For some reason I wrote a spoiler–free review for Spider-Man: Far From Home back in July that I also never uploaded. Here is that review that I have sort of updated due to the fact Sony and Disney had a falling out.
Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame – No spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home
Avengers Endgame was traumatic when you think about it. We lost a lot of heroes and had the culmination of an 11-year arc play out in a massive three-hour runtime. Spider-Man: Far From Home roles up a couple of months later and acts in many ways as a two-hour epilogue to the 23 films in the “Infinity Saga”. It attempts to tie up many of the loose ends that people had with the effect of the “snappening” (now called “the blip”) and creating new threads for the next stage of earth’s mightiest franchise.
This film feels rather low stakes for the most part. Still, the scope ends up being much more extensive; this is because Spidey is lifted off the streets of New York and onto a plane for a European vacation. It takes what its predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming, did with its street-level hero approach and ignored it. There it was contained and somewhat unique, its references to the outside world of the universe were much more minimal and its tie-ins light.
Far From Home has a lot of world rebuilding to do following off the back of Endgame and many new plot threads to create for phase 4. It has to work overtime to clear up some of the issues that snapping half of the population away and then bringing them back five years later has on the world. They’re all mostly handled amusingly, covering the return in the first five minutes via a Betty Bryant newscast.
This time Spidey is joined by old Marvel favourites Samuel L Jackson (Nick Fury) and Cobie Smulders (Maria Hill) and new blood for the universe in Jake Gyllenhaal who plays Quentin Beck aka Mysterio the questionable new mentor figure in Spider-Mans life. Fury is at his most touchy in this movie and is almost borderline annoying for the majority of the runtime. While he is there, it doesn’t feel like he is in it, more of an extended cameo, there are reasons for this though. Quentin Beck is a new fun character who has a convincing back story that looks to be getting played out if the synopsis of the revealed Phase 4 slate is to go on. Gyllenhaal shines in his role and works hard throughout the arc playing a great Stark replacement and in a lot of scenes a great maniac.
Tom Holland returns as Spider-Man. Once again proving he is the best Peter Parker put to screen. Holland provides an excellent performance of a Spider-Man slightly shaken events of the past. He is now having to live the legacy of Tony Stark while simultaneously grieving him. A hard ask for any teen. RDJ lingers over this movie in the background of shots in murals and memorials to this worlds greatest hero. He now must live up to this title of “the next Tony Stark” and the new leader of the Avengers. It is such a cool arc for him this time around and one I’m excited to watch going into the next film which we are now getting thanks to the re-upping of the Sony/Marvel deal.
There is also a lot to be said for the set pieces in this film. The battle sequences with the new villains, the elementals are a fun and exciting watch. Meanwhile, some dream/hallucination sequences reach Doctor Strange levels of cool that feature the main villain of the film. These have a visual flair to that is unlike anything we’ve seen before in the MCU.
While I did enjoy it, I missed the tighter and lighter affair of Homecoming, which concentrated much more on the characters than globetrotting about Europe. Spider-Man is just back from space. I want to see more of him swinging about New York, fighting crime and dealing with a villain on his turf. With the set-up has the end of this film, I cannot help but feel like we’re going to go even further out of New York. I want a more friendly neighbourhood and less climbing the Tower Bridge.
If you want more Spider-Man discussion to be sure to check out the OH HI Film Podcast where we went full-on and in-depth on what we thought and what this means for the future of the MCU. Don’t forget to follow OH HI Films on Twitter and Facebook to see when we upload next.