Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the 23rd and final chapter in Marvel’s “Infinity Saga” and is directed by Homecoming’s Jon Watts. Tom Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalon along with most of their classmates from Homecoming return for its sequel along with MCU veterans Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, and Jon Favreau. Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place directly after Endgame follows the fallouts of that event. If you have not seen Endgame, do not read this review and definitely do not watch Spider-Man: Far From Home. I will be talking about the events of that movie in this review as they are fairly essential to the story of Spider-Man, as for Far From Home, this will be a spoiler-free review. No spoilers here.

Spider-Man: Far From Home follows Peter Parker as he travels to Europe on a school trip, while he tries to balance being an everyday normal kid and the life of being a superhero… So it’s a Spider-Man movie. However, this time around Peter has to deal with the ramifications of the events of Endgame. With Tony no longer around and most of The Avengers kind of up in the air, Peter feels an immense pressure to fill the shoes that Iron Man left behind. Tom Holland continues to knock it out of the park when it comes playing both parts of Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He’s quirky and awkward in such a likable and charming way. Holland has great chemistry with just about everyone he comes into contact with throughout this movie. The relationships between him and Zendaya and Jake Gyllenhaal, which we will get to in a minute, are so strong and play as one of the movies best assets. Tom Holland is clearly the best actor to portray and capture this character in a live-action movie. Peter has to deal with the weight of the death of his mentor, Tony, and not only that he feels like he needs to, or at least everyone is expecting him to become the next “Iron Man” in the sense that he needs to step up and lead the new charge. Tom Holland plays the line between wanting to do the right thing because of the responsibility he feels he has and just wanting to be a normal teenager who enjoys his trip and thinks about girls. He plays with that duality of the character in a way that comes off fresh, because we’ve seen this struggle many times before in Spider-Man movies and tv shows and definitely in the comics, that in the hands of a lesser actor it could have come off as old and worn out.

As mentioned Zendaya’s MJ character gets a great upgrade. For me, in Homecoming she came off as one-note. Here she is given a lot more to do and a lot more range to play with. They actually give time to her character to develop it and the relationship between her and Peter. I give the first movie, Homecoming, a tough time because of how much it strays away from the traditional Spider-Man friends, or at least in my opinion it does. But now that it’s been established that this is the direction they are going with this character, I’m more forgiving and on board with the choices they’ve made. This MJ is not Mary-Jane, she’s a different character. One character who I really enjoyed in the first one was Ned, played by Jacob Batalon. In Far From Home, while I still enjoyed him being around, they go in a direction with his character that I found very funny at the start, but they just kept going with the joke for the whole movie and it kind of got old and repetitive by the end. I’m keeping it vague as to what it is in case you haven’t seen the movie yet, as the reveal to what it is was one of the funniest parts. There were a few characters that whenever they were on screen, they had been laughing. Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, Martin Starr as Mr. Harrington, and J.B. Smoove as Mr. Dell were big standouts to me in the comedy category. All of there lines landed with me and were some of the funniest parts of the movie.

Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio is a character that I can not go into much detail about without spoiling the whole movie. I’ll just say this about him, he’s awesome. It’s what I had hoped from this character, and Gyllenhaal plays the character great. The action scenes with him are fantastic, specifically the one a little after the midway point of the movie. Great visuals with the character and really creative scenes that reminded me a lot of a few certain levels of the Batman Arkham games. I loved how out there and comic booky the costume for the character looks. I love that they went with the fishbowl. His story is not as compelling as I hoped for, however, and there’s a lot of exposition in one scene that explains that story that feels a little cheap, but it wasn’t too bad for me that it didn’t take me out of the movie. All in all, I really enjoyed the direction they took with this character and of course the great Jake Gyllenhaal did not disappoint.

My three biggest complaints about this movie are not enough to derail this movie for me, but they do hold it back from it joining that upper tier of the MCU movies. For one, the humor in this movie is hit or miss. A lot of the jokes land, but this movie uses humor so much in this movie that it can get a little much. Two, for me Spider-Man is a New York character and New York was sorely missing to me. Yes, the scenery of Europe is interesting and different, but to me, Spider-Man belongs in New York and we just didn’t get enough of him swinging around New York in this movie. And three, I don’t like how the filmmakers keep trying to make Spider-Man Iron Man Jr. Spider-Man is a rich and interesting character on his own, and I find the MCU movies focus too much time on Spider-Man in Iron Man’s shadow. I don’t think this has anything to do with Tom Holland or his performance, I think it has to with everything in the environment that they put him in. Far From Home continues the trend of putting Spider-Man in Tony’s shadow, but in this movie, it had a lot more weight to the story and the overall stakes that it didn’t bother me as much as it has in the past.

For me, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a great Spider-Man movie that is entertaining and a blast at the movies. There are so many fun and colorful performances throughout the movie to keep you engaged and laughing. The action is vibrant and kinetic as we watch Spider-Man flip and spin around in the air using his webs to fight off the villains of the movie. Definitely stick around for the end credit scenes as they are some of the best the MCU has to offer and one with a great, and jaw-dropping moment (you’ll know it when you see it). I wouldn’t put Far From Home in my top ten MCU movies, but I do think it is on par with Homecoming.

Rating: B+

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