“Stark chose you. He made you an Avenger. Maybe he was wrong. Was he? The choice is yours.”
Tweaking Falcon’s words from Avengers: Endgame finale: What kind of a world it would be without Captain America and Iron Man?
Well, the fans may not have the answers but Marvel surely has- start digging in and around the other characters: be it the mystic and colorful cosmic universe or the grounded earth-level neighbourhood friendly stories. Spider-Man falls in the latter category. In the first post-Endgame MCU flick, Marvel tries to mold another chapter for Spider-Man, heavily influenced by events from Endgame.
But before we come to that, it’s worth highlighting that the Spider-Man movies follow a pattern in terms of their directors. Sam Raimi directed all the three Tobey Maguire movies and Marc Webb followed the suit by directing the two Andrew Garfield ones, before Marvel took over and bought Spidey under its umbrella. In a similar fashion, Jon Watts returned to direct the sequel of Homecoming. A strategy which has yielded results in MCU as well- Russo brothers, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon, Peyton Reed and James Gunn have become the major names in big-budget filmmaking thanks to multiple entries.
It has been two years since Spidey’s story originated with Homecoming. However, fallout of Endgame dictates the world in which Spider-Man is a part of. After the sacrifice of Iron Man, Black Widow and as well as the end of Captain America, the world is looking for a new savior. The world acknowledges their martyrdom- be it the hoardings, graffiti, walls or candles lit for Iron Man, their impeccable impact is visible to all.
Peter Parker discovers himself living in Iron Man’s shadow. Far From Home sees the return of one of the earlier MCU characters – Iron Man’s former bodyguard and driver Happy (Jon Favreau). Meanwhile, after the return of the people by Hulk’s snap in Endgame, the school life resumes for Peter. Peter finds himself surrounded by the people he loves, his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and his crush MJ (Zendaya), who were all lost with him in what has been coined as “the blip”. Soon, he is on a vacation to Europe with his friends and school teachers.
Soon enough, an unknown character makes an appearance to fight the monsters emerging out of earth – air, water, mud, ice. These are the classic Spidey villains known as the Elementals. The unknown character resembles Dr. Strange in appearance, known as Mysterio. Mysterio introduces himself as a savior who has come to help this version of Earth. Peter acknowledges that his trip is hijacked by Nick Fury & Maria Hill and he is forced to team-up with Mysterio to fight the monsters and save the planet once again from an Avenger-level threat.
Here is the contrast: Peter Parker, a high school student, has seen a lot in Infinity War and Endgame, witnessed his uncle and idol die (Tony Stark), is now put under pressure to take up the daunting task of becoming the next “Iron Man”. Parker feels he is neither the right one nor ready to take up the baton to become the next savior. Yet, deep down he feels that he may end up disappointing late Stark. Will Peter Parker get his priorities right? Will he leave his friends, his aunt to become something more? Will he prove that he is an Avenger – as baptised by Stark? Will he let go his love life or will he stick to it? More importantly- will he stood up and guide the world after the supreme sacrifice of Iron Man? Will he become more than a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man? Peter Parker has to stand the test of time!
The initial two acts of the film are well structured governed by the fun elements, catchy action set pieces spread across multiple European points of interest and a cute and adorable romantic angle between Peter and MJ. The movie is paced up and you will barely notice when the clock hits the 120 minutes mark. Ant-Man and Spider-Man movies have turned out to be the most hilarious and family-centric comedy action pieces. Zendaya plays a significantly recognizable role, which speaks for the talent she possesses. In terms of visuals and camera-angles, Spider-Man has always been the one to look out for. Specifically, the Mysterio-induced dimension is one of the brilliant parts of the movie.
However, a couple of the essential aspects of the movie could have been more richer – the romantic angle of Peter and MJ, the third act and a better approach to villian. With 23 movies so far, Marvel has faced only few blockers when it comes to villians. Also, Marvel needs to devote more time to its characters for letting the relations and interactions happen. However, going forward into Phase 4, Marvel may struggle with keeping its superhero movies alive- not in terms of action but in terms of depth of relations and inception of villains. It’s only when the characters are extensively involved with each other and villains are created, driven by reasons, MCU can keep up with the trend and not be formulaic.
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On the heels of Homecoming, Far From Home is fun, adorable, grounded and draws its influence form the Iron Man and Stark Industries. With two mindblowing mid-credit and end-credit scenes, it leaves its viewers intrigued. Fiege recently revealed that Far From Home is the final piece in Phase 3 because of the relation between Tony Stark & Spider-Man. Also, Fiege had said that their 5-year plan is ready.
Hence, with Far From Home out now, all eyes are fixated on the upcoming San Diego Comic Con where Marvel is definitely expected to reveal the titles. The next era of MCU movies is about to arrive!