The teaser trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home has (finally) been released (after some wrangling with Disney about timing). I ADORE Spider-Man: Homecoming, but this teaser? It doesn’t excite me. There’s not anything in it that grabs me and makes me sit up straight. This is not necessarily a referendum on the movie itself, just that what they have chosen to put in this teaser is not what I really want to see from this Spider-Man, let alone from this Spider-Man in 2019. Homecoming is so great in large part because it is a high school movie. I’m very down with teenage Peter Parker having normal teenage problems on top of superhero problems. And in Homecoming, those two things were really well integrated. Peter’s crush turned out to be the nexus of his villain problem. He just wanted to go to the dance, man!
But Far From Home looks more like Peter getting pulled into superhero problems, not superhero problems landing on his football field, so to speak. He’s on a school trip to Europe, Nick Fury shows up, and then there is a rock monster. This is, honestly, where the teaser loses me. That rock monster looks straight out of The Incredible Hulk or Batman v Superman, neither of which are stellar examples of the genre. Rock monsters are like sky lasers—at this point, they should be banned from the genre for the foreseeable future.
I’m also not feeling the scope. Homecoming is a relatively small story. The Vulture is, really, just a petty criminal. There’s an action sequence devoted to Spider-Man running across town. It’s not world-ending explosions and entire cities under threat. He is, after all, “your friendly NEIGHBORHOOD Spider-Man”. Sure, sometimes Spider-Man teams up with the Avengers. But on his own, he’s just a kid tooling around his neighborhood helping people out of jams and dealing with comparatively small-time villains. Far From Home looks like the opposite of that. It’s big explosions and rock monsters and then Jake Gyllenhaal shows up in a bubble helmet.
There are some things I like, though, including that bubble helmet. I like Happy and Aunt May sparking something. I like Peter and MJ awkwardly flirting. I like that Jake G is decked out in a supremely silly costume and that he is rocking the bubble helmet as Mysterio. Not too long ago, superhero movies were too serious for bubble helmets, but I appreciate the silly aesthetic and am glad to see that Mysterio looks like a f-cking nut. And I still LOVE Tom Holland as Peter Parker.
It’s just that this teaser feels different in a way that doesn’t get me excited. That might, in part, be due to Into the Spider-Verse, which is SO amazing and captures the heart of Spider-Man so well, that you sort of wonder what even is the point of other Spider-Men now (which is the inherent danger of fielding multiple iterations of characters, take note DC). But it’s also that I like the scaled-back, high school Spider-Man so much that I’m not ready to let go of him just yet. I get that Peter is still in high school but go back and look at the first trailer for Homecoming and then watch this and tell me you don’t see a difference. In my write-up of that trailer I said, “…we almost never have real kid characters in superhero movies. We don’t spend time in their world, or see from their perspective…”
That’s what this teaser feels like, that Far From Home is less concerned with Peter as a character as a kid and more concerned with typical superhero stuff like exploding cities and rock monsters. Honestly this teaser has me wondering what Marvel’s involvement level was this time around. Making Homecoming was stressful and Sony and Marvel didn’t have the smoothest partnership. I’m wondering now if Marvel was less involved this time because this teaser has a ring of Venom that sort of worries me. (I know that movie made money but no one calls it “good”.)
I hope I’m wrong. I hope this is just a mediocre teaser and the next trailer will show off more of Peter being Peter and less of the rock monster because a rock monster has never worked out for any superhero movie, so let’s just demote that out of the marketing assets, yes? Give me more of Awkward Teen Peter and Zendaya and Jake G in a bubble helmet. I don’t care about exploding cities. I care about whether or not Peter enjoys his summer vacation. I’m a little afraid now the focus is going the other direction, but I hope Far From Home proves me wrong.