Spider-Man: Far From Home brings an elevated level of heart and emotion while keeping in line with the lighthearted and coming of age feel of Homecoming, making for a solid end to Phase 3.
Taking place after the events of Avengers: Endgame and a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home brings back the charismatic and visually perfect Spidey of Tom Holland in his 5th appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Returning to the director chair is Jon Watts, who has been the overseer of Spider-Man solo films in this interpretation. Returning cast members of Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacob Batalon, and Cobie Smulders reprise their roles as Jake Gyllenhaal makes his franchise debut as Mysterio.
Spider-Man: Far From Home could be considered a ‘breather film’ for the MCU. After the events of Avengers: Endgame said goodbye to multiple long-standing heroes like Iron Man, Captain America and Black Widow, the MCU returned back to the tone and comedic feel that the franchise has gotten famous for. From the offset of the film, you see how the events of the snap and the reverse of that snap affected Peter’s high school and audiences are eased into the tone that the film will carry. While the first act definitely keeps things light and easy, the film truly starts to dial up the intensity as it challenges Peter Parker.
With a familiar tone and feel, Far From Home truly shines when it lets Peter Parker be Peter Parker. The character has a storied history in the comics, tv, and live action, and the character has always shined when put under pressure and intensity. While I felt Homecoming did not always live up to the Spider-Man brand in the sense of its predecessors, Far From Home does. The death of Iron Man looms over this film, but in a way to only service Peter’s character and overall arc. While fans will definitely be missing Uncle Ben’s continued absence in Peter’s arc so far, Tony sacrifice more or less plays a similar role in Peter choosing between being a hero, and being a kid. Overall, the film did an excellent job building and furthering Peter’s character arc and Tom Holland continues to do a wonderful job as the Web-Head.
Spider-Man films have had an incredible run of great villains. Micheal Keaton was a show stealer in Homecoming and Jake Gyllenhaal brings a similar result. Barring a couple of creative choices I felt odd, Jake perfectly captured the character of Mysterio and audience will love what he brought to the character.
Spider-Man: Far From Home has an important place in the wider MCU. Serving as the bride between Phase 3 and Phase 4, there are multiple themes and angles that it tries to establish, most of them in the third act. One worth mentioning is closure. After the death of Iron Man, people within the MCU and audiences alike want to know who can fill the mantle he left. This film tries to answer that and provides a final epilogue to the events of Avengers: Endgame. While Spider-Man purists might feel discomfort with Tony’s role in Peter’s life, when judging a film, you respect the creator’s choices and critique the film that exists, not the film you wanted. For the purposes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tony is of the upmost importance to Peter, therefore a huge element of his personal arc is moving forward from his death.
My gripes with this film are not glaring but worth mentioning. There are a few moments where the editing felt jarring and the pacing felt uneven. This particularly exists in the first and and third act. Additionally, tone inconsistency and an over reliance on comedy in places of drama seemed off as well. There are a couple of creative decisions involving certain characters that don’t particularly feel organic and tread into rehash territory but overall, they are fine.
Spider-Man: Far From Home has elevated the action in a big way. Web slinging, swinging and what I like to call ‘Spider-Fu’ was done excellently in this film. I felt Homecoming did not service this element as beautifully as the original trilogy or even The Amazing Spider-Man. Thankfully Director Jon Watts showed his greatest improvement in this field. The action felt very fluid, web-swinging was exhilarating and certain sequences in the third act were jaw droopingly awesome for any Spidey fan.
Overall, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a solid entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film made one thing abundantly clear, the MCU needs a new face of the franchise now that Captain America and especially Iron Man have gracefully exited. Spider-Man is not only the perfect character to fill that role, Far From Home makes sure audiences know who Phase 4’s most important character is. Strong action sequences, solid acting, a helping of heart and emotion makes a solid recipe for a good Spider-Man movie and Spider-Man: Far From Home followed that recipe well.