With great power, comes great responsibility. ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ handles its many responsibilities competently if never exceptionally. The weight on Spider-Man’s shoulders this time around is at its peak. Not only must he fight a new villain, but he must also be our guide in a post ‘Avengers: Endgame’ world and transition us into a new phase of the Marvel cinematic universe.
While the film coasts along with contagious charm, fine performances, and comedy, the larger narrative isn’t particularly compelling and many plot points don’t hold together under further scrutiny. It’s a fun and entertaining ride if not a particularly thrilling or memorable one.
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Tom Holland once again excels in the title role. No previous live-action iterations of the character have so convincingly portrayed him as a high schooler. He’s just a kid at the end of the day! He and his friends and their shenanigans continue to give the film “coming of age” subplots much like Spider-man: Homecoming. These moments also make for some of the films sweetest and provide hearty laughs. Zendaya as MJ is a delight and really manages to distinguish herself from Spidey’s past love interests. Their awkward but completely believable chemistry is among the film’s highlights and I wouldn’t have minded a few more scenes of them together.
While the film recycles many previous Spider-man tropes, it does do a couple of new things. First off, Spider-Man is literally far from home this time, as we leave New York to follow the web-slinger across Europe, out of his “friendly neighborhood” setting. This Spiderman movie features Jake Gyllenhaal playing Mysterio A.K.A Quentin Beck with complete conviction. The plot has a couple of surprises up its sleeve that I’ll let you discover for yourself. While Robert Downey Jr isn’t in this one, Tony Stark’s shadow is omnipresent, both in delightful and frustrating ways.
One of my continuing issues with the newest iteration of Spider-Man movies is how they fail to capitalize on Spider-Man’s powers, skill, and wit with creative action choreography. Barring one impressive sequence towards the end, there aren’t any memorable set pieces. This is further bewildering when you know how some of the other MCU movies have lots of well-done action sequences and both, Tobey Maguire’s original series and Andrew Garfield’s rebooted one undeniably had visually arresting moments.
Jon Watt’s Spider-Man: Far from Home is far from greatness but is an enjoyable romp. I laughed at multiple moments and found myself genuinely surprised/intrigued at others. I wish the plot didn’t have as many logical inconsistencies and that the action scenes were more memorable. It makes for a light-hearted and breezy palette cleanser after the events of Endgame and does a mostly satisfying job of preparing us for upcoming Marvel movies.