Review by J.T. Johnson
POTENTIAL SPOILER WARNING: I try to avoid as many spoilers as I can in my reviews, but sometimes I can’t avoid it. For example, I do have to at least explain some of the movie in order for you to understand the review. Again, I try to stay away from anything major, but that can’t always be avoided. You have now been properly warned.
After the events of “Avengers: Endgame”, Spider-Man needs a vacation. Thankfully, the field trip taken in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is one worth taking. Spider-Man is still reeling from the death of Tony Stark in “Endgame” and wants nothing more than to just be the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that he once was before Thanos happened.
Of course, that can’t happen now that he’s been in space and fought aliens, including the massive fight at the end of “Endgame”. Once he is on his trip with his friends Ned (Jacob Batalon), MJ (Zendaya) and other kids from his class, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) confronts a mysterious water creature. While Peter tries to face the creature, it is ultimately destroyed by a new hero on the scene that is eventually called Mysterio.
Later, Peter is confronted by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and eventually introduced to Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), the man behind Mysterio’s mask. According to Quentin, he is from an alternate world in a parallel universe. This world was destroyed by the Elementals and now they’re wreaking havoc on our world and Spider-Man and Mysterio seem to be the only ones that can stop them.
The movie is filled to the brim with the lighthearted tone that made “Spider-Man: Homecoming” such a fun film to watch. However, the difference with this film is that Peter is facing the fact that he has stepped out onto a bigger stage than simply operating in New York. Everyone from Nick Fury to Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) is asking whether or not he’s up to the task of taking over for Tony, the one man who thought he was his perfect successor.
The movie definitely confronts the idea that Peter is a 16-year-old kid that has had to grow up fast because of his powers. As he states several times in the movie, all he wants to do is enjoy his vacation and tell MJ how he really feels about her. The teenager in him wants to leave the superhero gig behind, but he ultimately knows that he can’t.
The relationship between Peter and MJ is actually handled really well in the film and I enjoyed the chemistry between Holland and Zendaya. They’ve definitely taken the character of MJ in a different yet refreshing direction and I can’t wait to see where this relationship will go in future installments. If you’re a fan of Ned, on the other hand, I will admit that they give him a story point that pretty much takes him out of the action for the most part.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s handled well and, to be honest, this film’s story really doesn’t have a place for Ned. Still, I know that he is a fan favorite from “Homecoming” so it’s worth mentioning his more limited screen time in this entry.
Then there is Gyllenhaal as Mysterio. If you know the comic books at all, then you know where his story is ultimately going. Thankfully, Gyllenhaal is more than up to the task of playing this crazy character and he does the character justice as he seems to have had a lot of fun playing this character.
The action featured in this story is a little more grounded than what we got in the epic “Endgame”, but it is no less thrilling especially for a Spider-Man film. The movie has several major set pieces that compliment the movie’s overall story. I can’t dive into too many of them as they would spoil certain parts of the movie, but what I can say is that they are fun to watch and Spidey definitely has plenty to do this time around.
Looking at the bigger picture that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film had two goals. It had to act as a sort of “epilogue” to The Infinity Saga that just finished, but it also had to briefly show us where the MCU is going next. Thankfully, “Far From Home” not only serves those two goals, it also turns out to be another thrilling Spider-Man film that everyone can enjoy!