By hiring Jake Gyllenhaal to join the club as Mysterio in Far From Home, Marvel have hit the villain jackpot
The best super hero films are made by their villains. At this point, that’s essentially a fact. Why do Batman and Spider-Man have such an elevation over their contemporaries? Because of their villains. Punters don’t walk out of these films saying ‘Batman was so cool because he punched that obscure menace into oblivion’. Heroes are loved because they can defeat these extra special entities, and by hiring Jake Gyllenhaal to join the club as Mysterio in Far From Home, Marvel have hit the villain jackpot.
Yet they have precedent. Look no further than Homecoming, and Michael Keaton’s Vulture is one of the most engaging villains Marvel had created in some time, and that’s because they attached a brilliant actor to transform him to the screen. So by bringing Gyllenhaal aboard for the sequel, they were making brilliant moves from the outset.
Add in the already established Tom Holland Spider-Man, naive and energetic, and Far From Home suddenly becomes everything Spider-Man films should have always been. Sam Raimi’s first two pictures are excellent, but they aren’t quintessential Spider-Man; 2018’s Into The Spider-Verse is, but there is something about live-action that seems to resonate very strongly with the public when it comes to super heroes. There’s an acceptance of the ludicrous nature and the fictionality of the characters, that allows CGI to run smoothly, if the piece is created well.
Marvel obviously have their process working wonderfully smoothly now, but that doesn’t mean each piece will be a success. However, director Jon Watts has given Holland’s Spider-Man an absolute lease of life, with such a wonderful originality to it. Far From Home mixes its lore with its passion for comics, and created a modern masterpiece – in terms of the blockbuster.
Playful and unpredictable, Far From Home is wonderful super-hero picture. With Mysterio’s vision sequences acting as some of the best moments in 2019’s cinematic spectrum, and certainly some of the best scenes in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man is relevant again, and that’s such a brilliant success for film making in general, not just the comic book world.
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