Spider-Man: Far from Home review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso
How do you follow up a film such as Avengers: Endgame? The epic superhero ensemble picture brought to a close an arc that had brewing over the course of a decade which reshaped the entire world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Spider-Man: Far From Home may seem like an odd choice to be the next film following and the final entry of Marvel’s Phase 3, considering the Spider-Man outings have been somewhat lighter adventures. But this plucky superhero is more than up to the challenge.
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) tries to return to life as usual, even after being snapped out of existence for five years. This means that while his non-snapped friends have already graduated, Peter and his teenage friends still have to finish their studies. Once again, they’re off on another science field trip to Europe that may or may not have anything to do with science. It doesn’t matter to Peter considering this could be his big chance to form a relationship with the snarky MJ (Zendaya) and/or chum it up with his geeky friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). Even with the constant questioning of superheroes and the effects of the snap, everything seems to go back to the way it was with the teen comedy aspect of Spider-Man’s life once more present from Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Also back in full swing is the superhero aspect as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) follows Peter to Europe with another superhero mission. It seems like business as usual, considering Peter will have to combat a series of monsters known as The Elementals with the help of the magic superhero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) from another dimension. It sounds fairly typical and for a character such as Spider-Man, it seems like just another job. Peter doesn’t think he’s up to the challenge of trying to balance this new hero stuff with Fury while still maintaining a normal high school life, despite Fury’s inspiring words; “Bitch, please, you’ve been to space.”
All of this seems somewhat expected and for the first half of the film, it seems to be headed down a simple path. But then, just when it seems like the film has settled into a groove, a new villain arises and shakes up everything. It’s a new development that takes great advantage of how superheroes have become the norm of this world and how gullible people are willing to believe anything when aliens, robots, wizards, and interdimensional beings are rampant. Listen close and you may just hear some commentary on the nature of superhero films being the only voice in the room that only from within the genre can something big be said.
Of course, all the expected Spider-Man elements are still firing well. Holland and Zendaya have amazing chemistry as the awkward teenage coupling coming together. Gyllenhaal has such a power to explode on the screen. Even the smaller supporting roles such as J.B. Smoove are astoundingly hilarious for the few scenes they occupy. The action is once more fast, clever, and loaded with plenty of sweeping sequences of Spider-Man bounding across cities, slinging web and saving civilians.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is fun, sure, but also a great assurance and excitement for what will follow as we head into the fourth supposed phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It takes many risks with the hero and brings him into his own as the next generation of superheroism that may not be sure of himself, but will do just fine. Plus, the film features perhaps the most shocking and rewarding post-credit Easter eggs of any Marvel movie.