Spider-Man: Far From Home, 2019.
Directed by Jon Watts.
Starring Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Jacob Batalon, Angourie Rice, Jon Favreau, Tony Revolori, Martin Starr, J.B. Smoove, Remy Hil, Numan Acar, Hemky Madera, Toni Garrn, and Marisa Tomei.
Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!
Still grieving the epic fallout from Endgame, our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man aka Peter Parker needs a break, just a typical teen summer in Europe on vacation with his friends, including MJ (Zendaya) as he’s planning to ask her out, Peter (Tom Holland) even leaves his suit and sends Nick Fury to voice mail to ensure he won’t be in superhero mode.
Of course, you don’t need Spidey Sense to know when Nick (Samuel L Jackson) tracks Peter down and explains, those powerful big bads are known as Elementals, then introduces him to new teammate Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) whose “from Earth, just not ours”, protecting his friends and helping to save the world again is exactly what Spidey’s gonna have to do.
Picking up the threads from Endgame in a world forever changed, Spider-Man: Far From Home hits the ground running and doesn’t stop for the next 2 hours 9 mins, weaving a marvellous web of hit one-liners, jaw-dropping action, tender emotive beats, and even a handful of pretty cool twists.
This review is spoiler free, (that’s always how I roll, unless you haven’t seen Endgame, of course), and since Far From Home does unfold with pace and fantastical drama, it really would be a crime to ruin the gasps and shared moments of lol for everyone else, I will say, you must stay till after all the credits, it’s worth the wait trust me, you can thank me later.
Returning to the helm for a second time is director Jon Watts, unlike its predecessor Spider-Man: Homecoming (co-written by Watts) the action here is all over the place literally, effectively demolishing chunks of Mexico, Venice, Prague, and London, he clearly revels in this extended playground and the visuals are absolutely glorious, taking many tonal shifts including an amazingly surrealist sequence, it keeps you engrossed till the very end.
Using these iconic locations elevates this franchise to a whole new level and they make ideal backdrops for all of Spidey’s epic aerial whips as he swings into action whilst, providing appealing texture during its more revealing scenes or when Peter and the gang are fighting to stay alive.
This blockbuster has its tongue firmly placed in its cheek until it doesn’t, then suddenly we are witnessing engrossing moments of sheer agony, as Peter grapples with his overwhelming grief, ever-increasing demands, naivety, powerful teen angst, and the gigantic shoes Iron Man has left behind from his heroic sacrifice. Thanks to the impressive talent and engaging appeal of lead Tom Holland these sweeping emotional notes are pitch-perfect and we are with Spidey at every turn, as he struggles to come of age and embrace his unique destiny.
Casting in Far From Home is superb, new characters blend easily with familiar faces, everyone brings the goods and no one feels out of place, Jake Gyllenhaal is an intense addition as Quentin Beck aka Mysterio rocking a Thor Esq. power vibe, taking on the Elementals and befriending Peter with some much needed fellow superhero advice, he really is something else.
Topping the previously dusted list is fan favourite, head of S.H.I.E.L.D, one-eyed wonder Nick Fury, who is understandably feeling a little out of the loop, Samuel L Jackson once again scene steals with attitude, and, his delivery is truly out of this world.
Peter’s loyal bestie Ned (Jacob Batalon) is back and even funnier away from NYC, whilst their bromance doesn’t get as much screen time as with Homecoming, Ned is great in his own side plot whilst providing comic relief and some vital cover stories, Spidey’s loving Aunt May, (Marisa Tomei) continues that cool chemistry established with Peter in previous movies, and, MJ once again demonstrates she is miles away from the Spider-Man obsessed girl next door Mary Jane, this MJ is Michelle Jones, The Greatest Showman star Zendaya captivates as Peter’s smart, playful, wisecracking classmate, whose a bit of a badass when required.
Tony Stark’s legacy plays a vital and multi-layered role in this tangled web whether it’s his little acronyms, the invaluable assistance of Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau handling a more substantial part with ease) or his genius tech, Iron Man’s overshadowing presence is clearly felt throughout Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers’ funny, well-constructed and thoroughly entertaining script. It was wise to give Mr. Parker centre stage after Endgame as this new normal is handled with boundless energy, charm, realism, and relatable humour.
The Antman and the Wasp writers effectively balance a stand-alone John Hughes flavoured teen adventure, with the start of a brand new MCU saga, and for the most part, they nail both, one or two moments and gags don’t have Spidey’s proficient landing but, Far From Home is without doubt a webtastic addition to this superhero canon.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Laura Jorden is a freelance journalist, creative writer, and fashion jewellery designer.