‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Theatrical Review
(Warning: There are spoilers if you have not yet seen Endgame.)
This past weekend, The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) re-released Avengers: Endgame with six minutes of extra of extra footage. The idea behind doing this was to guarantee people come back to watch the movie so that it could break the all-time box office record, and there’s good reason to believe that it will happen. Avengers Endgame is not only the biggest super hero movie ever, but it is already the king of this summer’s blockbuster films. Even two months after its release I still see people going to see it for the 10th time. That’s a lot of money, and also a lot of missed trips to the bathroom. It is an accomplishment that would be well deserved for a movie celebrating the conclusion of a fantastic story that has carried on for twenty plus movies.
You would think we wouldn’t see the next Marvel movie until sometime next year because honestly, Endgame could probably stay in theaters the rest of the year. So I was not only surprised, but also unsure of what to expect when going to see Spider-Man Far From Home. The last film was such a spectacle that anything to come after it runs the risk of feeling like a letdown. If the MCU was a steakhouse, Endgame might have been the main course, and Spider-Man: Far From Home is that dessert you order even though you know you are full.
Not only does this second installment of our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’s story serve as the ending to the MCU’s Phase 3, the film also brings some much-needed humor in the wake of the heartbreaking conclusion of Avengers: Endgame. Director Jon Watts was given the difficult task of juggling the past, present and future of the MCU, and he pulls it off – making us excited to have Spider-Man as the hero that takes us into the future of Marvel super heroes on the big screen. The screenplay from Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers keeps you laughing with its sharp edge humor, along with the jam-packed action you would expect, making this 2 hour film an awesome ride into the second half of the summer.
Everyone feels the death of Tony Stark, but it weighs most on Peter Parker (Tom Holland). He wants to remain the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that rejected being an Avenger in favor of being a kid, but he knows that may be difficult. He helps his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) host a benefit for those that returned form “The Blip” – the name for the aftermath of the Thanos snap where those who returned five years later did so without aging. They are not the only ones that need Spider-Man. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) believes Peter is ready to become an Avenger and be given a heavier load of super hero duties. All Peter wants to do is stay grounded and go on a European trip with his classmates that include his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and the girl who has his heart, MJ (Zendaya). Unfortunately, Peter can only ignore Fury’s calls for so long before the head of Shield finds him. Not only does he recruit Spider-Man to help fight monsters known as “Elementals,” but introduces him to Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhall), a hero from an alternate universe.
“With great power comes great responsibility” has always been a staple in the Spider-Man films, but with this being the third big screen version of the web slinger, it can feel repetitive. One thing I like is how Jon Watts has created a new and refreshing vision of a boy with super power and his struggles towards becoming an adult. A little of that was hinted at in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but in Far From Home there is more responsibility put on Peter’s shoulders because of the death of his mentor. Although this film is supposed to serve as the end of Phase 3, it feels more at times like a preview into what the next phase will be, and I have a feeling much of that will include Spider-Man. Tony Stark didn’t just pass on his knowledge to Peter Parker, but everything to set him up to possibly be the centerpiece of the MCU.
Like the last Spider-Man film, Watt also makes the school kids the focus of the film. The hero side of everything feels more heart felt seeing Peter’s relationship with them, rather than the adults who treat him as though he’s ready to be an adult because he’s been in space. Tom Holland may arguably be the best Spider-Man, but there is no doubt that he is the funniest one. He is terrific as the conflicted Peter, and makes us feel for him in the situations he is placed. As much I enjoyed Holland, I love Zendaya as MJ. I’m glad they have made her a complete character this time around. Her smart and snarky comments do well in covering up her attraction to Peter. Their scenes together show them as the perfect opposites attract couple, and to me, the best couple in the series (Sorry Toby and Kirsten). Jacob Batalon continues to steal scenes as Peter’s best friend Ned, and his character gets to grow as well. Jake Gyllenhall also had a great performance, but talking about that would be a spoiler.
Spider-Man: Far From Home has a few unexpected surprises that keep it interesting. The end credit scenes are probably the best ones since the first Avengers film, so make sure you stay until the very end. One in particular actually answered a few problems I had with the film. One thing I thought hurt the film was a certain scenes that didn’t do well for the type of Spider-Man action we are used to, but there are other great scenes to make up for that. Jon Watts could have tried to go bigger on the action to try and match Endgame, but I like that he created a story that is reminiscent of the late Stan Lee and Steve Ditko comics, and sets us up going forward into the next Phase of the MCU.
A Summer Hit
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.