After the incredible shell-shock of Avengers: Endgame, the future for the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was uncertain. The monumental scale of the un-snapping and its subsequent battle did wonders for the heroes and excitement factor of the universe, but after the colossal weight of the threat to half of all life had been lifted, it’s safe to say we probably needed something of a break. That’s where our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man comes in, with an exciting, smiley, funny and twisty globe-trotting romp in the shape of Far From Home to rival his first solo outing, Spider-Man Homecoming. We’ve needed a getaway from the doom, gloom, and heartache- let’s make it to Venice; the city of love.
“HOLLAND REMAINS A STELLAR CHOICE FOR THE WEB-SLINGER, STRUGGLING TO BALANCE THE PEOPLE HE LOVES WITH WHAT HE KNOWS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO WITH A QUICK WIT, UNRIVALLED CHARM AND IMPRESSIVE EMOTIONAL FLEXIBILITY”
If any one thing stands out about Spider-Man’s MCU outings thus far, it’s the wholehearted care given to Peter Parker’s life as a generation Z teenager. His affections and priorities rooting in his friends and his schoolwork gave him remarkable charm in Homecoming, and the lovable dork carries this with him as he trots Europe following his science class, and more importantly, MJ. Tom Holland and Zendaya have a remarkable spark, and as Peter clumsily pines for MJ’s affection, their performance sells a genuinely sincere arc, unpredictably giving this action film’s best scenes to a teenager with his heart a-flutter. Holland remains a stellar choice for the web-slinger, struggling to balance the people he loves with what he knows is the right thing to do with a quick wit, unrivaled charm and impressive emotional flexibility.
The story’s emotional beats certainly don’t detract from the visually stunning action- while most of the better sequences were revealed in the film’s trailer, the Elementals look breathtaking and keep the energy and excitement running high. But the real star of the show is the abilities masqueraded by Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio- while one scene in particular steals the show visually (you’ll know the one when you see it), every single moment featuring the master of illusion is captivating. His skills are fascinating, and in his moments of heart and rage, Gyllenhaal proves a fantastic choice for Quentin Beck, giving the character a notable soft charisma. His injection into the MCU looks to be grander than has been foreseen, and Beck’s “cool uncle” energy makes him incredibly welcome.
The snap (or as we’ll come to know it, “the blip”) seems a difficult topic to address in terms of its science, but Far From Home grants levity to the dreary subject by utilizing the childish lens of modern youth. The Midtown School of Science and Technology’s approach to the snap is as good at giving the audience a good laugh as it is filling in the gaps that Endgame left in the MCU plot and continuity, but the laughs aren’t just left to the untied plot points. The humor throughout the film is fittingly awkward and juvenile, which works wonders for the film’s focus on the teenage experience. Jokes land almost every time, granting some light to some of Peter’s moments dealing with his love life, and struggling to follow in the footsteps of the now legendary Iron Man.
The story follows Peter Parker and his web-slinging alter ego equally, granting the film incredible strength in defining the man behind the mask, further building on the start that Homecoming made with the character. Spider-Man: Far From Home is an endearing, exciting and all around riveting new installment to Parker’s story. The film doesn’t show all of its cards until the very end (and yes, that means post-credit scenes of utmost importance), and it swings from strength to strength, just as we’ve known Holland’s Spider-Man to do. A rival to Homecoming indeed, and exactly the jolt of fun and smiley action the cinematic universe needed to close its third phase. Tom Holland is on his way to becoming the face of the MCU, and quite frankly, he’s earned it.