Spider-Man: Far From Home is the epilogue to the 23-film Infinity Saga or the final Phase 3 film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). As such, the film is another winner for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, who still owns the film rights to the Marvel Comics superhero.
The film is solidly part of the MCU, as shown in its opening moments as the world is recovering from the events of the last two Avengers films. It was good to see the everyday reaction to Thanos’s snap and the sudden return of half of the world’s population, called the Blip in the MCU. For Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), the impact of the Avengers films weighs heavily on him as his mentor Tony Stark is no longer around. He feels the pressure of trying to be the next Iron Man while enjoying his normal teenage routines. The biggest thing on his mind, aside from his Spider-Man duties, is working up the nerve to tell his fellow high school classmate, MJ (Zendaya) that he likes her. The two of them, along with other classmates, spend most of the film in Europe on a school trip. While in the Old World, Peter is contacted by the clandestine head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to help Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) with dealing with these giant elemental creatures that are attacking Europe. Beck is supposedly from a parallel Earth that was destroyed by these creatures and wants to prevent the same disaster from happening in the MCU Earth. Beck quickly earns Peter’s trust who then begins to confide in him all his doubts and fears. But as comic book fans know there is much more to Beck than he would have one believe.
The latest Spider-Man film is the quintessential summer film. It’s fun, exciting, humorous and moves at a brisk pace, particularly in the second half. At the same time, unlike most summer blockbusters this film has depth and engages you emotionally. All the actors are spot-on perfect in their roles and embody the characters they portrays. This especially goes to Tom Holland who has an earnest energy and nervousness that makes his Peter Parker very endearing. This portrayal of Spider-Man feels authentic and captures the essence of the beloved superhero. He makes mistakes, big ones, but his heart is in the right place. It’s why we root root for him. Meanwhile, Zendaya adds much more dimension and humanity to her role of MJ. Now, she is more personable while keeping her spunky and sardonic attitude that made her so funny in Spider-Man: Homecoming. She and Holland have a nice chemistry as a budding and sweet romance develops between the two young people, which works. It’s not as intense as with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the The Amazing Spider-Man films, but their romance has a tender sweetness that offers a nice respite from all the fantastic effects and explosions.
As far as Spider-villains go, Mysterio is certainly a fantastic entry into Spidey’s rogues gallery with a unique power set, comic-book accurate costume, and motivation. His background and purpose differs a lot from his comic book roots, but they fit in easily within the MCU and there are some great and surprising call backs to previous MCU films. His drive and presence in the film doesn’t quite match the depth and desperation of the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but Gyllenhaal is just great in the role and injects a lot of passion into his role. The fight sequences between him and Spidey capture the spirit of their comic book encounters complete with the weird illusions that rival some of what we’ve seen in Doctor Strange.
There are some issues with Spider-Man: Far From Home, namely the high school antics and gags. Unlike the previous film, here they fall flat many times, which is puzzling since director Jon Watts pulled it off so well in Spider-Man: Homecoming. With this film, the antics come off as unfunny distractions, though some gags hit the mark. Still, it is not a fatal flaw with the film, but for the next film, the filmmakers should consider retooling this aspect or getting rid of it altogether.
Right now, the future of the MCU Spider-Man films is uncertain because Spider-Man: Far From Home is supposedly the last Spider-Man film in the agreement between Marvel Studios and Sony. It would be a horrific shame if these films couldn’t continue and Sony took Spidey back because there is so much more that can be done with him.
This is clearly evident in one of the post-credits scenes that is an absolute shocker. Seriously, they cannot leave us hanging like they did. On another note, the other post-credits scene is equally as important because it heralds the direction that the MCU will take from this point on. Spider-Man: Far From Home both stands on its own as a winning Spider-Man film and as an coda to the wondrous 23-film MCU.
Great review! I really enjoyed Spider-Man Far From Home. It was such a fun and exciting film. Mysterio was also a great choice for this film and the special effects were stunning. Yes, I agree, some of the jokes fell a bit flat, but overall this film was a nice coda to the events of Endgame.
Thanks! Mysterio is a terrific villain and reimagined perfectly within the MCU. The film left me itching to see more Spidey in the MCU. Come on Sony and Marvel, announce that a new deal has been made already!
Fingers crossed! I’m sure with how well Far From Home is doing at the box office, Marvel and Sony will strike a new deal. They’d be mad not to do so, especially with how good Tom Holland is in the role of Peter Parker / Spider-Man.
Top review! Alas, I found myself less engaged with Far From Home and although there’s a sense of progression with the characters and the world of Spidey I’d say I prefer Homecoming overall.
It’d still be a solid 7 if I were to score it, but it lacks something – I didn’t really get that ‘Spider-Man’ feeling present in other iterations, I think maybe it’s the focus on the teen rom-com aspects – although I get why that approach is taken.
Still, looking forward to seeing Tom Holland continue to grow within the role and we’ve been given some tantalising set-up for the future (and one heck of a pleasing mid-credits surprise).
Thanks! I have similar misgivings about Far From Home though it is quite enjoyable and agree that the teenage hijinks were a bit too much. Unlike the previous film, this aspect did not resonate with me and felt flat.
Honestly, I hope that in the next film they move past this which may be the case. In this film the teenagers are 16 so it’s likely that the third (and final?) Spider-Man MCU film will be about him graduating high school and grappling with more adult headaches, such as the ramifications of the mid credits shocker.
Yeah, whilst I enjoyed the John Hughes-esque aspect in Homecoming I similarly hope they move beyond that in the next one and gives us a more traditional Spider-Man adventure. It’s going to be interesting to see how they deal with what was set-up mid-credits.
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