Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider–Man: Far From Home is technically the 8th Spider–Man film (or 9th, give or take a Venom) and Far From Home proves he is still a viable character.

Spider–Man: Far From Home is technically the 8th Spider–Man film (or 9th, give or take a Venom) and Far From Home proves he is still a viable character. By film rights owner Sony lending the character to Marvel Studios, it has allowed Spider–Man to be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which invigorates the world he lives in, especially since this is released after the monumental Avengers: Endgame. Far From Home has a breezy first half and saves it’s best stuff for the end as it goes engagingly bonkers. 

After the events of the Avengers’ final showdown with the Mad Titan Thanos, the world is dealing with fallen heroes and befuddled citizens. High school student Peter Parker (Tom Holland), who also fought with the Avengers as Spider-Man, is going on a vacation with his fellow students to Europe. He hopes he can have fun with his buddy Ned (Jacob Balaton), but Ned gets romantic with the student Betty (Angourie Rice) and Peter’s potential girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) is getting closer to Brad (Remy Hill). Making things even more complicated is super spy Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) says he needs Spider-Man’s help with elemental monsters tearing up the globe, and their only hope is the new superhero Mysterio aka Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal). Peter wants to finally spend time with his friends but spies, fire monsters, a powerful gift left behind by Tony Stark, and the enigmatic intentions of Mysterio get in the way. 

Teenage romantic drama gets a surprising amount of attention in Far From Home. Ned and Betty are nauseatingly lovey dovey with Balaton and Rice a good source for yuks. Holland and Zendaya have good chemistry although MJ seems less funny than she was in Homecoming. There’s also Hill as the other guy who is trying to get with MJ but his whole plot seems a bit like filler. Frankly, they should have used the standard Peter Parker bully, Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori). Still, Flash gets in a few great moments like when he steals Tony Stark’s glasses from Peter which causes Peter to accidentally slug him. Holland has a frantic energy for the crazy situations Peter is put in, seeming like a kid underneath the suit scraping by and not an untouchable superhero. While there may not be a moment for Peter as amazing as him lifting the building in Homecoming, there is an awesome bit at the end here where Peter fully embraces his Spider–Man powers as he dodges enemies with fluid grace. 

Tony’s glasses turn out to be an important plot point in the film as they control Stark’s advanced tech. It’s a fun callback to Peter’s mentor who was such a big part of Homecoming, and the way the film integrates the history of previous MCU movies into the plot is fantastic as the world the characters have inherited after Avengers: Endgame gets deeper exploration. High school trip hijinks and Peter meeting Mysterio, Fury, and fighting giant elemental monsters take up the first half of the film which is decent although is a bit standard. Samuel L. Jackson’s Fury gets to be the angry mentor character, a contrast to the nice rookie agent Fury was earlier this year in Captain Marvel. Another MCU alum returns, Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan who gets in some funny awkwardness with Peter and his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and there’s some great physical comedy with Happy attempting to throw a shield like Captain America that fails spectacularly. 

Things get more interesting when Mysterio’s full scheme is revealed as it allows Gyllenhaal to be more bombastic. One of the best scenes is when Beck goes Full Mysterio as things get really trippy. Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is a cool update of the classic Spider–Man character who has some uniquely different elements how he does what he does but the spirt of the character is very true to the source. Unfortunately, the second half of the movie is so good it makes the first half pale in comparison. 

There’s the natural inclination for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies to have the credit scene stingers mostly be superfluous fluff, mainly because people are probably heading for the exits. After the end title cards, the mid–credit stinger in Far From Home is not a cutesy random aside, it’s the legit real ending. Things end tonally a certain way before the credits roll and then the mid–credits stinger, featuring a fantastic cameo, completely upends the entire movie. It is a little weird that they decided to keep such a critical, and downright fantastic, piece of information for what is technically a bonus scene but it’s a great ending. Also, another after credit scene promise more craziness in the MCU to come. But that mid–credit stinger in Far From Home may be the best one in the entire MCU, and that is saying something. 

Spider–Man: Far From Home is a decent entry in the MCU and the Spider–Man series, although it isn’t quite up there with the trifecta of great Spider–Man movies like Spider–Man 2, Homecoming or Spider–Verse. This is a light, funny movie that puts a nice bow on this phase of Marvel movies. Spider–Man will return and seeing him home with the Marvel universe makes even somewhat slight stories like this that much better.  V



Far From Home 

4 stars

Director: Jon Watts

Starring: Tom Holland,

Samuel L. Jackson and

Jake Gyllenhaal 

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