Sun 12 July 2020

Chris Sullivan hails a new addition to the Marvel franchise, that marvels with its spectacle when all else fails.

 No-one might doubt the efficacy of any of Marvel’s franchise movies to smash the Box office but. the latest offering, Spiderman – Far From Home, has gone a step further.

It’s broken the Tuesday box office records by grossing $39 million in one day surpassing the record previously held by another spider man Andrew Garfield-The Amazing Spider-Man,  that did $35 million in 2012. 

I took my son to see the press screening and, apart from the fact that he said it was the best movie he had ever seen and wanted to see it again this week, I knew it was heading to smash all records. 

Undeniably Spiderman, as a concept is a winner anyway. It attracts dads who watched the animated TV series in 1981 and 1994, and even granddads who loved the comic back when it was first created in 1962, all of whom are more than willing to take their kids to see the films and pay to do so.

Its special effects were so believable, its recreations unimpeachable that, I for one was asking my self ‘ How on earth did they do that?’ 

But, what the makers of these movies have also realised is that, with the growth of the likes of Netflix and pay-per-view  and the enormous advances in home cinema, they have to go that extra mile (or a thousand miles in this case ) and create a viewing experience that cannot be challenged by anything at home and can only truly be enjoyed in a state of the art, Dolby sound cinema.

We saw it in the Imax in Leicester Square that was nothing less than immense, the sound, the special effects (created by what must have been thousands of computer geeks) and the cinematography were simply unbelievable.

Of course, this has happened before.

Rival Technologies Change Cinema

When TV started to empty cinemas in the fifties studios came up with widescreen Cinemascope that, created by Spyros K Skouras in 1953, used an anamorphic lens and could only be shown in cinemas that used a special adapter, started making huge blockbusting epics like, The Robe and Demetrius The Gladiator (formula franchise’s based on preposterous events from another far fetched comic called The Bible). This got the bottoms on the seats by causing a night at the pictures to become an occasion and a spectacle once again. And just like the comic book movies, dads could take their kids and feel happy.  

More recently just a few directors have realised that a night at the movies just has to hammer a night in front of the telly. Ridley Scot’s movies are by and large epics that have to be seen on the big screen, while Alejandro Inarrito’s magnificent Oscar winning The Revenant illustrates my point to the last letter.

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But Spiderman – Far From Home is out here on another level of its own. Its special effects were so believable, its recreations unimpeachable that, I for one was asking my self ‘ How on earth did they do that?’ 

Apart from technology the film has an interesting premise in that the baddie creates monsters using super 3D technology to cause havoc – which is what movies do: smoke and mirror, illusions. 

Even though the dialogue is cheesy; the subplot about Spiderman trying to win the affections of a girl in his class (Zendaya Coleman) is embarrassingly trite: and the 23 year old lead Tom Holland is terribly miscast and look nowhere near the 16 years of age he is supposed to be, I would still wager that most paying punters, no matter how cynical, would walk away amazed.

 Spiderman – Far From Home is in cinemas nationwide now

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