Spider-Man: Far From Home serves as both a pseudo-follow up to Avengers: Endgame while also being a hugely entertaining sequel to Homecoming. It properly follows up on the threads of bringing Peter from being “Spider-Boy” to “Spider-Man” and delivers a hugely action packed sequel that is both sweet, hilarious, and exciting all at the same time. While it is a step-down in terms of scale from Endgame, the ethical and moral choices Peter has to make allow this Marvel film to feel just as weighty and impactful.
Tony Stark is dead but that doesn’t mean his presence is not felt especially when it comes to Peter. The world has lost one of its main Avengers and many are looking at Spider-Man to fill that role, including Nick Fury who wants to recruit Peter while he is on a trip to Europe to help with some world-annihilating events. But Peter doesn’t want this huge responsibility and just wants to kick back and relax after everything he has been through. When the danger ramps up, Peter must decide whether he should team up with Quentin Beck/Mysterio or stick to just being the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
The film is at both times a very mature Spider-Man film and also a more childish one. Both work to the movie’s favor and is what allows it to be so strong. The Spider-Man films are known to have a more lighthearted element to them, but this one also continues on the thread that Peter Parker is growing up both as a high school student but also as a hero who is confronted with tough choices and emotions. It is that dichotomy with which propels the movie and makes it all the more interesting for people who may be getting “Spider-Man movie fatigue”.
Tom Holland is still excellent as the webcrawler, containing the right amount of excitement, charisma, enthusiasm, and maturity to make this iteration work. Peter both has to be the awkward teenager who just wants to spend time with the girl he really likes but also grow to be a mature hero to fill in Iron Man’s shoes. Holland is able to portray both sides of the character beautifully and allow us to feel that even though Spider-Man is a great superhero with awesome powers, he is just a kid who wants a normal life.
All of the other characters fare well,l with Peter’s classmates offering a good dose of humor throughout the runtime. The first half of the movie really works at showing the high school drama/romance offering both a sentimental feeling and making you laugh at the same time. It is endearing to see these high schoolers grow up and that’s where a lot of the film’s humor arises.
My favorite character of the new film (and one of my favorite characters from the comics I might add) is Jake Gyllenhall’s Mysterio. If you’re familiar with the comics, you may know where this character is going but suffice to say I absolutely LOVED what they did with the character. Gyllenhall was an excellent choice to play to Quentin Beck and you can tell he is excited to be there making it all the more fun to watch him on screen. The way they use his powers and integrate them into the more modern MCU was fantastic and I loved every sequence with him in it. All though not as refined as Michael Keaton’s Vulture from the last film, they still did an excellent job of adapting yet another iconic Spider-Man character.
What really drives the film is the ethical and moral dilemmas that Peter must face, is he able to step up and be an Avenger or should he just stick to being a “normal” kid with high school problems? Seeing Peter wrestle with the weight of these decisions is very interesting as the choice he makes doesn’t give him much room to breathe. There is a lot of pressure on him, and this allows the more dramatic and emotional parts of the film to land. It also allows the action to escalate and feel more tense as the film progresses.
The film is well packed with action and the sequences are marvelous to watch and behold. The special effects team really deserves credit for the sequences and is highly impressive. Seriously, this is some of the best visual work since Doctor Strange and I was entranced when they were happening. The action also feels more tight and refined than it did in Homecoming allowing for more tension and nail biting moments to occur. There are only so many times we can see Spider-Man swing around and punch people, but it’s nice to see that Far From Home is able to keep these sequences fresh with Peter changing up tactics and using his brain more than his actual powers to get out of sticky situations.
The film does suffer a bit from a pacing issue and it feels as if the film is two distinct parts. The first part is all the high school romance and drama while the second half is the exciting superhero action. It doesn’t feel like the action and romance are properly woven together to maintain a good entertaining balance. While both parts are great, I was getting a little bored near the 1st hour mark when I hadn’t seen Spidey properly suit up and take down some bad guys yet.
There is also an overabundance of jokes that don’t quite land in the film. There are moments in the film where they pause so that you can laugh, but they are more gags rather than clever writing. The film does have some good humor but they were going for too much it seemed and this could have been helped with the pacing problem.
Suffice to say, this is a strong Spider-Man film and quite possibly one of my new favorites for the Marvel universe. It delivers on both the mature dramatic side and the superhero action I have come to love from the films. Gyllenhall as Mysterio is easily the best part of the film and his foil with Holland is great to watch on screen. While the film does need to be better paced, this did not stop me from having a great time watching Spider-Man continue to evolve on screen. This is a fantastic Marvel movie and with what is revealed in the mid-credits scene, I can’t wait to see where they take the character next.
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