After shocking events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man takes a much needed vacation in Spider-Man: Far From Home (“Far From Home”). Or does he?
Far From Home, the sequel to the Sony and Marvel reboot, Spider-Man: Homecoming, follows a world post Tony Stark’s death. Without the great Iron Man to protect them, the world (and the remaining agents of SHIELD) calls upon Peter Parker (Tom Holland) to take up the mantle. But can the teenage Peter, who’s desperate to live an ordinary life, fill the void left behind by Iron Man?
The film explores this struggle as Peter comes to grips with Tony’s death, while trying to woo his not-so-secret crush, M.J. (Zendaya). Whisked off to Europe on a science trip with his Midtown High School classmates, Peter hatches his grand plan while hoping to take a break from being a hero. After being into space and subsequently snapped away, it’s only fair for everyone’s Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man to take a breather. Of course, his plans are thwarted not only by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and otherworldly hero, Quentin Beck a.k.a Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaall), but also by Brad Davis (Remy Hii), Peter’s rival for M.J’s affections.
What ensues is a combination of action, adventure and lighthearted ‘high school’ comedy that we’ve not seen since Spider-Man: Homecoming. Considering the devastating effects of the Thanos snap, Far From Home brushes it off as nothing more than a ‘blip’. Making light of the dark circumstances post Infinity War is but one way in which Far From Home attempts to bring humour back into the Marvel Universe. The fact that Peter is a shaky mess whenever he’s in M.J’s presence, despite having fought death defying villains, further adds to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (“MCU”) Spider-Man’s charm.
Having had two very ‘dramatic’ Spider-Man films in the past, this new direction is a refreshing breath of fresh air. The characterizations make for a more wholesome and enjoyable watch. Though this version of Peter is young, his experiences have shaped him to become the next great superhero; not bogged down in a debilitating way by the losses he’s faced. M.J too, is a character that is more realistic; a character capable of being the grounded love-interest Peter needs.
The same can be said about everyone in Peter’s life. With Tony gone, Happy (Jon Favreau) takes on the role of Peter’s guide, someone who understood Tony Stark and is able to impart wisdom onto Peter. Seeing Happy and Peter interact in Far From Home, brings back fond memories of the relationship Happy had with Tony.
The way in which Nick Fury was portrayed, however, was as if the snap had affected him on a more deeper level; subtle differences in his mannerisms making him appear hasty. Thankfully, Fury’s role in the film was relatively minute in the grand scheme of things.
More so than anyone else, though, it was Jake Gyllenhaall’s impeccable portrayal of Mysterio that truly captivated audiences. The depiction of Mysterio, a well known Spider-Man villain, as a hero working alongside SHIELD to defeat a global threat was simply marvelous. The bond that he shares with Peter becomes pivotal in the film and plays an important part in Peter’s development as Spider-Man.
Despite the lighthearted nature of the film, Far From Home’s narrative paves the way for Peter’s growth as Spider-Man, as we finally see him learn to use his spidey-sense to his advantage and make use of what Tony had taught him to help defeat the threat against the world. In many ways, Far From Home sees Peter rise to the challenge of being the hero the world needs, while maintaining his own identity and keeping those around him close, as opposed to isolating himself from them.
Like all Marvel films, Far From Home is a visual spectacle and having Mysterio involved simply adds aesthetics that are beyond the imagination. Several moments in the film felt akin to Doctor Strange and it appeared as if Sony was attempting to recreate the visual magic of Into The Spider-Verse in this film. The concept of multiple worlds, as well as, what is real and what isn’t plays a key part in the film. Not only does this add to the film’s narrative and allows a variety of plot points to play out but also opens the door for multiple Spider-Man films in the future.
The introduction of multiple spidey-suits in one film is also important to note, as the comic books aren’t the only thing that Sony gives a nod to in Far From Home. Fans of Marvel’s Spider-Man game on the PlayStation 4 console will be thrilled to see some subtle references to the game included in the film too.
With the MCU in turmoil over the past few years in the lead up to and post Avengers: Endgame, and previous Spider-Man films being far too dramatic, seeing an action-packed film filled with comedic moments, teenage awkwardness and Peter Parker’s development from naive high school crime-fighter to a world renowned Avenger is a fun and refreshing take on the future direction of the Marvel character.
Overall, Far From Home manages to surprise and delight in a way that touches Spider-Man fans from all walks of life. With interesting plot twists, captivating character developments and scenes that will leave audiences wondering what’s next for Spider-Man, Far From Home is a must watch.
P.S: As with any Marvel film, there are two end-credits to watch. Be sure to stick around. You’re in for one heck of a surprise!