Spider-Man: Far From Home

Continuing the aftermath of Endgame, what I noticed was how this third tier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has altered the way the stories are told. The classic Marvel way was to tell linear stories in the context of an overlaying arc. This time there are three diverging storylines told concurrently while seeded with hints of what’s to come. Afraid his heroics are interfering with matters of the heart, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) just wants to be a 16-year-old taking a school trip to Europe, when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) beckons. The subtle first half-hour is an amalgamation of themes from Gidget Goes To Rome seeping into The Guns of Navarone. Fascinated by the power technology holds over public perceptions, Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), in the wake of Endgame, sees an opportunity to fill Tony Stark’s shoes. Donning a cape and fishbowl helmet, he gets the attention of Fury who is trying to re-staff his roster of heroes. Known as Mysterio, Beck is teamed with Parker to hold the line against elementals who’ve claimed the planet. Far From Homes second half might as well be titled Spider-Man: eXistenZ where two unlikely companions must battle impossible odds. Sprinkled throughout are references to The Black Dahlia, Marvel zombies and hints at the Silver Surfer, as average people – in remembrance of The Avengers’ sacrifices – pick up a mace and a shield to fill the void. Not having fully developed his “spidey sense” (jokingly referred to as a “Peter Tingle” here), Parker is overcome by doubt and gullibility. And the soundtrack features The Go-Gos, The Jam, The Specials and The Ramones! As much a message for today as a comic book movie, the theme is that nowadays, people will believe anything!