“Spider-Man: Far From Home” stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, and Jake Gyllenhaal. Released on July 2, 2019, the film has Spider-Man teaming up with Nick Fury to battle a group of powerful beings.
The film is directed by Jon Watts, who also directed “Clown” and “Cop Car”. It is the 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it serves as a sequel to “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, which was also directed by Watts. The “Endgame” has officially come to a close, thus ending some of our beloved heroes’ story arcs, but that doesn’t mean the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to end as well. We originally thought that “Avengers: Endgame” would be the final film in the MCU’s latest phase, but the folks at Marvel took a hard right turn and decided to have the latest Spider-Man adventure serve as the Phase Three finale. The MCU’s take on the heroic webhead has proven to be quite successful since his first appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” three years ago. Sure, they made some pretty big changes compared to the other versions of Spider-Man, including the diverse cast, but hey, it’s better than rehashing the origin formula for the third time. This sequel takes the title character outside of his comfort zone and places him in several locations across the globe, which is something that we haven’t seen in a solo Spider-Man film before. Not only that, but it also introduces a couple of elements that appeared due to the events in “Endgame”, such as the multiverse. Not to be confused with the multiverse from “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. These things alone are the main reasons why this film is a must-see for me. Does it live up to my usual expectations? Let’s swing on over and find out.
Taking place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame”, the film has Peter Parker (Holland) starting another year of high school, and what better way to start it off right than by taking a summer school trip to Europe? What seems to be a relaxing vacation for Parker turns out to be more than what he bargained for when former SHIELD agents Nick Fury (Jackson) and Maria Hill (Smulders) seek his help in defeating the Elementals, a group of monstrous beings that come from an alternate universe. They get some additional help from the master of illusions himself, Mysterio (Gyllenhaal), who is also from an alternate universe. Similar to "Homecoming", “Far From Home” combines the superhero elements with the qualities of a high school teen drama by showcasing Parker’s adolescent journey both as a regular teen and as Spider-Man as well as his attempts to juggle these types of responsibilities all at once. The result is a fun and light-hearted continuation that’s full of action, humor, and likable characters, even though it didn’t quite live up to what “Homecoming” had to offer a couple of years ago. It’s still quite impressive to see that Jon Watts was able to maintain this type of balance and have fun with that balance at the same time. The entire cast did such a great job with their performances, especially Tom Holland as Peter. I still enjoyed the fact that they made Peter into someone who tries to learn the basics of being a hero, and Holland was once again perfect enough to fit into that character’s shoes. Samuel L. Jackson was also entertaining in his role as Nick Fury, and Zendaya and Jacob Batalon continued to provide some really good moments as MJ and Ned, respectively. I also thought that Jake Gyllenhaal was perfect as Mysterio, although I have to say I was a bit disappointed with how they developed this character during the second half of the film. Without giving too much away, I felt that the filmmakers missed an opportunity to provide something fresh to the character. That doesn’t mean he’s another cliched Marvel villain, however, since his motives were understandable and the character himself was interesting. It’s just that I wasn’t entirely happy with the direction they took despite the fact that I liked Gyllenhaal’s performance and the costume design for Mysterio. The visual effects in the film were quite stunning in terms of Mysterio’s illusions, the Elementals, and the film’s intense action sequences. They’re not as ground-breaking as the CGI in “Endgame”, but they did help in delivering an action-packed experience for the fans. I also enjoyed the musical score by Michael Giacchino. As for its flaws, the story did follow some of the superhero genre guidelines here and there, and the pacing felt a bit rushed during a few scenes, especially the beginning. The film’s a couple of minutes shorter than “Homecoming”, which is good, but if they could find a way to expand some of their scenes without making it longer, that would’ve been nice.
Overall, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is a superhero sequel that serves as a tasty, yet simple, dessert after the unforgettable main course that was known as “Avengers: Endgame”. Despite its shortcomings, the film relied on the main ingredients that made “Homecoming” a success to create a satisfying and action-packed summer sequel for Marvel fans and action fans alike. The cast was great as always, the action was entertaining, the story was enjoyable and light-hearted, and the music was perfect enough to fit the film’s tone. It’s not a spectacular finale to the third phase of the MCU, but it does represent itself as a respectable new beginning of what’s to come in the near future. Also, be sure to stay during the credits for two post-credit scenes that tease the future of the ever-lasting cinematic universe.