Film Review: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Peter Parker packs his web-shooters as he heads to Europe for Spider-Man’s latest adventure…

Spider-Man Far From Home (a)

Spider-Man returns to the big screen in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (image credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios).

Spoiler-free review

Starring:  Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Cobi Smulders

Directed by:  Jon Watts / written by:  Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers / 129 minutes

What’s it about?

Embarking on a school trip across Europe, Peter Parker is called upon by Nick Fury to help battle a new threat…

In review

The cap to Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and follows the enormously successful Avengers: EndgameFar From Home, whilst an entertaining comic book romp isn’t as good as Homecoming, or Sony’s Marvel Studios-less Academy Award winning triumph, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

On the positive side it’s generally fun, humorous, heartfelt and offers a reasonable measure of spectacle and excitement striking the right sort of tone in the wake of Endgame.  Tom Holland once again proves he’s perfect casting for this iteration of the teenage Peter Parker – a.k.a. our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man – and brings the same commitment and likeability to the role we’ve already seen in Spidey’s previous MCU appearances.  Holland is, again, well-supported by Zendaya’s wonderfully amusing ‘MJ’ and Jacob Batalon’s reliably hilarious Ned, Peter’s best friend.  There are equally pleasing returns for Jon Favreau’s ‘Happy’ Hogan as well as Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May and Tony Revolori as the bully we all love to hate – ‘Flash’ Thompson.  Samuel L. Jackson brings gravitas and star-power as he reprises his role as the ever-popular Nick Fury (with his right-hand women, Maria Hill – played by Cobie Smulders – at his side once more).  Yet, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal (at one point under consideration to replace Tobey Maguire as the titular web-head) who arguably steals the show as the world’s newest heroic figure and a new mentor for Peter, Quentin Beck, otherwise known as ‘Mysterio’.  Gyllenhaal and Holland have solid chemistry, bolstered by some nice scripting that leaves the viewer invested in their relationship.

Spider-Man Far From Home (b)

A new hero in town – Peter Parker (Tom Holland) meets Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) a.k.a ‘Mysterio’ (image credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios).

To say too much about the plot for Far From Home would lead to spoilers but the basic premise sees Peter enlisted by Nick Fury to team-up with Beck/Mysterio to battle a new threat in the form of powerful and destructive entities called ‘Elementals’, but Peter, on a European school trip and pining after MJ (facilitating a number of sweet moments between the two) just wants to live the life of a normal teenager, leaving him torn between using his gifts to help keep the world safe and just being an average 16-year old.  As such, Far From Home functions more as a teen road trip rom-com than an actual full-on Spider-Man adventure.  There’s not necessarily anything wrong with that and it’s great for exploring and developing the characters but previous, prior MCU, Spider-Man films were able to achieve that whilst still delivering a more satisfying interpretation that genuinely felt like an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man.  Despite some decent action set-pieces (accompanied by some great visuals), there’s just something absent from Far From Home to make it a real “classic” iteration of Spider-Man.  It also feels a little overstretched during its first act and the pacing tends to suffer as a result and whilst those action scenes offer the requisite popcorn spectacle, they are driven by the effects leaving the sense of jeopardy and tension lacking.  The humour is pretty much on point but there are times when it seems to override everything else, as if serving to paper over some of the narrative cracks.

Spider-Man: Far From Home, if not a contender for the best big screen outing for Marvel’s wall-crawler (or a top-tier MCU entry for that matter) remains an enjoyable enough diversion and provides some interesting set-up for the character’s cinematic future and that of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The bottom line:  A fun comic book adventure with some great cast performances, Spider-Man: Far From Home leans more towards teen-romance and comedy hijinks over delivering a truly classic big screen outing for Marvel’s iconic web-slinger.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is in cinemas now.

Images used herein are utilised for illustrative purposes only and remain the property of the copyright owner(s).

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8 thoughts on “Film Review: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

  1. I really enjoyed Spider-Man Far From Home. It was a fun and exciting story. The cast all did a great job as well, and I thought Mysterio was also a good choice to feature in this film. Its not a perfect film by far, but I feel its a big step up from Homecoming, and a nice epilogue to Endgame. Great review 🙂

    • Thanks Paul, it fell short of Homecoming for me and even then I still feel an attachment to the Sam Raimi iteration. But, Tom Holland is the right fit for the MCU version of Spidey and I look forward to further adventures, especially with where the film leaves us.

  2. This is a spot on review which sums up many of the issues I had with the latest Spider-Man film.

    Although it is an enjoyable romp it’s not as good as the previous film. The teenage angst shtick felt a bit forced and took away from the action. Then Peter’s fan worship of Iron Man was too over the top considering he never displayed this in the comics (the only time being during the first half of Civil War). Meanwhile there are some huge plot holes regarding Mysterio’s identity and the film’s Macguffin.

    But this still was a fun film and I cannot wait to see more of this MCU version of Spider-Man.

    • Thanks very much, Far From Home definitely had it’s plus points and as much as I enjoyed the John Hughes influenced approach of Homecoming it didn’t click with me as strongly this time around. Hopefully the next outing might be a more traditional, classic Lee/Ditko sort of Spidey adventure.

  3. Excellent review, my good friend. I just got around to watching it this week now that I’m back from my trip and I share your feelings with this movie. While there were some interesting plot twists and some awesome action sequences (like when Spider-Man uses his spider senses to reach Mysterio in that final battle), I still felt like the pacing had serious issues and the plot indeed had flaws in them that didn’t help completely sell the story for me. I did love Gylenhaal though. He’s a phenomenal actor and it’s hard to hate what he accomplishes. His monologue exposition of his master plan was a bit forced but his performance was too good to overlook it. In fact, I think anyone who knows whose Mysterio would have seen some of the plot coming.

    I did like the final end credit scene though. I wonder what they’ll try and accomplish for the third movie. Do you think there’s still any chance for Tom Hardy’s Venom to crossover? Do you also think that the whole multiverse talk, while a gimmick, is still a plausibility in the MCU? What do you think it means that they already confirmed Thor 4 as well? I was really betting on the female Thor to make an appearance now that they can move on from Hemsworth.

    By the way, while Iron Man is the hero of the world, I found it funny that they didn’t also worship Captain America a little as well hahah

    • Great to hear your thoughts Lashaan! I think we’ll eventually get that Venom crossover but not just yet…it also depends on Sony renewing their deal with Disney/Marvel for the usage of Spider-Man (I think that’s a given at this stage though).

      I certainly think the multiverse in the MCU is inevitable and it’s only a matter of time before that gets explored properly.

      Got to admit I’m surprised about the Thor 4 announcement, I haven’t read any of the Jane Foster Thor stories but I think it’s a good direction to go in. I’m just apprehensive about more of the silly improvised comedy we got in Ragnarok with Taika Watiti returning, but, we’ll see!

  4. Sounds like an entertaining follow up to Homecoming. I’ll check it out whenever the film comes to DVD. Hopefully the Sony/Marvel deal gets extended. Spider-Man in the MCU is important now that several big names have left post End Game.

    • It is, although not perfect and I’m still attached to the previous cinematic iterations of Spidey (yep, even the divisive Amazing Spider-Man films) but I guess it’s the right approach for the MCU and I look forward to seeing where they go next with the character (I think it’s a given that Sony will extend their deal with Marvel at this point!).

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