In so many ways, Far From Home is exactly like Homecoming; its structure and ideas are more similar than you might initially notice. Overarching ideas are woven into the very fabric of what makes the story tick, and it becomes unsettling when a Venn diagram comparing the two is almost a circle.
These repeats of the first movie do have quite a few positives. The critical conflict of having Peter Parker's normal life clash with being a superhero takes center stage. Trying to juggle being a teenager with being the only Avenger abroad takes its toll as Parker has to decide what is more important. Far From Home retains an emotional core while being able to up the ante, making sure that there is enough action to keep viewers satisfied. It's able to focus on relationship issues and hardships while still injecting tons of humor in between, striking the perfect balance. It is the recipe that MCU movies have perfected yet forgotten for any large group movies.
However, the retread of material does come along with some baggage as it does not work for all situations. Trying to have a twist with Mysterio doesn't work the same way the reveal of The Vulture, even though both are supposed to be equally shocking. Having the villain and hero connect also didn't work out well in this instance since there weren't enough scenes of them together. Trying to force their friendship was a mistake due to it being so underdeveloped.
Overall, Far From Home doesn't have any barriers when it comes to recommending it for theater viewing. There are enough action set pieces audiences have come to expect and plenty of laughs that will keep you entertained. Obviously, if you don't want to see a movie about Spider-Man or superheroes, this won't change your mind. I can say, that Far From Home did pull at my heartstrings a little, but that's because I am very partial to a particular character. I guess I haven't seen many Indies this year because this ended up being one of the best films I've seen this year.
The neighborhood just got a whole lot bigger
to set up stakes and drive home that this was it. That Thanos’ promise of a better universe didn’t come to pass and that there was still of a glimmer of hope left. You got to see how characters were coping and fighting through trauma which made you care more. The amount of character work done is really surprising because the sheer amount of it has never been seen in this universe and might never happen again.
Endgame is not perfect though, far from it in fact. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on how this is the best superhero movie ever made, or how it will be impossible to top. There are so many problems that it amazes me that these claims are taken seriously. There are many moments when events aren’t properly explained and need to be expanded on but are left alone. Sometimes this is done to set up the Disney+ streaming shows but other times its just a lapse in logic. There is also a problem with an absurd amount of references. There are so many jokes referencing other MCU movies that it becomes really distracting. For some of these references, it's not even the first time they have been used. Remember in Civil War when Captain America tells Tony “I can do this all day” when they are fighting at the end. That same line is used again here in reference to when Steve Rodgers says in his origin movie. These moments are sprinkled in throughout the entire runtime so they will never let up.
The music was fine in Endgame. There wasn’t anything special about it here and was actually pretty bland except for two moments. Other than that though, it seems like the slight improvement that was in Infinity War was reduced back to its original quality. There was nothing special about the cinematography here either, it was all pretty common stuff that you have seen before in Russo directed movies.
So it all comes down to how long you’ve been paying attention to the MCU or how much fun you are going to have listening to characters talk to one another. People are saying this movie has immense rewatch value but I would disagree. I feel like I could see this movie once more in my life for entertainment and never see it again. It was definitely a satisfying time at the movies and am really surprised it came out this good. Yes, the hype is way overblown, but when has that not been?
A surprising amount of untapped potential in ******
The whole point of these scenes is to make you laugh. Sure, not all the jokes land, but it works. The Captain Marvel specific humor had me suspicious of what their intent was. Towards the beginning, there were many moments that were supposed to be funny, but no one in my theater laughed. It came across as trying to get the audience on board with having a female as the main character.
There are seldom moments in superhero movies where the character is made to look inexperienced or foolish. In Iron Man, he invents his own stuff and you see him have fun testing out his new technology. Thor smashes a beer mug because he is from a different culture and Star-Lord gets called fat to build up how ripped Thor is. Carol Danvers is silly and lighthearted while fighting enemies. Struggling to fight effectively with a couple of gags thrown in for good measure, but these were the parts no one laughed at. It came off as slightly uncomfortable because jokes should tell you more about the character; here, it was used to try and make her seem more relatable. Carol Danvers is a lot of things, but relatable is not one of them.
The story that Captain Marvel tries to tell, doesn't recognize the big shoes it has been told to fill. How do you get excited about the 21st entry in a series; how about a bunch of throwbacks? This movie suffers from a problem the Star Wars Prequels suffered from, but was more potent in Solo: A Star Wars Story. I didn’t need to know where Han Solo got his lucky dice or the spoiler version of that for this movie. I don't need to see how every little detail came to be in the universe. Every little unknown doesn't need an answer.
Speaking of Star Wars, there were a couple of sequences that reminded me of the prequels. At one point, I thought I was watching a pod racing scene while another was similar to the shortest space battle ever put in a big budget movie. The battle consisted of about two shots, one of which is in the trailer, while the other makes me think of the space battle above Naboo.
To pull off all of these action pieces, lots of CG was used to varying degrees of success. By the end, there were many scenes that looked fake; there was no denying the whole sequence you were seeing was all made in a computer. When the characters got to fight in person, the beginning of the movie used the ‘far away’ trick. This is where you see all the action at a distance, so stunt performers can perform without putting the talent in harm's way. This allows for separate close up shots to be spliced into the sequence, making it seem like the actor was really doing the fight choreography.
Other than some good jokes and some nice synth music, Captain Marvel doesn't succeed in being a good movie. I saw it on opening night where people would be the most excited to see it, and everyone thought that it was fine. Not "wow that was good" or "that was solid", just fine. Some people will complain that Carol Danvers didn't grow as a character, but I didn't need that. Learning more about the character was discovery enough, and Nick Fury picks up more slack than one person should be allowed to carry. This movie continues the trend of Marvel just not caring about fan theories, providing little fan service. Any major effects you thought this movie might have on the larger MCU continuity should be forgotten.
Wonder Woman was a better character in a better movie, DC finally won one