Spider-Man: Far From Home

After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker goes on a school trip to Europe with his friends, only to be recruited by Nick Fury to take on the Spider-Man mantle once again and team up with interdimensional hero Mysterio to fight new threats known as the Elementals.

Spider-Man: Far From Home marks the beginning of a new chapter for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and had a lot of expectations to fill consider it not only has to follow the grand phenomenon that was Endgame but also follow up on the story of Spider-Man: Homecoming and make a story that still feels new and exciting. Well not only does Spider-Man: Far From Home live up to the expectations for a good Homecoming sequel but it also introduces new concepts and unexpected turns even after 23 Marvel films, proving that they haven’t yet lost their steam. Tom Holland still carries the film wonderfully and continues to convince me that he’s the best Spider-Man yet. Peter is now trying to hold onto his youth and is afraid to accept new and bigger responsibilites after losing an important figure in his life. Peter must learn to mature and step up throughout the film which makes for a strong arc in the film. Also great is his chemistry with Zendaya, who is also really great in her role as MJ, who we didn’t see enough of in Homecoming but is a leading part here. Watching their connection blossom throughout the film is really sweet and was done well by the writers and actors. Also really fun parts of the film are Jacob Batalon as Peter’s hysterical best friend Ned, and Jon Favreau as Tony Stark’s assistant Happy who is still played with plenty of charm, and he and Peter once again have great scenes together.

What director Jon Watts is once again able to do with this sequel is maintain that “high school movie” tone with Peter facing issues like bullies, crushes, etc., but Watts also makes sure to bring us a high-stakes superhero movie with threats and responsibilites that Peter must face as Spider-Man. He keeps the tone light and adds plenty of humor as we’re used to seeing from Marvel, and keeps the signature Marvel hero, villain, and conflict tropes. However, one thing I was underwhelemed by was the visual look of the film. Marvel has always impressed me with the production design, cienamtography, and visuals in their films, espeically lately with the gorgeous Captain Marvel and Avengers movies, but here the movie feels very boringly shot and there is no color scheme or visual style that will keep your eyes in awe like the past Marvel movies this year have. The battles often feel well-realized but the green screen also sometimes doesn’t blend in and the design for the Elementals villains as well as the final battle are also less impressive visually. Also, the fact that Sony oversees these Spider-Man MCU films while Disney controls all the others leads to some questionable or unexplained references to the bigger universe, which are sometimes welcome but sometimes a bit much or raise unneeded questions rather than serve as world-building. While Homecoming had fun small appearances from Iron Man and Captain America, here some of the connections to the rest of the MCU feel like Sony trying to constantly remind the world that their property is part of Disney’s Marvel universe as well. Other than the obvious impact Infinity War and Endgame have on the main character, some of this world-building raises more questions than it needs to and possibly tampers with the consistency Disney has been keeping so smoothly through its MCU films. I feel like there were also some underdeveloped plot points throughout the film, and they could have extended the runtime by only 5 minutes to help establish these more, like we don’t see much of how the world is readjusting after Thanos’ actions shook the universe, and we also hear peoople repeadetly mention a large character from Endgame but I think we needed a bit more about how Peter is affected by that character’s loss. Also, the timing of the release was way too soon (only 2 months) after Endgame, which was the big conclusion to many years of MCU films — so why not wait a bit longer and let us take in the first big chapter instead of diving right into the next one? Hopefully this won’t undermine the effect of Endgame as a finale as time goes by, because both these films are still great on their own. What Spider-Man: Far From Home does best, however, is remind us why we love this incarnation of the character and why he resonates with audiences, as well as provide new challenges and growth for the character as well deliver on the tone of a film that has to feel large-scaled on small-sclaed at the same time.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a satisfying sequel that ups the scale and stakes for Spidey with more locations and more cdhallenging foes than before, even though it’s visually dull compared to the other big Marvel movies this year, and the pacing could’ve been slightly improved. However, the performances, storyline, and humor all deliver as expected and there’s an awesome mid-credits scene that changes the game for the future of Spider-Man.

Spider-Man Far From Home poster.jpg

X-Men: Apocalypse

ratings3

In the conclusion to the X-Men trilogy that begun with 2011’s First Class, an ancient threat resurfaces and the X-Men must reteam to prevent him from causing global extinction.

X-Men: Apocalypse tries its best to be the epic third installment we’ve been waiting for, but instead its story is in all the wrong places. There are times when the wrong characters get more screen time than the others, and storylines should be focused on more than others were. The first half of the film was unimpressive and all over the place. The events of the previous film feel treated too much like the way Man of Steel was treated in Batman v Superman and Age of Ultron in Captain America: Civil War. Almost every scene within the first hour feels very bland, and nothing flows well or feels in place. Apocalypse, in my opinion, was a terrible villain. His voice is weirdly edited, his motive is weak (not that he even has one), and his background is not written well, with everything about his origin feeling ridiculous and too forced. Oscar Isaac’s performance of the character was very disappointing, and this villain did not appeal on screen at all. Some characters aren’t treated as well as they should have been. Some characters I wanted more from, like Storm and Angel, only have a few lines and don’t do very much. James McAvoy is still a great Professor X but his character does not get the time that he needs. Jennifer Lawrence delivers a good performance as Mystique, but sometimes her character’s writing falls flat.

I was surprised by how pleasantly the movie warmed up towards the second half. The buildup of the plot is ultimately interesting, with some of the character development later on in the movie actually working. Tye Sheridan and Sophie Turner were my favorites of the newcomers to the saga. Sheridan delivers with his heart, and Cyclops ends up working as a teenage mutant character. Turner also gives it her all, bringing lots of depth and spirit to her character. This version of Jean Grey works very well because within her character’s soul, she, too, is just a lost teen who is learning to embrace her true self. Michael Fassbender is once again a fantastic Magneto, and even though his character lacks the focused development he needed in this movie, there is a scene in this movie where the character’s rage works perfectly, even though everything else about that scene does not. We all know who steals the show here once again. Yes, Evan Peters is back as Quicksilver, and he simply rocks! If you loved his memorable scene from Days of Future Past, get ready for another show-stopping sequence from him that nearly tops his previous one. He has lots of hilarious moments and is even given some relevance. A special someone also has a short appearance in the movie, and not just Stan Lee. The final battle is insanely huge and sometimes awesome, as there are some things that work and others that don’t. However, a lot of the action is quite entertaining, so you will most likely enjoy this movie if you are a fan of action movies. The ending is able to conclude the trilogy well, but does not make up for the movie’s many flaws.

X-Men: Apocalypse may not let down all action and superhero fans, but i was left quite disappointed. Although the second half of the movie is a lot better than the first, the movie still feels very unfocused and often unimpressive, but still delivers with some of its characters and its few action sequences.

Official poster shows The X-Men Team with Professor X sitting on his famous wheelchair, together with the Horsemen and the film's titular enemy Apocalypse behind them with a big close-up over his head and face, with nuclear missiles flying into the air, and the film's title, credits, billing and release date below them and the film's slogan "Only The Strong Will Survive" above.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

My rating: ratings3

In this Spider-Man installment, Peter finds himself battling Electro, an Oscorp electrician who becomes a living electric generator after being attacked by electric eels, as well as Green Goblin (AKA Harry Osborn), Peter’s boyhood friend who becomes a weird goblin creature after trying to get Spider-Man’s blood (to prevent dying from an illness), and Rhino, a weird-looking Russian mobster who becomes equipped with a mechanical rhino suit. Peter also must deal with his promise to Gwen’s late father (who was killed in the first film by The Lizard), if he must keep it or not, and what the consequences might be.

This movie was great but disappointing. It has a messy script and narrative and way too much is going on. The villains are dumb and underwritten, and the ending is bad and predictable. But the action and main cast are fine.

The plot surprisingly went very deep into the Spider-Man universe, but that is a major problem. This movie doesn’t only focus on the Spider-Man fighting the film’s antagonists, but also his relationship with Gwen, which the first film didn’t have enough of, which I liked. The first film also didn’t go deep enough into the trilogy, since Curt Connors/The Lizard is a very minor villain in the Spider-Man universe. The second film, on the other hand, does go deep enough into the franchise, with Spider-Man facing a very big villain, the Green Goblin. But there are too many stupid subplots and it could have been shortened by a lot (this movie was actually longer than The Avengers!). Unfortunately the two movies in the Amazing Spider-Man franchise have not been so successful and the franchise might be dead.

This movie kept me at the edge of my seat at many parts and definitely managed to entertain me a lot, but I have to say, it has a lot to live up to. I would recommend it for anybody 12 or up.

Spider-Man upside down on the side of the OsCorp tower.