Volume Eight, Issue Twenty-Six
“Movie Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home”
After the epic finale that was Avengers: Endgame, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Spider-Man: Far From Home would be one to miss. But for longtime fans of the MCU, and even more for fans of the character, the latest Spidey adventure is a can’t miss installment of the long running saga for Marvel’s heroes, and the answer to many of your lingering Endgame questions.
The Avengers succeeded in bringing back everyone who was “snapped” out of reality, and that means Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is back in the land of the living, along with his classmates, who are all embarking on a Summer Semester abroad trip that will have them touring Europe. For Peter, it serves as a great excuse to hang up his webs for a little while and get some much needed rest and relaxation. It doesn’t take long for those plans to go awry when Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) arrives and introduces Peter to Quentin Beck, also known as Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a superhero from another dimension who is attempting to save our world from the elemental forces that destroyed his. As Spider-Man and Mysterio team up to beat these forces and save our world, Spidey has to grapple with a world without his mentor Tony Stark, and the legacy that he’s left behind.
Far From Home has been billed as an epilogue of sorts to Avengers: Endgame, but I think that description really underserves just how well done this film is. Yes, you get specific answers on what the world of the MCU is like post “snap” (or “blip”, as it’s referred to by the students at Peter’s high school), but Far From Home is also a surprising look at legacy, living up to what others want you to be, and the power of truth and facts. Jon Watts, back in the Spidey seat after directing Spider-Man: Homecoming, is even more assured in this film here, nailing the character interactions as well as the action set pieces, which are more daring and engaging here than in Homescoming. A few moments look ripped not only directly from the comics, but the recent Spider-Man PS4 game as well, and many set pieces even wowed this longtime Spidey fan with how well they used the wall-crawler’s abilities.
With this being his fifth go at playing Peter Parker/Spider-Man, you’d think that Tom Holland would be phoning in his performance by now, but that’s clearly not the case here. Holland continues to prove how much of a great talent he is in this role, and honestly could go down as the best actor to play the character. He’s the perfect mix of Peter Parker and Spider-Man, and is able to go from being an inspiring hero to just your average teenager with ease. There aren’t as many emotional beats for Peter this time around, but Holland still does a lot to bring out Peter’s sense of not knowing just what exactly he wants to do with his life, and he really makes you feel for Peter as he mourns the loss of his mentor.
If you know Spider-Man comics at all, then you know what Mysterio’s deal is. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything that happens in the movie. But I will say that as someone who’s waited to see Mysterio in a Spidey film since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, I was not disappointed. Jake Gyllenhaal is clearly having a blast playing the character, and he goes down as one of the best additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Michael B Jordan’s Killmonger. I thought Gyllenhall was a weird choice for the character at first, but within a few minutes I quickly fell in love with his take on the character, and Gyllenhaal really makes it his own. I want to talk more about him, but I can’t for fear of ruining the movie.
Far From Home has made big waves over its mid-credits scene, and yes, it is a doozy that you should absolutely stick around for (it made me scream with joy and then with panic in the span of 15 seconds). A lot of people are going to be talking about it (I know I want to right now). But it’s also preceded by a pretty rock solid film that is on par with, and maybe even better than, Spider-Man: Homecoming. It’s more secure in it’s place in the MCU, has a great lead performance, and has the right mix of heart, humor, and drama that all great Spider-Man stories do. People keep wondering just how much gas is left in the Marvel Studios tank, and if Far From Home is any indication, there’s a whole lot left for us to get excited for.