects man for the movies and he lost his job because of Spider-Man exposing him. Now, that would’ve been fine, if the filmmakers incorporated that well into the story. But here, that’s not what happens. In fact, it’s lamely handled in my opinion.
When Mysterio is introduced, he’s seen as a hero and he gets to work with Spidey, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. Also, he’s introduced as someone from an alternative dimension. A multiverse in fact! Ah! Does this mean we’re going to traverse across many dimensions and meet other Spider-Men? 😀
You know, like in ‘Spider-Verse’? Oh! No, we’re not. Uh! That’s disappointing. Okay, to be fair, I actually don’t mind Mysterio being introduced as a good guy first before he’s revealed as the villain. I also would have enjoyed it if Mysterio was from an alternative dimension to get revenge on Spidey. 🙂
But that doesn’t happen, as most of the movie builds up to the scene I absolutely hate – and yes, I’m aware I used the word ‘hate’ – Peter giving the glasses that Tony Stark gave him…to Quentin Beck. This is because Peter doesn’t want the responsibility Tony Stark gave him to be the next Iron Man. 😦
Now for one thing, this does feel like a rather stupid thing for Peter to do on his part. Even Peter admits it later on. Secondly, Peter doesn’t even know Quentin Beck that well. Why should he trust Quentin Beck to give him the glasses that Tony Stark gave him. It does feel weakly thought-out here.
I mean, yeah Quentin Beck was nice to Peter. So what? Peter barely knew Beck for a small amount of time. What makes him so trustworthy? Beck could be hiding his past whether it’d be a former special effects man or a former Tony Stark employee…Oh no! That’s what he’s revealed to be here, isn’t it?!
Quentin Beck/Mysterio: “See, that wasn’t so hard.”
Tim covers his face with his hands and screams, annoyed.
That’s right. In this film, Mysterio is getting revenge on Tony Stark, after falling out with him during his employment to him at Stark Industries. He also leads a team of disgruntled ex-Stark employees, using advanced robot drones to create the ‘elemental’ attacks and he’s masquerading as the hero.
You know, it’s becoming very clear why these ‘MCU Spider-Man’ movies don’t work for me compared to other movie versions of ‘Spider-Man’. Tony Stark makes his mark in every film he’s in. And he’s supposed to be dead by this point! This is a ‘Spider-Man’ movie! Not an ‘Iron Man’ movie!!!
Yes, it’s sad that Tony’s dead, but can we move on please? I’d like to see Spider-Man villains like the Green Goblin or Doc Ock who want to fight Spider-Man because he’s threat to their plans. Not because they want to get revenge back on Tony Stark when they worked for him at his company. 😡
I’m more inclined to go with the ‘Spider-Man’ 1990s animated series episode ‘The Menace of Mysterio’ and take that more seriously compared to this movie’s depiction of the villain. At least, the comic book origins for the character are done right in the animated episode as opposed to this live-action movie. 😦
In fact, I find the 1990s animated TV series, the original Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi film trilogy and the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game more faithful as comic book adaptations of ‘Spider-Man’ than the latest movie versions I’ve seen. They’re my personal preferences of what Spider-Man is meant to be like! 🙂
It would be nice to see Harry Osborn, Oscorp and villains like Doc Ock and the Green Goblin in this movie era of ‘Spider-Man’. I actually find Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and yes…even Michael Keaton’s Vulture more impressive as Spidey villains than Mysterio is in this film.
Mind you, I will say this. The illusion fight between Spidey and Mysterio was very tense and scary to watch on the big screen. This is especially when Mysterio is trying to get information out of Spidey, which could jeopardise the lives of his friends. The psychology of that fight scene is so well-handled.
In fact, most of the action scenes are decently well-handled in the film. That’s probably why audiences like these movies. But honestly, I felt underwhelmed by the action scenes and I didn’t go “WOW!!!” like I should’ve. It was all ‘flash-bang-wallop’ like my Dad said. I wasn’t emotionally invested. 😦
I found the action scenes in the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi movies more intense compared to the ‘MCU’ films, as I was feeling emotionally invested with the characters. I wasn’t feeling the emotional connection with the characters as I should’ve felt in the ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films, which is a shame. 😦
Once again, the Spider-Man suits are underwhelming in terms of being technologically-advanced. Even Tom Holland’s Spidey constructs a new Spidey suit, using technology aboard Happy’s aircraft. Again, I shouldn’t repeat this, but Tom Holland should just be Spider-Man. Not the next new Iron Man!!!
It felt real to me when Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield constructed their Spidey-suits, as they were handmade and not techno-advanced. The Spidey suits look impressive in the ‘MCU’ films, like the Iron Spider suit, but they don’t feel down-to-earth to me, which is what Spider-Man should be. 😦
The Blu-ray special features of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ are as follows. There’s the ‘Peter’s To-Do List’ short film, which should be seen before the movie. There’s a gag reel and outtakes, deleted and alternative scenes, ‘Teachers’ Travel Tips’, ‘The Jump Off’, ‘Stepping Up’, ‘Suit Up’, ‘Now You See Me’, ‘Far, Far, Far From Home’, ‘It Takes Two’, ‘Fury & Hill’, ‘The Ginter-Riva Effect’, ‘Thank You, Mrs. Parker’, ‘Stealthy Easter Eggs’, ‘The Brothers Trust’ and ‘Select Scene Pre-Vis’. There are also previews for ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ and the ‘Alex Rider’ TV series with Otto Farrant.
On the ‘Marvel Studios Cinematic Universe – Phase Three: Part Two’ Blu-ray box set, there’s a bonus disc, which contains extras for other movies. This includes ‘Come to Wakanda – Before’ and ‘Come to Wakanda – After’ for ‘Black Panther’, the directors’ roundtable for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, ’10 Years of Marvel Studios: The Art of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’ and ‘Online Close-Up Magic University’ for ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’, ‘What Makes a Memory: Inside the Mind Frack’ for ‘Captain Marvel’, and ‘Journey into Visual Effects with Victoria Alonso’ and ‘Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance’ for ‘Avengers: Endgame’.
I’m sorry I can’t praise ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ as highly as others can. It’s okay as a superhero flick and it was nice for my parents and me to have a night out, unwind and watch this film at the cinema in July 2019. I enjoyed seeing it again before I saw Sarah Sutton in Glasgow in August 2019. 🙂
But the ‘MCU’ version of Spider-Man is not my version of Spider-Man. With so many creative choices made to incorporate this version of Spider-Man into the ‘MCU’, I found it less thrilling and it’s not as good as the other film versions I’ve seen. It will always be the original ‘Spider-Man’ movie era for me.
Tom Holland is still a great actor and I like his performances as Peter/Spidey. I actually find ‘Homecoming’ to be better than ‘Far From Home’, since it was a film that did see Peter/Spidey learn his responsibility to some degree, even though he was living up to be like Tony Stark in that movie. 😐
In the end, these ‘MCU Spider-Man’ movies fall flat for me. It seems to be style over substance and the tone is uneven. I’m baffled as to why people prefer the latest versions of Spidey than the original. Maybe it’ll be better by the time we get to third ‘MCU Spidey’ film, but I somehow doubt it.
There was a good thing that came out of this movie. In the mid-credits sequence, there’s a special cameo of…J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson! WOW!!! I was right! No-one can replace J. K. Simmons as Jameson! He’s the best actor to play him! Hopefully something good will come out of that cameo!
Now, if only they could do a film where Tobey Maguire’s Spidey, Andrew Garfield’s Spidey and Tom Holland’s Spidey met each other! I would like to see that happen! It’d be amazing! I’m actually considering writing a ‘Doctor Who Meets Spider-Man’ story someday. I’ll have to work on that one. 🙂
There’s also a post-credits scene where Nick Fury and Maria Hill are revealed to be the two Skrulls, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos and Sharon Blynn as Soren, from the ‘Captain Marvel’ film. The real Nick Fury is on holiday and commanding a Skull spaceship. I wonder what’s happening with that. Hmm! 😐
‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ rating – 4/10
THE FUTURE OF SPIDER-MAN AND THE MCU
This article was originally posted on the 23rd of August 2019. Some of the points made are still relevant today.
(downhearted) Hello everyone. 😦
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley.
Sorry if I seem currently dejected but…did you hear about the latest news regarding Spider-Man being taken out of the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’? (Pause) All because of a fallout between certain studios that can’t reach a deal to make the next ‘Spider-Man’ movie? (Pause) WHAT’S GOING ON?!!!
I have made it clear in my reviews for both ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ that I’m not a fan of the ‘MCU’ version of Spider-Man. This is due to the creative choices made in terms of incorporating Spidey into the ‘MCU’ as they make his movies less ‘Spider-Man’-orientated.
But with that said, I have enjoyed these latest ‘Spider-Man’ movies. They’re not faithful adaptations of the original ‘Spider-Man’ comics in my opinion, but for what it’s worth, they have been entertaining. I’ve enjoyed watching these movies at the cinema and on DVD, despite noticing various flaws in them.
And clearly fans and audiences have warmed to these ‘Spider-Man’ movies lately, as they’re outraged by the decision made to take the webslinging superhero out of the ‘MCU’. Despite me not being a fan of the ‘MCU’ Spider-Man, I wouldn’t wish it for these films to stop, as they have been pretty enjoyable.
Even though, I’ll always regard Tobey Maguire’s era as the best era of ‘Spider-Man’, I do like Tom Holland as the webslinger. It seems a shame Tom Holland’s era might be short-lived, even if Sony are still making a ‘Spidey’ film with him in it. This is despite the ‘MCU’ elements that created his version of Spidey.
It does boggle me that companies like Sony, Disney and Marvel Studios would fall out with each other over a dispute regarding who shares the profits once these movies make money. Bear in mind though, I’m not sure I totally comprehend the financial situation, as it does seem complicated from where I am.
But this is what I’ve been able to gather. Sony seems to want more of the profits compared to Marvel Studios. Marvel Studios doesn’t seem to be willing to agree to Sony’s deal. Thus, Sony have taken Spider-Man out of the ‘MCU’. They’ll still make live-action ‘Spidey’ films but without Marvel Studios’ input.
I’ve also picked up that Disney is somewhat responsible in the dispute between Sony and Marvel Studios not reaching a deal to make a ‘Spider-Man’ movie together because of their money-making agenda. But then again, I could have my wires crossed about this and misunderstood the situation.
Whatever the case, there’s clearly disagreement on all sides behind-the-scenes between studios in terms of creative control and in terms of the money-making being made. This is a shame, considering that the latest films for the ‘MCU’ series have achieved certain box office records this year.
Think about it! Both ‘Avengers: Endgame’ and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ have been huge in terms of making money. Despite the issues I have regarding storytelling and character development in these movies, they’ve made an astounding profit. A pity that Sony and Disney don’t see the benefits of that.
Again, I might be misconstruing this. But it seems to me that Sony and Disney don’t have their heads screwed on in terms of maintaining a stable working relationship to make these ‘Spider-Man’ movies in partnership with each other. They seem to be seeking the money-making first over everything else.
And yes, I know a business needs to make money. That seems to be the sad reality of life nowadays. But again, it’s a shame that certain companies can’t see eye-to-eye with each other when they make a product in partnership with each other. There seems to be a lot of politicking going on in this regard.
Mind you, there has been this problem regarding ‘Spider-Man’ being made into movies over the years since the first ‘Spider-Man’ movie was made in 2002 by Sam Raimi. Spider-Man is currently owned by Sony, since Columbia Pictures acquired the film rights for the Marvel superhero character back in 1997.
Thus, whenever a ‘Spider-Man’ movie gets made, Sony has to be the company to distribute and finance it, whether Marvel Studios and Disney are involved or not. Sony has had a reputation over the years in terms of making movies. Now whether you view it as a good or bad reputation, that’s really up to you.
But when Sony makes movies of certain properties, say like the Smurfs or the Angry Birds, they make a ton of money out of them. This is despite the fact that those movies don’t entirely agree with everyone else watching them. That’s truly the case with the ‘Peter Rabbit’ film that was released last year.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like the ‘Peter Rabbit’ movie a lot and I’m currently looking forward to the sequel next year. But the point I’m trying to make here is that Sony seems to depend on the money-making aspects of movies as opposed to how audiences and critics give varying reviews on those films.
It’s astonishing then that Sony seems to be greedy on getting most of the profits from the ‘Spider-Man’ movies with Marvel Studios’ input whereas they could easily make more ‘Spider-Man’ movies without Marvel Studios’ involvement too. I mean, they released a ‘Spider-Man’ film already last Christmas.
Yeah! Remember that one? ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’! How did that film turn out? It was a box office success! They’re even making a sequel to the CGI animated movie! The possibilities for more ‘Spider-Man’ movies without Marvel Studios’ involvement are endless. The potential is there, is it not?
Sony can still make a ‘Spider-Man’ movie without Marvel Studios whilst also working with them to make ‘MCU’ movies with Spider-Man in them at the same time. It’s no big deal. They can still make both Marvel Studios-related and non Marvel Studios-related ‘Spider-Man’ films in order to make a profit.
I mean, look at ‘Venom’…um, yeah, okay. Well, we all know how that turned out. That’s a pretty bad example, even though it made a ton of money and is getting a sequel for some odd reason. Seriously that was an awful movie! But the point still stands. Non-‘MCU’ movies with ‘Spider-Man’ are possible!
Sony doesn’t have to be greedy to get more of the profits compared to how Marvel Studios are doing with getting the money for their ‘MCU’ movies. With that said, Disney is no better. Like Sony, Disney is a notorious movie-making company that currently seems to be seeking profit rather than substance.
As indicated in my ‘Aladdin’ (2019) review, Disney seems lately to be dependent on making movies that make a lot of profit. This includes live-action remakes and CGI-animated films whether they’d be Pixar or not. They also own Marvel Studios, 20th Century Fox and ‘Star Wars’. Those properties weren’t originally theirs.
Nevertheless, Disney owns them and seems to be making a lot of money out of the movies being made by those properties. This can be viewed as a good or a bad thing. And seeing how ‘Last Jedi’ turned out dividing ‘Star Wars’ fans against each other, Disney’s reputation has become tainted nowadays.
That doesn’t seem to worry Disney though, because as long as the films they distribute keep making money, then they’re happy. They’ll keep making more films to make money despite the varying reception on the movies they make. That’s how bad things have become in terms of how movies are being made.
And it seems that the ‘MCU’ is going in the same direction. The movies being made and the money they make means that Disney and Marvel Studios will keep making them to make more money. I mean, look out Phase 4 is turning out. We have five ‘MCU’ films to look forward to in the next couple of years.
It also seems that Phases 5 and 6 are being conceived in advance with new versions of the Fantastic Four and the X-Men featuring in their own ‘MCU’ movies. Even a third ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movie is being made. This is despite the fact that we don’t know whether we’re going to like these new films.
This brings me onto something I’ve wanted to address for a long time. And I know lots of people won’t agree with me on this viewpoint, as they like the ‘MCU’ so much. But hear me out here! (Pause) Marvel Studios needs to stop making movies! And I don’t mean indefinitely. I just mean for a short while here.
We have been getting too many superhero movies lately, which isn’t always a good thing. Back in the days when the ‘MCU’ was in Phases 1 and 2, we had two movies per year. Nowadays, we’ve been getting three per year. The quality of storytelling and characters in the recent ‘MCU’ films has varied.
I know we’ll be having two movies for 2020, but we’ll be going back to three movies again per year for 2021. I’m concerned about the quality we’ve been getting in these ‘MCU’ films. They have varied in terms of the tone and the pacing. ‘MCU’ films are rather hit and miss for me nowadays, which shouldn’t be the case.
On the plus side, I do find the ‘Captain America’ movies to be epic and excellent films. I found ‘Black Panther’ to be quite epic. But there are ‘MCU’ movies where the tone tends to be overly comedic. This is the case for films like ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and the two ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films made recently.
I raise these concerns because if the ‘MCU’ movies are going to go into more comedic territory rather than actual character drama, it’s likely people will lose interest and become sick of these films. This is particularly the case with certain ‘MCU’ characters now gone and people having grown to love them.
I’m especially talking about Steve Rogers/Captain America who’s now old and likely to die as well as Tony Stark/Iron Man who’s now dead. There’s also the Hulk who…has gone on a totally downhill route in ‘Avengers: Endgame’…as well as Thor…who is also in the same manner as Hulk in comedic territory.
Okay, look. I could be wrong about this. Maybe the next ‘Black Widow’ movie will be very good in 2020. Maybe I’ll like the second ‘Doctor Strange’ film. Perhaps the ‘Eternals’ films will be an interesting new set of superheroes when they arrive in their own movie. Maybe ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’…yeah, well…
I’m not sure what to make of that movie yet. Perhaps it’ll be good with Natalie Portman in the Thor role. Though considering Taika Waititi is directing the movie, it’s probably going to end up like ‘Thor: Ragnarok’, isn’t it? But the point stands, Marvel Studios needs to have a rest from making ‘MCU’ films.
If Marvel Studios keeps on making ‘MCU’ movies every year, they’re going to lose creditability in terms of tones and pacing. The reason I love the original ‘Spider-Man’ movies by Sam Raimi is because they were believable in terms of character and drama. The latest ‘MCU’ films don’t have that same quality.
Going back to Spider-Man, there seems to be some dispute about whether Sony, Disney and Marvel Studios will re-negotiate and come up with a better deal to please the fans. I don’t know what’s in future for Spider-Man in the movies. I’m saddened and disappointed of course, but I’m trying not to worry.
I would like to see a future ‘Spider-Man’ movie with Tom Holland. Whether it’ll be set in the ‘MCU’ or not, I don’t know. But it seems a shame that Spidey won’t be involved in the ‘MCU’ series anymore. This is especially when things got set up at the end of ‘Far From Home’ to make the third film possible.
Because of this, my interest in the ‘MCU’ will wane as a result of Spidey not taking part in it anymore. The reason why I took an interest in the ‘MCU’ properly was because Spider-Man made his appearance in it. With him gone, it’s likely the ‘MCU’ will underperform and not make much profit as they used to.
Mind you, if you were to ask me what I would really like to see in terms of a future ‘Spider-Man’ movie on the big screen, I would say…do ‘Spider-Man 4’! Yeah! Even after all these years, I still want to see a fourth ‘Spider-Man’ film directed by Sam Raimi, starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. This can happen!
I know people are still swept by the ‘MCU’ Spider-Man, but I still want to see a ‘Spider-Man 4’ at the cinema. I’d like to know what happened to Peter and Mary Jane after the events of ‘Spider-Man 3’. Did they get married? Did they have a daughter? What happened to Aunt May? What happened to Jameson?
Heck, Jameson was in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ recently. The possibility of a ‘Spider-Man’ movie featuring three versions of Spidey including Tobey Maguire’s, Andrew Garfield’s and Tom Holland’s is very appealing to me. I’m surprised Sony can’t see the potential of that. It’d be pretty amazing to see.
Once again, I don’t know what’s in future for Spidey in the movies. But one thing’s for certain. I will always go back to the Tobey Maguire era of ‘Spider-Man’, as that was my era for me. I know people rate the recent ‘Spidey’ movies more highly than I do, but I find the original films to be the best versions.
I know people worry about these things regarding Spidey’s ongoing continuation in the ‘MCU’. But for me, it’s not much to worry about. I know it’s a pain, but there are other ‘Spider-Man’-related things to enjoy. And another thing’s for certain. I will always enjoy the other ‘Spider-Man’-related things as a fan.
I mean hey, I’m preparing a ‘Spider-Man’ project of my own in the future.
That’s something to tease you with. 😀 I’m also about to read something related to a certain PS4 game.
That’s something else to tease you with. 😀
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Spider-Man meets Doctor Who here take my money lol.
Fantastic review Tim, the amount of content, detail & explanation of why this film didn’t impress you are spot on my friend.
Here’s what i think of the current Spider-Man MCU/Sony.
1) Tom Holland excellent in role but the scripts for his movies terribly written.
2) Weak supporting cast, goofy characters like Ned & that pillock playing Flash Thompson too comedic & silly, where is Harry Osborn in fact where is Norman Osborn?
3) Tony being the Uncle Ben substitute completely wrong, we know this version has lost Uncle Ben so show some flashbacks to that character & how much he meant to Peter.
4) Weak villains both been former disgruntled Stark employees who been crapped on, why can’t they just be out & out evil?
5) MJ shockingly bad actress lacks charm & charisma of Kirsten Dunst, the Peter MJ relationship had no build up so hard to care when they get together.
6) Lack of fight scenes, where is the dramatic fights that Raimi’s films did so well, Spider-Man 2 had two great fights with Spider-Man & Doctor Octopus here we get one punch.
7) Aunt May, she’s too damn sexy, i shouldn’t be fancying Aunt May lol, her relationship with Happy Hogan disrespectful to the Uncle Ben character, i don’t buy May would move on from losing Ben so quickly.
8) The Spider-Man suit, here Peter take this Stark made suit with fancy gadgets oh and have a armoured suit so we can flog Hot Toys merchandise.
Tim i know you’re a huge Spider-Man fan & i share your pain, you’d think with Marvel collaborating with Sony they’d do justice to the character but this is the worst screen adaption yet what makes it worse is Tom Holland possibly best actor to play the character but he’s been given some awful scripts & a weak supporting cast & i think the tone these films have become too kid friendly, for me Spider-Man 1 & 2 still the best Spider-Man movies, the Garfield Amazing Spider-Man i enjoyed but the sequel was shockingly bad.
4/10 spot on rating Tim this is a very weak scripted movie, yeah the action’s well directed but who cares if we aren’t invested in the characters & there predicament.
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It might take a while before I get around to doing ‘Spider-Man Meets Doctor Who’. Hopefully I’ll get around it soon. 😀
Many thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you enjoyed my thoughts on this movie in my review and very good of you to illustrate the 8 points on why the ‘MCU Spider-Man’ movies don’t work compared to the other movies featuring Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. In my opinion, the 1990s animated TV series; the Spider-Man movie trilogy by Sam Raimi with Tobey Maguire and the ‘Spider-Man’ PS4 game are the best versions of the webslinger so far. I like both ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ movies and even though the second one’s not great, I find that better than ‘Far From Home’ in my humble opinion.
Many thanks for your comments, Simon. Glad you share my thoughts on this movie.
Great Review! I found alot of your points understandable. Although I actually like the movie.
I liked the cast. The actors were good. And I liked Mysterio here. Even though he wasn’t like he was in the comics
Which I think it’s a good thing that the MCU is doing their own thing, and not just copying and pasting some Mysterio comic storyline on the screen (although that would be nice).
One thing I found annoying about the review though, is the constant mention of the Sam Raimi Trilogy and 90s animated series. Praising because their so “Faithful” to the comics. Yeah, remember Raimi Docter Octopus? Remember Raimi Sandman? They were COMPLETELY different from the comics. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing (although I hope to have evil Docter Octopus in No Way Home), in fact, I think Raimi Sandman is my favorite Sandman of any piece of Spider-man media. However, It seems that you like them only because of the fact that their faithful. Either that or maybe your blinded by nostalgia. In which, I admit, I am too. But I think that fan of any Spider-Man trilogy should at least see the problems, instead of blindly praising it. I personally think all the trilogies have flaws (especially The Amazing Spider-Man duology). Like for example in the Sam Raimi trilogy, the crappy effects in Spider-man 1, Harry’s butler telling him what happened to his father, and the fact that Peter is supposed to be 18, yet he’s obviously in his late 20s, and my biggest problem (which is personal tbh) but I hate the fact that the webs come out of his skin.
Now the 90s animated series, I haven’t seen much of. My only exposure of it as a kid was the Venom Saga dvd, in which I lost it many years ago 😦 . I have seen the first season on Disney plus. And I think it’s good. I definitely prefer Spectacular spider-man (but that may be nostalgia talking again). I probably need to see the rest of the show to really say my full opinion on it (although I heard theres an episode with Big Wheel so maybe I wont), and maybe I’m missing something, but I just think it’s not as good as what you keep saying in most of your reviews.
However, I definitely agree that this movie had flaws. I didn’t care for emo MJ. The comedy was hit and miss. And the glasses plot device got annoying. I also wanted more Mysterio. Mostly because he’s my favorite Spider-man villain of all time. I wish he had more screen time. Although I love that they brought back his costume from the comics. Mysterio has one of the coolest costumes of all time (in my opinion of course). I’m also hoping that we eventually get past the fact that Iron Man is dead. His death was sad and all, but I would like to move on. My favorite part though was in the illusion scene with the dead iron man coming out of the grave was actually terrifying. But I prefered Homecoming than this movie sadly.
All in all, this was a great review, with some parts that annoyed me. I definitely look forward to the review for No Way Home. Which from what I’ve been hearing, I’m kinda skeptical on it. I would’ve liked to have Tom Holland get his own trilogy before we get to the multiverse stuff, but that’s just me. I’ve also heard that Spidey would be fighting alongside Doctor Octopus which I’m not happy about since we already got that in Spider-Man 2. Even if it turns out he’s not a good guy and he tricked Spider-man, we already did that plotline in Far From Home. Plus it worked better since it fits more with Mysterio than Docter Octopus.
I hoped you enjoyed my review 🙂
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Hi Some Guy!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ and your comments about my review. Glad you enjoyed the review. I appreciate that you enjoyed ‘Far From Home’ more than me. I know I sound harsh in my arguments about why I don’t regard the movie highly than others do. It’s down to personal taste and preference in what I was brought up on with Spider-Man, including the original film trilogy and the 1990s animated series. I also rate the PS4 game very highly in terms of its story and characters than the ‘MCU’ films. If other people prefer the ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films more than me preferring the original trilogy, then that’s fine. Everyone’s entitled to what they prefer. I struggle to understand why people like the ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films more than me and there’s clearly something I’m missing, but then I can’t be like everyone else and I have to abide by what I feel is good in a ‘Spider-Man’ movie series as well as bad.
I wouldn’t say the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy is perfect. Even I’m willing to admit there are problems with the films and ‘Spider-Man 3’ is the weakest of the trilogy. When I did my reviews on those films, it was when I was a young, inexperienced reviewer on Amazon.co.uk a long time ago and I transferred those reviews to my blog with minor updates such as Blu-ray extras and proof-reading over the years. I’d like to think I’m better in terms of reviewing, but I still praise the original ‘Spider-Man’ film trilogy highly despite the flaws the films have. Maybe I am blinded by nostalgia since the original trilogy was what I was brought up on, but I can’t help feel that the original trilogy is superior than ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ films, the ‘MCU’ films and the ‘Spider-Verse’ film. I still enjoy watching the latest ‘Spider-Man’ films (including ‘Far From Home’), but I can’t hold them in high regard as I do the original films. Recently, I watched the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy again and I still hold them in high regard.
I suppose I find the original films more ‘faithful’ adaptations of the original comics compared to the later films because I find them faithful in terms of spirit to the comics in what Stan Lee was trying to get across with the themes and messages of ‘Spider-Man’ – “With great power comes great responsibility” I don’t get the same feel of those messages echoing in the recent films as I do in the original trilogy and the 1990s series. I know other people won’t agree with me on that, but it’s how I feel, and I still have to check out other Spidey shows like ‘Spectacular Spider-Man’ and ‘Ultimate Spider-Man’ which I hope I will do one day. I’ve still got the ‘Spider-Man: Miles Morales’ PS5 stuff to check out. 😀 I also find the drama and comedy well-balanced in the original films and to some extent in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ films compared to the latest ‘MCU’ films and the ‘Spider-Verse’ movie.
I’m glad you agree with me about the flaws in ‘Far From Home’, including how Michelle (MJ) was handled, the comedy aspects, the glasses plot device, Mysterio and the references to Iron Man/Tony Stark. Maybe the ‘MCU Spider-Man’ films will grow on me by the time we get to ‘No Way Home’. I look forward to seeing that movie whatever it intends to deliver. I’m intrigued about Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock and Jamie Foxx’s Electro making an appearance in the film. Whether other Spider-Men like Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will appear in the film is yet to be determined. I’m rather sceptical about it since the news keeps changing on whether they’re going to appear or not. I’ll wait for when the trailers start coming out to be sure. Regardless, ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ should be an intriguing ‘Spidey’ film to look forward to later in the year.
Once again, many thanks for sharing your thoughts about my review and on the movie itself. Glad you enjoyed the film and you enjoyed my review.