Spider-Man: Far From Home Review
By Dan Skip Allen
Spider-Man has had a few film incarnations over the last couple of decades. The entire time the character has been under the control of Sony. The Sam Raimi films were a very good start. Tobey Maguire was a serviceable Peter Parker but a great Spider-Man. The Mark Webb films weren’t universally loved like the Sam Raimi films were. Andrew Garfield was ok as the web slinger. This led to Amy Pascal working out a deal with Kevin Feige. To have Marvel/Disney making Spider-Man films while Sony still kept the rights to the character and the box office. This worked out for Marvel/Disney because they wanted the character for their shared universe. Both Sony and Marvel/Disney were able to achieve something out of the deal. The Tom Holland version of Spider-Man first appeared in Captain America: Civil War to huge applause and critical acclaim. The character would then get his own film from Disney/Marvel called Spider-man: Homecoming. It was very well received. The character would later appear in the two-part finale to the Infinity Saga, Infinity War and Endgame. The Final film in the five appearance Sony and Marvel/Disney deal is Spider-Man: Far From Home. Tom Holland is back for his fifth appearance as the friendly neighborhood web slinger. This film had a lot to live up to. I can say that it does live up to the hype and then some.
Peter has embraced being Spider Man but he still doesn’t know if he can live up to Tony Stark’s expectations of him now that Tony/Iron Man is gone. He just wants to leave all of this pressure behind and go on his school science trip to Europe. He also wants to finally embrace his feelings for MJ. Of course, this normal trip to Europe doesn’t go as planned. When an ‘elemental’ attacks Venice, he is forced to jump into action. A new guy on the scene dubbed Mysterio by Peters classmates helps him defeat the water monster. It turns out Mysterio is working with SHIELD and Nick Fury. This was just one of multiple attacks on the planet. So Peter/Spider-Man is forced to team up with Mysterio and Shield to defeat the ‘elemental’. Peter’s not happy because he just wanted to get away and enjoy his vacation.
Spider-Man: Far From Home ups the ante from Homecoming. The action set pieces are bigger and better than Homecoming as well. The danger is more intense as well. Where Homecoming used more practical effects Far From Home relied on more visual effects especially those involving Mysterio and the elementals. With all of this also comes the situational comedy. There are so many funny scenes that are littered throughout the film. The comedy just comes from so many awkward scenes between specific characters and romantic scenes. John Watts takes the hilarity to the next level.
The cast like most MCU films is stacked with great actors. Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, and all of the actors who play Peters classmates are back as well. Jacob Battalon as Ned, Zendeya as MJ and even Tony Ravelori as that jerk Flash Thompson. Samuel L Jackson and Colbie Smoulders reprise their roles from past MCU films as well. The actor that steals the movie though is Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio/Quentin Beck. He really embraces this role to the fullest. If you have seen a few of his past roles you know the levels he can go to become the character. His past roles really helped him that’s for sure. He is incredible in this role. Marvel/Disney has really done a great job capturing Spider-Man’s villains. Michael Keaton was phenomenal as Adrian Rooms/The Vulture and Jake gives just as great as a performance if not better then Keaton. He really becomes Mysterio/Quentin Beck.
At its heart, Far From Home is a film about Peter finding his place in society without his idol Tony Stark. Living up to the mantle of Avenger or hero. John Watts achieves that goal to its fullest. The mix between awkward teenager and super powered hero go hand in hand and this film deals with both aspects perfectly. The levity and the action set pieces are both perfectly balanced as well. It is safe to say Sony has put this pillar of the comic industry in the right hands with Kevin Fiege and Disney. It just goes to show that when you have a love of someone or something that you really do care about, that can go a long way. If I had to say one word to describe this film, I would use spectacular. It’s a spectacular film in every way possible. There are two post credits scenes that are as jaw dropping as anything you will see this year in any film. Spider-man:Far From Homeis one of the best films of the year.
4 ½ stars
Dan Skip Allen