Spider-Man: Far From Home Review
This article contains spoilers for Marvel films up to and including Avengers: Endgame.
The latest film from the Marvel Cinematic Universe could not be more of a contrast to its predecessor. After the momentous and hard-hitting conclusion to more than a decades worth of storytelling in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel fans are no doubt desperate for a film which lightens the tone somewhat.
Watching Spider-Man: Far From Home felt like a breath of fresh air, a reminder that heroes don’t always need to be battling a ‘Thanos-level’ threat in order for films to be entertaining. Far From Home doesn’t take itself too seriously, combining great performances with genuine laugh-out-loud moments, as well as boasting some of the best visual effects I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.
Far From Home sees Spidey removed from the sprawling metropolis of New York, and taking a much-needed break from saving the world. The Empire State Building and Avengers Tower are replaced by sights such as The Rialto Bridge in Venice and Tower Bridge in London, as Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his classmates jet off on a sightseeing tour of Europe. Even on the other side of the Atlantic, Peter is unable to escape the loss of Tony Stark, as memorials to the late Iron Man appear everywhere you look. With the world asking ‘Who will be the next Iron Man?’, Peter’s struggle with the burden left on his shoulders in the wake of Avengers: Endgame is prevalent throughout the film. He is torn between desires of wanting to be Tony Stark’s successor, but also wanting to just be a regular sixteen-year-old kid from Queens, one full of ambition, not to save the world, but to get the girl.
Despite his efforts to leave the spandex a home, it soon becomes clear that Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has other ideas. The interactions between these two characters are some of the highlights of the film, Jackson’s ‘no bullshit’ demeanor apparent from the off:
Peter: ‘I’m just a friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.’
Fury: ‘Bitch please, you’ve been to space.’
Need I say more?
Peter becomes embroiled in an effort to save the world from four ‘Elemental’ beings from another dimension, along with the help of Quentin Beck/ Mysterio. Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a newcomer to the superhero business, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to show the world he is more than capable of stepping up to fill the void left by Tony Stark.
To divulge much more would run the risk of spoilers, but comic fans will know that there is more to Mysterio than meets the eye. Holland and Gyllenhaal have a great rapport, their two characters a clear contrast of the other. Gyllenhaal’s bursts with determination, confidence, and experience, whereas Holland’s perfect mix of youthful energy and awkward teenage angst, is something most of us can certainly relate to. In the final third of the film, we see Peter making use of some very nifty Stark technology, in scenes that are eerily reminiscent of those in the Iron Man films which depict Tony Stark building his suits. It’s only a brief scene, but Peter’s realisation that he is in fact worthy of Tony’s mantle makes this one of my favourite scenes in the entire film.
Far From Home doesn’t quite live up to the incredibly high standard that Marvel fans have come to expect, but it is a highly entertaining film nonetheless. Holland’s portrayal of Peter Parker is second to none. He isn’t quite as geeky as Toby Maguire, and he isn’t the cool skateboarder portrayed by Andrew Garfield. He’s somewhere in the middle of them both, and I think it’s the best portrayal of Peter Parker we’ve seen on the big screen. Gyllenhaal’s performance is of equal measure, and the chemistry between the two actors is fantastic. The film’s use of humour, brilliant visuals, and well-choreographed action-sequences make this a worthy sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Far From Home brings the current phase of Marvel films to a close, on a much needed lighter tone than previous outings. The mid-credit scene makes it apparent that what comes next will not be easy for our favourite wall-crawler, while the end-credit scene poses just as many new questions as it answers as to what lies ahead in the MCU.
Film Score: 8.5/10