PG-13, although a pretty mild PG-13. It's got a little bit of innuendo. Flash Thompson is still a jerk, but I don't think the f-word is said in any part of this movie. Nor does he refer to Peter as part of the male anatomy. We have some pretty great superhero violence. Peter gets pretty beat up, but nothing too terrifying. My son, who cringes at blood of any kind, handled it. There's some pretty anxiety inducing hallucinations, but over all it is pretty fine. PG-13.
DIRECTOR: Jon Watts
The biggest frustration I have right now, besides the fact that I wrote a pretty amazing article for Catholic News Agency already, is the capitalization of the title. For all intentions, "From" should not be capitalized. It's acting as a preposition here, which we don't really capitalize in titles. When I look it up on IMDb, "from" is lowercase. But the poster straight up has it upper case. Also, Wikipedia also has it uppercase. Honestly, the poster isn't exactly subtle about what direction they went, so I'm going to go with the marketing team for how this is capitalized. It was the same deal with mother!, so I'm just going to be consistent.
Why do good Spider-Man movies make me so happy? I love the character. I do. There's something so pure about Spider-Man as a character that somehow just acts as a warm blanket. Peter's almost more Captain America than Captain America is. I'm really dancing around something that I want to say, but I can already warn you that it is going to be too verbose to be of any worth. The character of Peter Parker is fundamentally a really good person. A lot of superheroes are bogged down with this darkness within them. I'm not saying that Spider-Man never goes down that route. But Peter, at his core, is really good. But he's also saddled with moral complexities all of the time. When I watch a Spider-Man movie, I know that I'm watching a movie about a good person who is going to try to do his best in every situation and sometimes fail. Sometimes, the best choice for everyone often involves self-sacrifice. On occasion, Peter will have a happy moment. I don't know what the recipe is for the perfect Spider-Man story, but it tends to involve a positive attitude, some despair, a lot of tragic things happening, and one really good thing happening in the film. Geez, I told you this analysis wasn't worth it. I've minimized a very complex formula into something trite and formulaic.
Did I predict the outcome of this film? Sure, me and every person who has a general understanding of the Spider-Man characters outside of the films knew what was going to be the result of the film. I've been looking at a lot of films that have the big turn that people guess ahead of time. I talked about this recently with my look at Star Trek Into Darkness, where producers just straight up lied to their audiences. SPOILERS: I keep saying I'm going to stop giving Spoiler warnings because this is an analysis page, not a review page. But the movie JUST came out, so I'm going to give some degree of politeness. Mysterio is a bad guy. Considering that I adore Far From Home, I have to tag it with the fault of just copying the plot from The Incredibles. But I knew, that if you were every going to pull a fake out, the movie had to have Mysterio in it. Yeah, when I saw the trailer for Far From Home and they mentioned that Thanos opened the door to the multiverse, I lost my mind too. The movie looked huge. The first assumption I ran to was that Mysterio was a bad guy from another Earth pretending to be a good guy. But then I thought it out for a second and realized that everything was just a lie. It didn't matter. A lot of that came from the fact that Tom Holland is adorable when he's trying not to spoil a film. He's really sincere. Also, Jake Gyllenhaal somehow came out of his skin and became Mr. Personality on this press tour. Part of me thinks that he's having a good time for the first time in his life or that the studio asked him to really amp up the energy. But I never felt actively lied to. They kept saying that Spider-Man and Mysterio are friends in this film. I mean, it's technically not a lie. If in real life, people told me that kind of truth, I would probably be mad at them. But I also realize that it must be hard to try to maintain a secret. I think a lot of it depends on the idea that the twist ultimately is just flavoring, not the anchor for the film. WIth Into Darkness, the movie really hedged its bets on Khan being the villain and that no one really guessed that. The Mysterio twist is a great reveal, but the movie works completely without the twist. It's a good film and the "twist" is almost barely a twist.
Instead, the Mysterio reveal kind of does something else for the film. Like most people who knew that Mysterio is infamous for illusions, the actual twists serves to be a reveal for how Mysterio was different in the MCU. That's what the movie does. It ties Quentin Beck intimately into the events of the MCU. It did the same thing for Vulture. Kevin Feige kept saying that Far From Home is really the last film in the Infinity Saga and I can kind of see how that worked out. I just wrote about how Toy Story 4 changed my mind about epilogues. As much as the story is about Peter's relationship with Iron Man coming to a close, serving as a conclusion to the Infinity Saga, Quentin Beck's relationship to the events of the previous movies is also really important to remember. Okay, it's not that great of a magic trick to bring back featured extras from previous films and saying that they are important. But it is kind of cool. Like, I don't care that it is an easy trick. It's still fun. The important thing about Beck's tie to the story is that Tony Stark's story has always been about the consequences to his actions. I don't want to get overly political, but we have a way of turning on good people. We tend to want to tear them down because it's just our nature. I guess I get paid by Catholic News Agency, but I just read something from Church Militant (out of shock and outrage that they had written it) knocking down Franciscan University a peg for something that really wasn't its fault. I'm not saying that my alma mater is perfect and is above scrutiny, but we love reminding people that they aren't perfect. Tony Stark died saving the world. Most people are in agreement of that. But then we also have these toxic personalities out there. Quentin Beck and his team seem like realistically toxic people. Yeah, Tony Stark made a joke at the expense of Quentin Beck. Okay, that's a bummer. But also, you know, he saved the world. I'm sorry that people seem to like him, but destroying his legacy seems like a bit much.
Stepping well out of the realm of analysis (as I often do), can I tell you how much I loved the mid-credits scene? Okay, the best thing that has ever come out of the the Spider-Man films was J.K. Simmons as J Jonah Jameson. Yeah, he doesn't have the flat top. Okay, fine. I don't care. There has never been more perfect casting that Simmons as Jonah. Seeing him was one of the best post-film moments I've ever experienced. And then, the movie just ramps up the tension 1000%? Remember how I started this essay by saying that Spider-Man has to experience angst? Things need to happen to him that ruin his life? The MCU is not going to allow us to feel comfortable with these choices. If we see what's coming, we don't really get the same experience we get from the comics. When Spider-Man's world is turned upside down in the comics, it is genuinely shocking. There was a time when Spider-Man let the world know he was Peter Parker...or vice versa. But having JJJ reveal to the world that not only is Peter Parker Spider-Man, but he also was the bad guy behind all of the events from Far From Home is amazing. Like, I don't know what direction the movie is going to go in. I have ideas based on the comics. This is probably as nerdy as I'll get on this website (which I honestly can't promise because I've met me), but the other films seem to be team up movies. Iron Man was in Homecoming; Nick Fury was in Far From Home. I can guess that Dr. Strange can be in the next film. In the comic version of Civil War, Peter's revelation to the world was put back in the bottle by Doctor Strange. Okay, it's a cop out. But I can see the next movie with Peter desperately trying to find some sense of normality by getting people to forget that he's Spider-Man. But I hope they keep the consequences of people thinking that he's a bad guy. That's rad. My bigger question, besides just the Spider-Man movies, is how this is going to affect the MCU as a whole. People might fear Spider-Man. It's weird that everyone is just going to ignore Peter's participation in the Infinity War and believe this guy, but it is going to happen. How is Phase 4 going to look with this knowledge? It's such a good way to introduce a new phase and it was right there! It's the thing that every writer wants to do, but has been too afraid to. It's a hard genie to put back into the bottle, but I want to see how the MCU deals with that.
The one thing that I don't think was all that exciting is the inclusion of Skrulls into S.H.I.E.L.D. / S.W.O.R.D. As much as I love Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, I don't know if he's the best addition to the movie. I don't feel like Spider-Man has the relationship with Nick Fury that he does with Iron Man. It's also odd that people are looking to Spider-Man to be the next Iron Man. Yeah, Cap and Iron Man are gone, but isn't Hulk still around? Why is everyone looking to this little kid to lead the Avengers. I mean, he talks in front of audiences, which makes him seem like a kid. But it makes Peter's journey the most pesonal. MCU Peter really was attached to Tony Stark, despite the fact that they are drastically different people. (Man, what if Peter was close to Steve Rogers. That would be an interesting franchise.) But I can see that the MCU would want to put Peter front and center of a new universe. Spider-Man has always been the heart of the Marvel U, so I can see the film franchise doing the same. Can I tell you how mad I would be if Sony decided to bogart their character back someday? I've often bemoaned Sony and its completely backwards practices when it comes to their characters and properties. They seem to have their head finally fixed when it comes to the Spider-Man stuff, especially between this and Into the Spider-Verse. I can just see them thinking that they can do this all by themselves only to completely fail the character again. I hope they don't view Venom as a template for what people like because I can completely see that falling apart. Regardless, I hope this collaboration keeps on going because Tom Holland is crushing it and he really thrives inside the MCU.
I had such a good time with this movie. I had a kid who was whining on my lap for a good chunk of the movie and I still loved it. (Although, it did make me more annoyed by the whining because I realize how much more I would have adored the film as a whole.) I'm almost afraid to say where this movie falls in the grand scheme of great Spider-Man titles, but it is up there.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.