Serving as an epilogue to Avengers: Endgame, and also the final installment of Marvel’s Phase Three set of feature films, Spider-Man: Far From Home is successful in both wrapping things up and setting forth a new direction for the young Peter Parker (Tom Holland). Far From Home is nowhere near the dark territory of Endgame. It takes a lighter, more fun approach, but also deals with some deep, thematic elements impressively well.
Thanos is gone, and “The Blip,” as Far From Home calls it, has been reversed. Those who vanished five years ago have returned the same they were then, while those who survived have since progressed age-wise. Peter Parker is slowly adjusting to being back, but is also having trouble with no longer having the father figure he had in his life, Tony Stark. Making the decision to hang up the Spider-Man suit for a brief period of time, Peter goes with his classmates on a field trip to Europe. But when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) makes a surprise appearance, Peter must realize that, with the main Avengers gone, he has to step up and take command of being the lead hero of the day.
Far From Home continues with the same ode to John Hughes films that Spider-Man: Homecoming introduced to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It captures the awkwardness of being in high school and having to make certain adjustments at such a young age. While overseas, Peter has plans to profess his love to MJ (Zendaya), but a number of obstacles keep getting in the way. The big ones being the Elementals, which causes terror on the citizens of Venice, Italy. The creatures’ destruction is stopped when a mysterious new figure named Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal, surprisingly good) appears and ends their reign of terror with his power. Quentin is a new superhero that people look up to, hailing from an alternate universe. But his moniker, Mysterio, should trigger comic book fans’ memories of what lies beneath the mystery of this new character.
That’s the most one can really get into a review of the latest comic book offering without venturing into spoiler territory. But, fear not, there is a lot to uncover about Spider-Man in this post-Endgame world, and Watts has inserted plenty of surprises throughout the film and especially during the end credits.
Holland is, once again, charming and relatable as the young Peter. Though many in his class have progressed in age, he’s still stuck at 16. Far From Home captures the teenage awkwardness of young love tremendously with terrific humor, and it also showcases Holland’s more serious side quite well, too. Thankfully, Watts doesn’t shift the film’s tone too drastically when it shows how Peter is readjusting to life.
One of the rare things that Far From Home achieves that so few comic book movies do, is an equal and exciting blend of coming-of-age story with big-budgeted superhero movie. The chemistry Holland has with his co-stars is impeccable, and the scenarios upon which he is thrusted are relatable, funny, and sometimes moving.
The action scenes are exciting, although they can be a little too heavy on the CGI. In some scenes, it was clear that it wasn’t Holland (or his stunt double) moving around, but rather an effect. However, things do get a little trippy when Spider-Man enters another realm and the visuals become a head-spinning experience. Again, can’t say too much without going into spoilers.
Though Far From Home doesn’t break any new ground for the superhero genre, it’s nice to see Watts and team continue down this path of a Hughes-inspired Spider-Man feature. The light, fun approach is exactly what MCU fans deserve after the heaviness of Endgame, and Far From Home certainly delivers on that.