Spider-Man: Far from HomeYour Friendly Neighborhood Review
On the heels of the record-breaking behemoth Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far from Home holds its own as the last film in the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a very welcome change of pace from the grandeur and severity of Endgame, and a fitting epilogue to what is now collectively called The Infinity Saga.
What It’s About
The film follows our titular hero as he deals with the aftermath of the Decimation (now being called “The Blip”), and the loss of his mentor Tony Stark. After disappearing, and returning five years later, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and friends try to return to their everyday lives despite everyone else growing five years older. When they go on a school trip across Europe, Peter wants nothing but to have a normal experience away from his superhero life, but Nick Fury has something else in mind. Fury recruits Peter to team up with Quentin Beck (Mysterio) to stop four dimension-crossing Elementals from destroying the world.
Far from Home gives us a somewhat light-hearted look at how the rest of the world is coping after half of the population disappeared and then reappeared after five long years. The opening sequence alone, with Midtown High’s tribute to the fallen Avengers, was already a hint at how this movie aimed to provide a lighter atmosphere, following the heaviness of both Infinity War and Endgame. (Heck, that song by Whitney Houston has been on constant repeat in mind since I saw this film on opening day.)
Tom Holland’s performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is superb as always. His Spidey is the perfect balance of awkward, nerdy, and funny. His natural athleticism also makes him perfect for the role of the wallcrawling, web-swinging Spider-Man. He’s now definitely my favorite of all the actors who played the role.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Mysterio is also notable. He succeeds in making his character both likeable and unlikeable at the same time. The Spider-Man films continue to flesh out interesting additions to an already remarkable rogue’s gallery in the MCU. Also, the way Mysterio’s abilities were depicted here was downright jawdropping, perfectly translating his comic book powers into the “real-world” setting of the MCU.
Zendaya’s MJ is refreshing, and although I wish they had just named her Mary Jane Watson, it’s loads better than the MJ we got in the Sam Raimi Trilogy.
Lastly, that surprise cameo in the mid-credits scene was an awesome nod to what was one of the best casting choices from the original trilogy. I was surprised I was the only one clapping when he appeared.
What’s Not So Good
As mentioned above, my biggest gripe about this Spider-Man series is the fact that they chose not to name their version of MJ as Mary Jane Watson. I’m a huge Mary Jane fan, and I consider her to be Peter’s ultimate love. Every other love interest can’t hold a candle to MJ. And that’s why, I think Marvel Studios missed a huge opportunity here. At least she’s just MJ in the credits now. From here on out, in my mind, she IS Mary Jane.
There were also a few things that were a bit predictable, especially for fans of the comic books in which these films are based on. Most notably, the Mysterio twist, and the whole multiverse reference. Come on, it’s already considered canon that the MCU resides on Earth 199999.
Lastly, almost every superhero movie is not without some gaping plot holes, and this one is no exception. But they’re not so bad that they suspend disbelief.
All in all, it’s a solid film, whether you’re a fan of the MCU or just a casual moviegoer. Spider-Man: Far from Home is an amazing sequel to an already great franchise. It takes what’s good about the first film and adds a ton more to it. It’s also the perfect follow-up to what maybe the best, most ambitious superhero movie in Endgame, and a fitting close to the Infinity Saga. Make sure to stay for two extra scenes as the credits roll.