Director: Jon Watts
Starring: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal
Tom Holland is back as everybody’s favourite friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man in Jon Watts’ follow-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Peter’s been on quite some journey since the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming. He had to help fight Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War, only to be a dusted and subsequently undusted in Avengers: Endgame to have to face the titan in one final battle.
That last fight ended with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) sacrificing himself, and the loss really took its toll on Peter, who’s still struggling to come to terms with it in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
The beginning of Far From Home sees peter back in Queens and back in school. He just wants to live a normal life, yet he’s constantly bombarded with questions on whether Spider-Man is going to replace Iron Man.
Don’t ever apologize for being the smartest one in the room.
All Peter wants to do is go on his science Euro trip and tell MJ (played by Zendaya) how he feels about her, and he has a plan. Unfortunately, the plan meets a hitch in Venice when a watery monster turns up out of nowhere along with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio.
These ‘elemental’ monsters then plague the world, and Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury tries to get Spidey to join him and Mysterio in ridding the Earth of these pesky beings, but Peter’s not convinced and just wants to finish his trip and tell MJ how he feels about her.
This is a first in Spider-Man movies. It’s the first time Spider-Man actually leaves the New York area, and it’s both the film’s strength and the film’s weakness.
Many of the best films are between Peter and his school friends, in particular, the awkward ‘talks’ between Peter and MJ, and their relationship is something which is both excruciating and endearing.
Heads-up. Nick Fury’s calling you.
It’s a testament to Holland’s and Zendaya’s acting ability that these scenes actually work because they could have so easily ended up feeling like they’re taken out of a Disney Channel TV show. But, thankfully, they’re so much better than that.
There’s also something very satisfying about seeing Spider-Man taken out of his ‘neighbourhood’ element and thrown into a place like Venice or Prague.
That said, there is a bit too much location hopping for my liking, and it does start to detract from the story somewhat. One of the greatest strengths of Homecoming was that it was confined to one location, and that helped to give the story focus.
Then there’s the addition of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s a genuine pleasure to see him in this movie. Gyllenhaal never puts a foot wrong, and he gets to do so much with the character.
I was also glad to see that director Jon Watts and the film’s writers took inspiration from the animated Spider-Man series for the psychedelic Mysterio illusion scenes. They were some of the best scenes in this film; I just wished there had been more of them.
I think Nick Fury just hijacked our summer vacation.
However, the film is not without its flaws, and these become apparent towards the end of the film which does culminate in just another standard battle scene, albeit better lit than most superhero final battle sequences.
The scene takes place in London, around Tower Bridge, and it is nice to see the United Kingdom’s capital get some Marvel movie love. However, I would have liked them to lean a bit more heavily on the visual weirdness that Mysterio could have added. It ended up being a bit of a standard battle with relatively low stakes.
However, the film does end up being the perfect antidote to Avengers: Endgame, which ended on a bit of a depressing beat. Far From Home gives us Marvel movie fans some much-needed rest bite from all the tears we shed in Endgame.
It’s a light and frothy Spider-Man adventure movie, and the combination of Watts and Holland is really starting to hit its stride. I would also advise you to stay until the very end of the film since there are two of the very best Marvel movie post-credit scenes on show here, and you’ll definitely be missing out if you don’t stay put in your cinema seat.
I’m just your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.
That’s all I’ll say on that point, just make sure you watch it and hopefully enjoy and ‘marvel’ at what they’ve done in these post-credit scenes.
Meanwhile, why not have a read of our articles on the five ways Game of Thrones season 8 dropped the ball and the five movies you should watch if you still think Robert Pattinson won’t be a good Batman.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is in cinemas all across the UK now.
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