Your Peter-tingle will definitely tingle while watching this film!
WARNING: For those who have not seen Avengers: Endgame (I can’t imagine there being many), there will be spoilers. There’s your warning! Here we go!
Set eight months after the events of Avengers: Endgame (the wiping out of half the universe is officially known as “The Blip”), Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is still trying to cope with the death of his mentor and father figure, Tony Stark, all the while continuing being a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Hoping to take his mind off of things, Peter embarks on a two-week class trip to Europe, where he also hopes to win the affections of his classmate, MJ. His planned vacation, however, is hijacked by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who looks to recruit Peter for an important mission, due to the unavailability of other Avengers. Peter is brought in to assist Quentin Beck, a.k.a Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a superhero from different dimension, to fight off elementals, monsters that take the form of elements, and prevent them from destroying the world. Will Peter follow in Stark’s footsteps and join the fight, or will he abandon his duties to try to live the life he wants to live?
I knew that I was going to love this movie right from the opening, which features high school students doing a mock news broadcast where they pay tribute to the fallen Avengers, accompanied by Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Having worked on a student news broadcast like this in my school years, it got me feeling a bit nostalgic, and it helped me realize that the Spider-Man films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe do a nice job at representing high school life, even if all the students don’t look the age (thankfully, the actors are spectacularly cast).
Many of the cast members from Spider-Man Homecoming make a return here, including Ned, played by Jacob Batalon, MJ, played by Zendaya, and even Flash Thompson, played by Tony Revolori. They all have unique personalities, and this film succeeds in reminding us of why they have become so popular. MJ in particular is given more character development, and she is far from the damsel in distress that Peter had to continually rescue in both the comic books and the previous cinematic incarnations. She stands her own ground and is not shy to say something potentially upsetting, and Zendaya’s chemistry with Peter Parker is unique. Strangely enough, given the established effects of “the Blip” (those who were wiped out by Thanos and returned five years later do not age with those who weren’t), it’s unclear who exactly was “blipped.”
Since his introduction in Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland has continually proved himself to be an excellent as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He is youthful, funny, and has a lot of heart. Holland is such a good actor in this role, that he even made a significant emotional impact in Endgame despite only being on screen for a few minutes! Even though Parker does make an irrational decision every now and then, the film still compliments his character arc well, and we do see him grow as a hero towards the end. The scenes where he interacts with Jake Gyllenhaal has a bit of a Treasure Island influence in regards to having an unlikely father figure. Gyllenhaal is the latest big name actor to enter the MCU, and his performance is out of this world, so to speak.
The reason this film works as whole is that it is just plain fun. It’s not always a good sign when a movie feels like watching someone’s vacation videos, but this school trip is captured well with vibrant colors. Back in the 1990’s, films like Independence Day and Men in Black reigned the summer season of their respective years, because these films were light, and felt like an escape from reality. That fun trait seems to have disappeared with summer films, both because of the over-saturation of blockbuster-style films and their more realistic approaches to storytelling. In a summer season that is so far full of disappointments, Far from Home feels like the fun summer movie we have been waiting for; the kind that kids from camp would go to see as a field trip. Okay, this is making me a bit too nostalgic.
As fun as this film is, it is not perfect, as to be expected. There is a subplot where Ned and a classmate falling in love, and although humorous, it feels a bit pedestrian predictable, and unnecessary. In addition, when the surprise of the plot is revealed, there is an awful lot of exposition delivered in the span of five minutes, as if this was the first time anyone has ever discussed it. I understand that something like this is to help inform the audience, but surely there has to be a better way to do this. Oh, and not all comedies need to contain the scene where someone walks in animal dung.
There also a few moments during the action scenes feels like the filmmakers have written themselves into a corner, and needed an easy way out to transition into the next plot beat. They are few and far between, though, because there is some impressive action in this film that will really get your spidey sense tingling. There is one particular sequence involving holograms, and is one of the tripiest moments that Marvel has produced since any scenes involving Dr. Strange! They not only work visually, but emotionally as well!
Of course, it would be disastrous for me to spoil anything, so I will refrain from talking about the ending, but let’s just say that will make you wonder exactly what Marvel has planned for phase 4 of their cinematic universe. There is also a glorious cameo in the mid credit scene that I will not dare spoil, though, sadly, it is not the late Stan Lee. In the end, Spider-man: Far From Home is a lot of fun, and moviegoers will appreciate both the lighthearted nature of the gags and Peter Parker’s story arc. Similar to how Ant-Man and the Wasp had to follow Infinity War, Far From Home succeeds in following Endgame and properly sets up phase 4 of the MCU with just the right amount of intrigue. Get your spidey suit on, swing on down, and check it out!
Audi celebrated the World Premiere of Spider-Man: Far From Home”in Hollywood at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Kicking-off the red carpet, Spider-Man greeted VIP guests as they arrived in their Audi vehicle, including Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and more. Following the star-studded arrivals, Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal both arrived in custom Spider-Man and Mysterio wrapped Audi e-tron SUVs. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for Audi)