Does whatever a Spider can…
Endgame Spoilers to follow!
Much of the early marketing given to Spider-Man: Far from home told us two things; Spider-Man would survive the events of Avenger’s Endgame, and that Mysterio would play a large part in the events surrounding the film. Later on, closer to its release, and of course, after Endgame had hit theaters, we found out that the death of Tony Stark would shake Peter’s world to its core. Far from home is a story about how Peter deals with the fallout of Endgame and how he struggles to become the man that Tony wanted him to be, all while trying to ask out the girl he clearly has feelings for.
Given how much of this film has not been shown in any capacity, I will only generalize on certain aspects of the movie to maintain a spoiler free review. I also strongly suggest that you prevent anyone from leaving the theatre before both the mid credits scene and the post credits scenes have ended, as they both have massive ramifications for the future of not only Spider-Man, but the MCU at large. These scenes are important! Do not assume these are throw away scenes like in previous films. The final post credit scene, in fact, will make you want to watch the movie all over again to see all the hints leading up to it.
Spider-Man: Far from home is easily my favorite of the live action Spider-Man films that have proceeded it, and presents a lot of content that rivals much of the enjoyment I had from Sony’s animated masterpiece, Into the Spider-Verse, but still falls short of eclipsing it as my favorite Spider-Man movie of all time. While Homecoming was Peter coming to grips with the beginnings of what a hero should be, Far from home shows us a far more agile and confident Spider-Man, one who still has some doubt in his abilities, sure, but much of that doubt is due to his belief that he’ll never live up to what Tony had in mind for him. In fact, this haunts him throughout the entire movie, prompting him to make a foolish choice that puts the lives of many people in danger.
Far from home, at its core, is still a high school romance movie in many of the same ways that Homecoming was, except for the fact that Peter is looking to romance a certain MJ, and that it’s on a school trip to Venice. The high school aspect dominates much of the early film, and weaves its way into even the most intense action scenes in very fun ways, without it feeling like it’s there for no significant reason. There are other characters looking to share in the romantic spotlight as well, that does feel a bit tiresome at times, but thankfully it’s either played for quick laughs, or doesn’t take up too much of the run time.
What I found most enjoyable about Far from Home is how Spider-Man moves around, and that he has come to rely on his “Spider-Sense”, a power he failed to use or acknowledge in the previous movie. We finally get solid web swinging and some very creative ways in which he traverses via his web shooters, as well as solid displays of acrobatics the character is known for. Given these movies are there to sell toys, we get a total of four Spider-Man costumes in the film, all of which have been shown in the trailers, so no, there are not any new secret ones.
Michael Keaton as the Vulture in Homecoming was still a very visually fun character, but much of what made the character work so well was the dread it filled in Peter, as well as the musical cues that shared the screen alongside him. Mysterio’s involvement here is everything you want visually from the villain and compliments what you expect out of him. Fans of his early days know exactly what his M.O is here and will not be disappointed in how Jake Gyllenhaal portrays the character. To make the character work here, his origin is tweaked slightly, but his effect, and what the character has always been, is executed perfectly here and stands as the best villain in the collection of films so far. Far from home does a very remarkable job at connecting almost half a dozen of the prior films to make certain narrative threads work her. In fact, one connection is so massive that you’ll watch the film a second time just to spot the now obvious breadcrumbs.
Far from home also does a very good job at indicating how the 5 year time jump from Endgame works in this established world, and how several people had to adapt to seeing younger siblings out grow them when they came back un-aged, or appearing back at their home that had seen new tenants move in years prior. While there are still some questions to be answered, like how people in moving vehicles or planes returned, Far from home does a good job at giving us what we needed to know in a quick and easy to digest way.
Second films for Spider-Man have mostly been bigger and better version of each iteration, and Far from home continues in that same way. When Mysterio was first announced as being included here, it was hard to imagine how ol’ fish bowl head would work in a grounded and more realistic setting that the movies tend to depict, but they nailed it on a level that just absolutely works. Far from home does everything it can to cap off this phase of the MCU and ushers in big and shocking changes for the series of films to tread, and that is just simply amazing.