There goes the neighborhood
Tom Holland reprises his role in Spider-Man: Far from Home, where Peter’s class trip in Europe is cut short after he’s called to help Quentin Beck a.k.a. Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) battle the forces called the Elementals.
There goes the neighborhood
Andrea Ang (The Philippine Star) - July 6, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — We’re 21 movies into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and there’s only one safe way to keep track of everything that goes on in every release: multiple screenings, so you can ride the wave of your emotions on the first watch, then let the analysis commence after.

Spider-Man: Far From Home starts off a few months after Avengers: Endgame, but it doesn’t miss any beats: most of the questions that your Telegram supergroups were hurtling at each other in terms of timeline, continuity and logic are answered in the first 10 minutes. A Spider-Man sequel may not seem like the obvious choice to follow Endgame (did we need a Spidey movie so soon? The other-universe masterpiece Into The Spider-Verse is still so fresh in the mind), but after seeing Far From Home, it all clicks into place. No other franchise in the cinematic universe could have pulled off addressing your theories and hypothetical hyperboles (“What if a pilot was ‘snapped’ out of existence during a flight? Would it have killed everybody onboard?” and other similar logic points). Far From Home gives just the right amount of explanation — as an audience, we know exactly as much as Peter Parker or Nick Fury does, satiating us just enough to allow the movie to continue without much nitpicking. And for the things that couldn’t be explained, humor suffices.

Marvel Studios’ challenge, post-Endgame, was to make the MCU continually accessible to people who hadn’t seen every single movie. Endgame was a cultural (and box office) milestone that, even without prerequisite viewing, packed movie houses left and right —but it took 10 years to get there, and it will probably take 10 more years to get to that point again. You can imagine the audience drop rate over the next decade, when the MCU movie count starts approaching triple digits.

Given the size and range of the MCU, it’s virtually impossible to release a movie now that isn’t tied in theme or humor to anything else that Marvel Studios has done. Far From Home is best appreciated after having seen Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man Homecoming, and — to no one’s surprise — Iron Man 3. Spider-Man’s development in this universe is tied intrinsically to Tony Stark’s, either as Marvel’s sure way of milking that cow ’til it’s dead or by the simple fact that Spider-Man really is poised to take on a bigger role in what will inevitably be Avengers-level threats.

One of Spider-Man Far From Home’s biggest triumphs — aside from making the Marvel tradition of post-credits scenes integral to future plotlines — is that it inclines us to believe the latter. Lest we forget, Spider-Man is still a kid: your friendly neighborhood superhero — and it seems like Marvel is going to keep him that way. With characters like Captain Marvel heralding a push toward stories set in deep space (you’ll see a peek in one of Far From Home’s required viewing post-credits scenes), whatever Spider-Man’s future is, it seems to be firmly within curfew. That’s one hero that won’t be leaving New York City anytime soon.

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