By Jonathan Reed
Video supplied by Sony Pictures Entertainment©
After the epic climax of Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Universe was forever changed. Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first to dive into a new era where half the population have returned from being vaporised by Thanos’ “snap”. Far From Home tackles the events from Endgame head-on, and we find Peter Parker in desperate need of a Spidey-break from being the web-slinging superhero.
That break comes in the shape of a school trip across Europe, though it doesn’t take long for Peter to find himself in the mix of whole new threat. Recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and a new mysterious “hero” ironically called Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), Peter quickly discovers not everything is as it seems.
Far From Home had a huge task. Not only did director Jon Watts have to react to the initial aftermath of Marvel’s biggest blockbuster ever but ensure that Spider-Man gets his moment to shine away from the Avengers universe. For many filmmakers it would be a difficult ask, but for Watts and Marvel they execute it with ease.
Within the first half of the movie, the subject of Tony Stark’s demise and the effect of Peter losing his father figure is treated with care but with a finality that allows the plot to move on to more important elements.
There are slight issues with the pacing of Far From Home but once it starts moving, Spider-Man has never looked better. That is partly due to the return of Tom Holland, who is easily the most convincing Peter Parker yet. He once again charms with his teenage innocence and comedic timing that make Spider-Man so beloved.
Zendaya is equally impressive as she returns with a much more prominent role as MJ. Her quick one-liners and infectious chemistry with Holland greats pinnacle moments throughout the entire movie. Jacob Batalon is also back as Parker’s best friend, Ned Leeds, and perfectly fits the mould as the unofficial sidekick who is defiantly loyal.
Far From Home perhaps doesn’t have the same overall impact as Spider-Man: Homecoming, but the villain is much more interesting. Jake Gyllenhaal is formidable as Mysterio, and the slow-burn to the climactic battle is a huge payoff. It is hard to see how Marvel would refuse to utilise Gyllenhaal’s sphere-helmet wearing baddy in the future.
Spider-Man: Far From Home continues the sense of innocence within their central hero. Parker isn’t trying to be something he isn’t, and even when forced to fill the Iron Man shaped gap left behind after the events of Endgame, Peter is sensitive to the question of whether he is ready.
The truth is that this version of Spider-Man feels much more organic than previous interpretations. Far From Home fully utilises this in the shape of Peter building up the confidence to ask MJ out on a date. The awkward nature of Holland’s performance results in our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man become more endearing than ever before.
Far From Home is an almost perfect Marvel movie. Yes, the pacing perhaps faulters at times and the quieter moments do feel far too frequent, but once it hits full force Spider-Man truly shines.
As Marvel moves onto the next phase, and with the Universe changed forever, Spider-Man: Far From Home rounds-up this epic chapter with a wonderful conclusion. But it also does something much more important – it sets up the next phase proving that not only the future success of Marvel is guaranteed, but Spider-Man’s position as the studios most beloved character is too.