Spider-Man: Far From Home, directed by Jon Watts, continues the Tom Holland-led MCU Spider-Man saga while at the same time acts as a direct sequel to Avengers: Endgame. To say that this film has a lot riding on its shoulders is an understatement. After the cosmic-sized destruction that happened in Endgame, how do you go back to telling a Spider-Man story which doesn’t deal with all that? The answer- Stick to the comics.
Far From Home, just like it’s predecessor Homecoming, takes us back to Peter’s high school and grounds us in a more splice of life story, albeit by shifting the scenery this time. Taking place 8 months after the last Avengers movie, we get to see the ramifications of Hulk’s snap. The film slyly explains how the world works now, with so many of its inhabitants blipping out and then coming back 5 years later. Conveniently enough, most of Peter’s classmates were “blipped” out during Thanos’ crusade, and now that they’re back they have to repeat the entire term. Soon enough, Peter and his friends embark on a school trip across Europe, making this the first Spider-Man film not entirely set in the Big Apple.
After the events of the last films, Peter decides to take a break from superhero-ing around. Losing his mentor Tony Stark has taken quite a toll on him. Like any superhero, he wants to live a normal life, if only for a little bit. And with that, he sees this vacation as the perfect opportunity to take a break. However, his trip soon embarks into chaos as certain elemental monsters wreak havoc across Europe. As usual, this is where our hero needs to step up to the mantle of Tony Stark.
At the same time, we get introduced to Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio. Right off the bat, let me just say that Gylenhall, like most of his other roles, plays this beautifully. Jon Watts and Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige have made all the right decisions by featuring the lesser known villains from the Spider-Man mythos in this new iteration. This also plays well into Mysterio’s motivations, in that comic-book readers might know a little bit more about it than the more casual fans.
While Homecoming told a charming high school story with relatively smaller stakes, the sequel kicks it up a notch. It’s evident that Watts has learned from working on a big budget, and he uses this knowledge skillfully as he manages to set up even bigger actions sequences, as well as bigger stakes than the first time around. While it does take some time to get going, with the first half of the film being more of a high school romance, the action, especially in the second half, manages to reach the gargantuan heights that the MCU is known for. And Europe itself acts as a great backdrop, offering a stark contrast to the skyscrapers of New York City.
I think it’s pretty well established by now that Tom Holland is probably the best Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He effortlessly switches from one persona to the other and is perfect at showing us the hero’s internal conflicts, something that is very important to the character. Similarly, Peter’s classmates make up for an enjoyable foil to Peter and his superhero plans. The film, more than Homecoming, decides to show us a little bit more of each of their personalities, with extra screentime given to Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) and Betty Brant (Angourie Rice). A lot more importance is given to Zendaya’s MJ, and she makes for a great pairing with Holland’s Parker. The high school dynamic here feels right out of a John Hughes movie in all the right ways.
Speaking of the cast, Samuel L. Jackson returns as Nick Fury along with Cobie Smulder’s Maria Hill. And as usual it’s a great joy to see them both back on the big screen, instantly reminding us of their dynamic in the first Avengers film. Nick Fury has always been known as a master planner, however being blipped out of existence has made the all-knowing spy pretty oblivious of the state the world is in now. This factors in wonderfully as his interactions with the young Avengers are some of the film’s best highlights. To see him interacting with Iron Man’s mentee, so to speak, is nothing short of beautiful. Speaking of Iron Man, Jon Favreau is back as Happy with what is perhaps the most importance that character is given since the Iron Man movies. Favreau’s Happy Hogan is a delight and his relationship with Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May make up for some of the funniest scenes in the film.
In the end, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a great capper on the entirety of the Infinity Saga. By taking Spider-Man to new heights, both in terms of his skill and scale, the film manages to outdo most other Spider-Man films and comes close to Spider-Man 2, which many regard to be the best Spider-Man movie yet. At least in live-action.
P.S: Do not skip the credits on this one. The film’s 2 post credits scenes give us a good idea of where Marvel is going in Phase 4, as well as setting up Spider-Man’s next big adventure.