X2: X-Men United Review

X2: X-Men UnitedSynopsis
When William Stryker (Brian Cox), the man responsible for giving Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) his adamantium skeleton, arrives at the mansion to steal Cerebro, the X-Men must find out why he wants Cerebro and stop him.

Review
Like Spider-Man, my first exposure to the X-Men was the animated cartoon series of the 90s. It featured many classic X-Men characters, including Wolverine. Even though he was part of a team, Wolverine still received episodes focused on him. His mysterious past and complex personality is ripe for storytelling possibilities. X2: X-Men United takes a similar approach. While this is an ensemble movie, much of the story’s focus is on Wolverine and his past. When your movie has someone like Hugh Jackman who completely embodies your franchise’s most popular character, why not take advantage of it?

In X-Men, Jackman did well as Wolverine. However, we only get a peek of what he could do in the role. This time, he fully gets into the character, truly feeling like he is Wolverine. After leaving Xavier’s mansion at the end of the last film searching for answers about his past, he returns at the start of this film and it feels like he just went to the grocery store. He slides back in with the rest of the characters, and even acts as a guardian for the younger mutants, with ease. Whether it is the ferocity of Wolverine’s aggressiveness or the protective nature he displays, Jackman completely and effortlessly pulls it off.

The main cast from the last entry returns: James Marsden, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Rebecca Romijn. Shawn Ashmore also returns and receives a much larger role this time around, even becoming the emotional pulse for the non-Wolverine parts of the story. Between Ashmore, Paquin, and new addition Aaron Stanford, X2 provides a great look at the next generation of mutants in the ideological struggle between Professor Xavier’s X-Men and Magneto’s Brotherhood of Mutants. Each of these three younger stars each do wonderful bringing across their characters’ outlook to life.

However, of the new cast members, hands-down the best addition is Alan Cumming as Nightcrawler. Cumming’s Nightcrawler brings a balance to the team. His strong religious beliefs and outsider’s perspective adds another ideological wrinkle to the story. Cumming himself fits in with the rest of the cast, providing a good blend of awkward humor and emotion.

While X2 is very much a Wolverine-centered film, it doesn’t shove the other characters to the side; they still receive plenty of their own development. The love triangle between Cyclops, Jean, and Wolverine comes to a head. Jean is certainly coming into her own character and we see glances of her hidden potential and Storm is moving into more of a leadership role on the team. One of the best side-stories of the film is actually when it focuses on the three younger X-Men: Rogue (Paquin), Iceman (Ashmore), and Pyro (Stanford). Their story offers a narrative for being different when everyone expects you to be β€œnormal,” a very relatable experience for many.

But of course, the focal point of the story is Wolverine’s past in the Weapon Plus program and how he came to have adamantium bonded to his skeleton. The story, loosely based on the graphic novel X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, which is actually not centered around Wolverine, introduces us to William Stryker, the man responsible for giving Wolverine his adamantium skeleton. We’ve seen two sides of Wolverine: a violent, animalistic side and a softer, caring side. Outside of his interactions with Rogue, we didn’t see him with the younger X-Men in the previous film. In this film, even though he is violent and has a violent past, as we see through Stryker, Wolverine is willing to be a protector and mentor to the younger generation of mutants. Not only was his backstory expanded upon in this movie but so was his character, experiencing the most growth of any of the adult X-Men.

Nightcrawler is one of my favorite X-Men characters. The opening scene showed exactly how powerful he can be if he didn’t have his morals. What’s more, after the opening, which does a great job of starting off strong and capturing your attention, this film never feels dull. Throughout the entirety of the film, I always felt engaged. Even during the quieter moments, there was something worth paying attention to or something interesting worth concentrating on. Many superhero films stumble when they aren’t focused on the action but this superhero film does not land in that pitfall.

I thought X2: X-Men United was GREAT πŸ˜€ Much like Spider-Man 2, with the characters’ origins out of the way, this sequel is free to jump right into the story without needing much exposition. Almost every character experiences some sort of growth and the film remains exhilarating the whole way through. Back in the early days of the superhero genre boom, before it really blew up, the second entries were apparently the entries of note.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Bryan Singer – Director / Story
David Hayter – Story / Screenplay
Zak Penn – Story
Michael Dougherty – Screenplay
Dan Harris – Screenplay
John Ottman – Composer

Hugh Jackman – Logan / Wolverine
Patrick Stewart – Professor Charles Xavier
Famke Janssen – Jean Grey
James Marsden – Scott Summers / Cyclops
Halle Berry – Ororo Munroe / Storm
Anna Paquin – Rogue
Shawn Ashmore – Bobby Drake / Iceman
Alan Cumming – Curt Wagner / Nightcrawler
Aaron Stanford – John Allerdyce / Pyro
Ian McKellen – Eric Lensherr / Magneto
Rebecca Romijn – Mystique
Brian Cox – William Stryker
Kelly Hu – Yuriko Oyama / Lady Deathstrike
Cotter Smith – President McKenna
Bruce Davison – Senator Kelly

X-Men Review

Synopsis
There are people in the world called β€œmutants” who posses the x-gene, granting them superhuman powers. Two groups of mutants, one led by Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and one led by Magneto (Ian McKellen) are at odds with how to use their powers and co-exist with the humans around them.

ReviewX-Men movie poster
Let’s go back in time a little bit to the year 2000. In 2000, Batman’s film run in the 1990s had come to a halt after the Joel Schumacher films were not received well and Superman hadn’t been seen on the big screen since the late 1980s. As for Marvel comic characters, only a handful attempts in the 80s and 90s had been made to bring them to film, including Howard the Duck, the Punisher, Captain America, and Blade, with Blade being the most recent and most successful try two years prior. Enter X-Men. X-Men redefined what the superhero genre could do. X-Men showed that a superhero film could be filled both with action and character development. X-Men kicked off the superhero film boom that we are still experiencing today.

To start, X-Men boasts some impressive and spot-on casting. Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen as Professor X and Magento respectivelyΒ are just the tip of the iceberg. Their chemistry is fantastic as the once-friends-but-now-enemies. Both actors are acting powerhouses and gave validity to a genre that many saw as niche. Famke Janssen, James Marsden, and Halle Berry all do good in their roles but they aren’t given much to do in this film.

Fox was not naive to who the star of the X-Men franchise is. Everyone knows that Wolverine is hands-down the most popular X character. When casting Hugh Jackman as Logan/Wolverine, they probably had no idea how defining he would become in the role. Here, though, we only see glimpses of what is yet to come. Jackman does great in the role but he hasn’t quite come into it yet. However, he looks spot on like the Logan from the comics. His entrance is exciting and Jackman’s performance leaves you eager to see him return again as the amnesiac mutant.

Besides Wolverine, only a handful of characters share the screen with him. They are Cyclops (Marsden), Jean Grey (Janssen), and Storm (Berry) on the X-Men and Toad (Ray Park), Sabertooth (Tyler Mane) and Mystique (Rebecca Romjin) in Magneto’s Brotherhood of mutants. The Brotherhood mutants don’t get much development since their purpose is to serve as antagonists. On the X-Men side, they get more development but since they all share screen time pretty evenly, it’s not enough. It is just enough, however, to get a feel for the characters and understand the dynamic and relationships between them.

When a film tries to balance as many characters as X-Men has, it can become convoluted. This film prevents that by keeping the plot simple. The X-Men are trying to stop Magneto. That’s it. There’s no major twists or reveals. It’s a good versus evil plot that is traditional but not unexpected from a movie based on comic book characters. There is another plot about mutant registration that is barely explored. It’s touched on but if developed a little better, this film could have had a great philosophical angle to it as well.

A hero is only as good as its villain. This movie’s simplicity also allows Magneto to stand out as a character that wants to do things far beyond typical bad guy reasons. He cares about his fellow mutants. Experiencing the holocaust, he has little faith in humans the way Professor X does. Magneto and Professor X are less adversaries and more two people approaching the same problem from two different ideological point of views. While Magneto may be a more campy villain this time around, he’s far from one-dimensional.

I thought X-Men was GOOD πŸ™‚ Excellent casting all around and a simple plot are by far this film’s strong points. This movie might not be the best superhero movie out there but it displayed what the superhero genre could be, setting the stage for the genre’s popularity to really explode.

Favorite Quote
Wolverine: [After putting on his uniform] You actually go outside in these things?
Cyclops: What would you prefer? Yellow spandex?

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Bryan Singer – Director / Story
Tom Desanto – Story
David Hayter – Screenplay
Michael Kamen – Composer

Hugh Jackman – Logan / Wolverine
Patrick Stewart – Professor Charles Xavier
Famke Janssen – Jean Grey
James Marsden – Scott Summers / Cyclops
Halle Berry – Ororo Munroe / Storm
Anna Paquin – Rogue
Ian McKellen – Eric Lensherr / Magneto
Tyler Mane – Sabretooth
Ray Park – Toad
Rebecca Romijn – Mystique
Bruce Davison – Senator Kelly

Spider-Man 3 Review

Spider-Man 3 movie posterSynopsis
The life of Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is going great and Spider-Man is loved by the citizens of New York City. When an alien substance bonds with Peter making him more aggressive, his personal relationships begin to strain, meanwhile new information is revealed about his uncle’s killer.

Review
With both Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 being critically acclaimed and financially successful, a third film was all but inevitable. This time, however, Sony intervened and forced Raimi to include the popular Spider-Man villain Venom into the story. This began a spiral of Raimi’s heart not being with the movie like it was before, as well as create a convoluted and excessive story that the series has avoided until this point. Spider-Man 3, despite all the greatness of Raimi’s previous Spider-Man films, failed to live up to the expectations of the series.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films have done a fantastic job of showing how being Spider-Man affects Peter’s daily life, as well as exploring Peter’s relationships with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), and Harry Osborn (James Franco). Harry being the son of Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin and villain of Raimi’s first Spider-Man film, blames Spider-Man for the death of his father. After Harry finds out his best friend is also his worst enemy at the end of the previous film, it puts an obvious strain on their relationship, particularly when Harry takes his father’s villainous mantle as the New Goblin. This creates yet another layer in Harry and Peter’s relationship that we have seen develop over the last two films.

Also tying into Spider-Man’s history is Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), aka Sandman. Marko was present during Uncle Ben’s murder, the defining moment of Peter becoming Spider-Man. Again, this personal relationship is used to explore Peter’s character even more, giving him new emotional depth and growing on what has been seen from him in the series so far. Despite all the issues with this film, it did not fail to continue to grow and examine Peter’s character.

The first of many mistakes this film makes is casting Topher Grace as Eddie Brock. Eddie Brock is supposed to be a physically intimidating character, someone you don’t want to get into a fight with, even before he bonds with the symbiote. No offense to Topher Grace but I didn’t feel that; He didn’t have the build for the Eddie. Also, the way he was written did not fit the personality of the comic book version of the character. Not only was Eddie Brock / Venom miscast, but his character development was rushed as well. For a series that thus far had developed its characters and had deep and emotional back stories, it really dropped the ball on creating a truly terrifying version of one of Spider-Man’s best villains.

So far I’ve talked about three villains: New Goblin, Sandman, and Venom. Attempting to fit a trio of antagonists into a film like this only hurts all three. Harry spends most of the time in a with memory loss, only appearing as the New Goblin at the beginning and end of the film. Sandman gets an interesting story arc as a father who only wants to provide for his family, as well as ties into Peter’s history with Uncle Ben. He gets a few good moments before he disappears for a while before showing up for the final scenes. With the symbiote attached to Peter for the first two acts, Venom doesn’t appear until the final third of the film, stifling any significant development. There are just too many villains to successfully develop all of them.

While the first two films did a good job of using practical effects as much as possible, this movie fell into the same trap that many action films began falling into during this time period: it used CGI too heavily and was too reliant on it. Given the skill-set of the villains, it’s not surprising. I’m sure the CGI was good at the time, but it hasn’t aged well, especially scenes that required fully rendered people. Throughout the movie, Spider-Man has fight while falling through the air once with each villain. Not only does this feel repetitive but it showcases all the worst parts of the CGI of the film.

I thought Spider-Man 3 was OK 😐 Mark this as another case where studio intervention creates a sub-par film. With Raimi’s guidance, Sony’s Spider-Man series was on an upward trajectory. While it is doubtful Spider-Man 3 could have been a better film than Spider-Man 2, we will never know since its true potential was stifled.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Sam Raimi – Director / Writer
Ivan Raimi – Writer
Alvin Sargen – Writer
Christopher Young – Composer

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Kirsten Dunst – Mary Jane Watson
James Franco – New Goblin / Harry Osborn
Thomas Haden Church – Sandman / Flint Marko
Topher Grace – Venom / Eddie Brock
Rosemary Harris – May Parker
JK Simmons – J Jonah Hameson
Bryce Dallas Howard – Gwen Stacy
James Cromwell – Captain Stacy
Dylan Baker – Dr. Curt Connors
Bill Nunn – Joseph ‘Robbie’ Robertson
Bruce Campbell – Maitre D’
Ted Raimi – Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks – Betty Brant
Elya Baskin – Mr. Ditkovitch
Megeina Tovah – Ursula

Spider-Man 2 Review

Spider-Man 2 movie posterSynopsis
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is having difficulties balancing his life as Spider-Man with his life as Peter Parker. Meanwhile, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is tasked by Harry Osborn (James Franco) to hunt Spider-Man for revenge for his father’s death.

Review
After the success of Spider-Man, Sony didn’t waste any time getting into Spider-Man 2. As with X2, since the character introductions were out of the way, the film had the room to just jump right into the story. No need to set up the characters and no need to give exposition. Spider-Man 2 takes the best of its predecessor and makes it even better.

As I said in my review of Spider-Man, one of Peter Parker’s defining characteristics in the comics is his attempt to balance his duties as the wall crawler with his desire to maintain a personal life. This film showed Peter’s struggle to balance his two lives better than any Spider-Man movie before or since. It deeply explores what being Spider-Man means for Peter and the sacrifices he has to make to uphold his responsibilities. Not many other superhero movies truly explore what being a superhero means and its costs the way Spider-Man 2 does. To me, that is one of the many reasons that this is not only one of the best Spider-Man films but one of the best films in the genre.

Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus, is a terrific followup to Green Goblin. He is another one of Spider-Man’s biggest rogues, maybe even surpassing Green Goblin over the last several years. Alfred Molina played Otto wonderfully. Spider-Man’s best villains are the ones with tragic backgrounds. Otto doesn’t want to be the villain and actually has a noble heart, looking to use his brilliance to create for the benefit of mankind. After losing his wife and being bound to his mechanical arms in an accident, he goes crazy when the AI from his arms negatively influence his mind. Whether it is the innocent and cheerful Otto or the more sinister and villainous Doc Ock, Molina is brilliant. His acting elevates what is already a well-written character. Watching this and Spider-Man after the Batman movies of the 90s, I began noticing that when superhero films have only a single villain, it (usually) creates both an improved story and better villain.

Director Sam Raimi has a history in horror, so his pick to direct this action-oriented superhero series might have seemed like a strange choice (one that he has managed to prove was the right one). Throughout the film, Raimi had the chance to flex some of his horror roots. Several scenes contain sequences similar to something you might find in a horror film rather than a superhero one. The scene with where the doctors try to remove the metal arms after they fused with Otto in particular stands out as one where you can feel Raimi’s previous horror experience. It’s exciting to see him bring his own personal touch from other genres into this film.

When your hero can jump around doing all kind of aerial acrobatics and your villain has mechanical arms fused to his body, there’s going to be CGI in some capacity. However, where possible, this film uses practical effects. And it makes all the difference. Especially in the early 2000s, when films where just beginning to utilize the technology much more after the Star Wars prequels used it so prominently, it can not look the cleanest. So by using practical effects at every opportunity, the movie looks so much better and not nearly as fake as it could be for a film about superheroes.

I thought Spider-Man 2 was GREAT πŸ˜€ I wish I had a higher ranking than great because this movie is more than great. It’s fantastic, it’s spectacular, it’s amazing, it’s perfect. Not only is this one of my favorite superhero films but it is up there as one of my favorite films of all time.

Favorite Quote
Betty Brant: Boss, your wife’s on the line, she said she lost her checkbook.
J. Jonah Jameson: Thanks for the good news!

Favorite Scene

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Sam Raimi – Director
Alfred Gough – Story
Miles Miller – Story
Michael Chabon – Story
Alvin Sargent – Screenplay
Danny Elfman – Composer

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Kirsten Dunst – Mary Jane Watson
James Franco – Harry Osborn
Alfred Molina – Doc Ock / Dr. Otto Octavius
Rosemary Harris – May Parker
JK Simmons – J. Jonah Jameson
Donna Murphy – Rosalie Octavius
Daniel Gillies – John Jameson
Dylan baker – Dr. Curt Connors
Bill Nunn – Joseph ‘Robbie’ Robertson
Ted Raimi – Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks – Betty Brant
Elya Baskin – Mr. Ditkovich
Megeina Tovah – Ursula
Bruce Campbell – Snooty Usher

Spider-Man Review

Spider-Man movie posterSynopsis
On a school field trip, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is bitten by a genetically engineered spider causing him to develop spider-like powers. When the Green Goblin (Willen Dafoe) begin terrorizing New York City, Peter must step up with his newfound powers and stop him.

Review
I grew up with Saturday morning cartoons. Moreover, I grew up with Spider-Man. The Spider-Man television series that aired in the 1990s (along with the X-Men and Batman animated series) was my gateway to superheroes and comic characters as a whole. There was just something about Peter Parker that intrigued me. I can’t say it was the everyday guy thing he had going because at the time, I was a kid and couldn’t relate on that level. The interesting rogues gallery, the cool powers, the exciting stories, it had me hooked. When I heard Spider-Man was going to have his own movie, I was completely on board, especially after how much I enjoyed X-Men. Spider-Man was exactly the superhero movie the genre needed to prove that X-Men was more than just a fluke and that superheroes besides Superman and Batman could have hit films.

If you boil it down, the single most thing that makes this film work is its superb casting. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, and Willem Dafoe all just glide right into their parts. Maguire captures the more science-y side of Peter, as well as the awkwardness of the character. Dunst was born to play the girl-next-door archetype. Franco has great chemistry with the entire cast and Dafoe absolutely seeths deranged villain. Of course, I can’t talk about the Raimi Spider-Man films without bringing up one of the most perfectly cast parts in any movie ever made. I’m talking more perfect than Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, more perfect than Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, and even more perfect than Tony Stark as Iron Man. I am of course talking about JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. He steals every scene he’s in. Hell, he steals the entire movie. Simmons gobbles up the part with his quick talking and spot on interpretation of JJJ. Once I saw Simmons in the part, I could not imagine anyone else in the role.

The Green Goblin was a great villain to start with in the first Spider-man film. He is an iconic Spider-Man villain, being the center of many major and popular Spider-Man stories. Also, Norman Osborn has a personal connection to Peter, being the father of Peter’s best friend Harry and serving as a surrogate father of sorts for Peter. With Harry being a prominent supporting character throughout the Sam Raimi films, his hatred of Spider-Man but closeness to Peter makes for an interesting dynamic between Harry and Peter that gets explored throughout the entire series.

Before Marvel Studios perfected their movie formula, there was Spider-Man. Spider-Man shares similarities with films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). I’ve been of the belief that there aren’t too many ways to effectively do an origin story so it’s no surprise that it doesn’t differ too much from Iron Man or Wonder Woman. One thing you won’t find though is a CGI slugfest between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin at the end. This was released before CGI took over Hollywood, at least to a large extent, after all. The final showdown is mostly done with practical effects. Better yet, it isn’t a simple fight between the hero and villain. Since Norman Osborn is an important figure in Peter’s life, there was a lot of sentiment during their battle. It wasn’t just a physical battle, it was an emotional battle as well.

Part of Peter’s character that makes him so endearing is his desire to balance his personal life with his hero duties. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t balance out and his hero duties often gets in the way of his personal life. This movie doesn’t delve too deep into the struggle between Peter’s two lives (this is an origin movie after all) but it does show glimpses at how the two conflict and also sow seeds about how this can become a larger issue for Peter down the line.

In the comics, Spider-Man is always cracking jokes and is overall very chatty, particularly during fights with his rogues. However, that aspect of the character isn’t captured very well in this film. During his cage match with Bonesaw (Randy Savage), he made a few quips… but that was it. I wouldn’t call Peter’s demeanor β€œserious,” but it definitely lacked the playfulness and wit of the comics version.

I thought Spider-Man was GREAT πŸ˜€ I can’t express the joy of seeing my favorite superhero finally on the big screen back in 2002. Director Sam Raimi and writer David Koepp skillfully bring the wallcrawler to life and capture many important aspects of the character. An excellent cast complements Koepp’s script and Raimi’s direction. Modern day superhero films can look towards this film as an inspiration on how to successfully translate a character from comics to film.

Trivia
SpiderMan was the first film to gross $100 million in its opening weekend alone. At the time, no movie had done so, even when adjusted for inflation. (via IMDb)

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Sam Raimi – Director
David Koepp – Writer
Danny Elfman – Comoser

Tobey Maguire – Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Willem Dafoe – Green Goblin / Norman Osborn
Kirsten Dunst – Mary Jane Watson
James Franco – Harry Osborn
Cliff Robertson – Ben Parker
Rosemary Harris – May Parker
Jk Simmons – J. Jonah Jameson
Joe Manganiello – Flash Thompson
Bull Nunn – Joseph ‘Robbie’ Robertson
Ted Raimi – Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks – Betty Brant
Michael Papajohn – Carjacker
Randy Savage – Bonesaw

Spider-Man: Far From Home Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home movie posterSynopsis
While on a vacation to Europe, Peter (Tom Holland) is recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to help combat β€œelementals” alongside the mysterious new hero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Review
This review contains spoilers for the end of Avenger: Endgame.

Spider-Man: Far From Home closes out the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU’s) Infinity Saga, the large, overarching narrative Marvel Studios has been telling since Iron Man. In a way, Spider-Man was the perfect character to close out Phase 3. For years, he was (and probably still is) Marvel comic’s flagship character, much like Iron Man was for the MCU. Spider-Man is also now the only character beside Iron Man to have two solo movies in the same phase. But most importantly, Peter Parker became an adoptive son to Tony Stark. No other character is more suited to reflect on what it means to not have Tony around than Peter.

I thought Spider-Man: Homecoming did a good job of integrating Tony Stark into the story; he was present but didn’t take over the story. However, his presence could still be felt in the peripheral, just out of sight. Even in his own movie, Peter still felt like he was in Tony’s shadow. Peter didn’t make his suit or all of the gadgets it contained, Tony did. Even when Peter messed up on the ferry, endangering civilian lives, Tony was there to fix it. Now with Tony gone, Peter has the opportunity to step out on his own. Tony’s presence is still felt in this film but a different way than in Spider-Man: Homecoming: Peter is shadowed by Tony’s legacy.

This movie focuses on Spider-Man’s interference with Peter’s personal life more than Spider-Man: Homecoming did. Peter trying to find this balance between the two was one of the strength’s of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and has been lacking in the Spider-Man films since. Constantly throughout the film, Peter is put in situations that forces him to choose between pursuing a relationship with MJ (Zendaya) or his responsibility as Spider-Man. These moments along with his reflections of living up to Tony’s legacy grow Peter’s character in leaps and bounds, creating some of the best emotional character moments since Spider-Man 2. For the sequel Spider-Man: Back Home (100% guess on that title), Peter can finally step into his own role instead of working under Tony’s shadow.

I’ve said in other reviews and in podcasts that in a market saturated with superhero films, superhero films cannot be traditional superhero films. They have to do something different or be something different and Spider-Man: Far From Home does just that. Given that Peter is still in high school, this movie is a superhero film wrapped in a teen drama, which is perfect. Peter is a teenager trying to find his way through courting MJ. He’s awkward, not perfect, and trying to find his place in the world. You know, typical teen stuff. Peter just happens to be a superhero. This is the kind of film the superhero genre needs to stay fresh.

One of the best things about Spider-Man: Homecoming was the cast. Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, and Michael Keaton were all wonderful in their parts. We can add another well-cast member to that list: Jake Gyllenhaal. Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio was everything I could have hoped for from the character. His Quentin Beck was much more charismatic than his comic book counterpart but just as petty and resourceful. Gyllenhaal also had fantastic chemistry with Tom Holland, making their scenes together entertaining.

I thought Spider-Man: Far From Home was GREAT πŸ˜€ Peter has taken the steps to get out of Tony’s shadow and is set up for a Spider-Man movie properly about Spider-Man in the inevitable sequel. This series continues its outstanding casting choices adding Jake Gyllenhaal to the list. I am extremely excited for the future of my favorite wall-crawler.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Jon Watts – Director
Chris McKenna – Writer
Michael Giacchino – Composer

Tom Holland – Peter Parker / Spider-Man
Zendaya – MJ
Jacob Batalon – Ned Leeds
Samuel L. Jackson – Nick Fury
Cobie Smulders – Maria Hill
Marisa Tomei – May Parker
Jon Favreau – Happy Hogan
Jake Gyllenhaal – Quentin Beck / Mysterio
Tony Revolori – Flash Thompson
Angourie Rice – Betty Brant
Remy Hii – Brad Davis
Martin Starr – Mr. Harrington
JB Smoove – Mr. Dell
Numan Acar – Dimitri
Dawn Michelle King – EDITH (voice)


There’s still time to join this year’s Christmas in July Blogathon! Entries are due at the end of this week. To find out more, check out the post here.