‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Review: A Charming Yet Emotionally Charged Follow Up to ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Here’s our review of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ where Peter Parker is once again pulled into hero duty except this time he wanted to send the call to voicemail…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

Every Spider-Man fan on Earth has been bludgeoned with the phrase ‘with great power comes great responsibility’. In fact, those famous words most notably attributed to Uncle Ben speaking to his nephew Peter Parker has all but been emblazoned in every past ‘Spider-Man’ film from Toby Maguire to Andrew Garfield.

The latest iteration of the character played by Tom Holland ultimately embodies the spirit of that phrase better than any other version without actually ever speaking those words. ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ was littered with those references but instead of Uncle Ben, it was Peter’s mentor Tony Stark, who tried to teach him what it meant too have great power and thus the responsibility to go along with it.

Sadly in the aftermath of ‘Avengers: Endgame’, Tony Stark is dead and 16-year old Peter Parker is still trying to figure out what it means to be a hero, especially now that the man he came to look at like a father figure is gone.

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is thematically built upon that entire foundation as Peter tries to learn where he fits into the world where Tony is no longer there to guide him. It’s the center of this film but also a truly touching tribute to the kind of relationship that Tony and Peter built through several movies together.

There was no more gut wrenching scene in ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ than when Spider-Man began to fade away as a result of the snap from Thanos that wiped out half of life in the universe and he turned to dust in Tony’s arms.

So it’s safe to say the emotional resonance of Tony’s death reverberates throughout ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ but as somber as that might make this movie sound, it’s actually an incredibly fun and at times hilarious entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

There were certainly past ‘Spider-Man’ films that were worth watching and well orchestrated — probably none better than ‘Spider-Man 2’ when the Peter Parker of that movie had to face his own demons while going up against Dr. Octopus. The reboot in ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ with Andrew Garfield wasn’t nearly as bad as some people made it out to be but it was tough to imagine a statuesque model playing Peter Parker when that just didn’t fit the character.

Meanwhile, Marvel and Sony teaming up to cast Tom Holland in this role was probably the best superhero casting since Robert Downey Jr. suited up as Iron Man for the first time. It’s going to be hard to imagine anybody else playing that role when Holland finally hangs up his costume and web slingers.

Hopefully that day won’t come for several years because ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is another incredible entry into the Spider-Man franchise that will only leave audiences wanting more.

With that said, here’s our full review of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’…

PLOT

It’s a post ‘Avengers: Endgame’ world where everybody is paying tribute to the fallen hero Tony Stark, who sacrificed himself to save humanity. Peter Parker is doing his part as well  but after going to outer space, getting blinked out of existence and then helping to defeat Thanos once and for all, the teenage superhero is begging for some sense of normalcy.

In ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, Peter was desperate to get his induction in The Avengers but after everything that has happened to him, he’s just ready to get back to regular, everyday life and he’s finally content to just be a friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man.

There’s only one problem — a new group of super villains called the Elementals, which take their shape based in earth, air, fire and water, have sprung up in an effort to destroy Earth. The Avengers are nowhere to be found, which leaves Nick Fury seeking out help from Spider-Man and a new recruit named Quentin Beck, who allegedly hails from an alternate universe.

Peter is reluctantly drawn into Fury’s mission but he just wants to spend time on his vacation alongside his classmates, particularly as he tries to get closer to MJ. Unfortunately, Peter is needed as Spider-Man despite the fact that he just doesn’t believe he’ll ever be able to fill the shoes left behind by Tony Stark.

ACTING, DIRECTING AND SCRIPT

It’s already been stated plenty of times but one more can’t hurt — Tom Holland is the living embodiment of Peter Parker and his alter ego Spider-Man. Marvel has always done a masterful job at casting but it’s going to be tough to imagine anyone playing this role after Holland is done.

Outside of Hollan’s picture perfect performance, Zendaya is the other standout in this cast as she really gets to sink her teeth into playing MJ in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ in a way she didn’t get the opportunity in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. Zendaya plays MJ as a socially awkward yet sarcastic teenager, far removed from the model/actress version of Mary Jane Watson from the comic books.

This take on the character is not only refreshing but really a puzzle like fit next to Holland’s portrayal as Peter Parker.

What’s best about Zendaya’s performance in this film is that she never feels like a supporting player to Holland’s Peter Parker but rather his equal counterpart. She may not have web shooters or a super suit but Zendaya does every bit as much heavy lifting.

Jake Gyllenhaal is also outstanding as Quentin Beck aka Mysterio — the pseudo stand in for Tony Stark after he becomes Earth’s new savior in the wake of the ‘blip’ (the term coined for everybody returning from the dead after being rescued from Thanos’ infamous snap). Of course anybody who knows Spider-Man mythology understands that Mysterio is far from a hero, which is what makes Gyllenhaal’s performance so gratifying from start to finish.

The story in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is still founded in its superhero roots but it also feels very much like a teen comedy that could have easily been made by John Hughes. That’s really the winning combination for so many of the best Marvel movies is that they can’t just be defined as standard comic book fare. In this case, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is as much about Peter Parker’s fledgling romance for MJ, which is forced to take a backseat because he also happens to be a superhero.

It’s that conflict mixed with a heavy dose of comedy and action that makes this movie work so well.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE MOVIE?

If there’s one problem with ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ it’s that when the movie is finished and you get to the post credits scenes  — and there are two of them — you’ll just  want to see more. Now that’s definitely not a complaint but the set up for the next ‘Spider-Man’ movie is ingrained deep into these post credits scenes and it really sets up an interesting future for the webslinger.

Outside of that, ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ tells a compelling story that is executed by a great cast with more than enough action and plenty of laughs that keep things light in the face of some very heavy emotional baggage being tossed around in the wake of Tony Stark’s death.

FINAL VERDICT

‘Avengers: Endgame’ was the perfect conclusion to the battle between the Avengers and Thanos but ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ is a fitting ending to Tony Stark’s story as he passes the mantle onto his prodigy Peter Parker. You’ll laugh and you might even cry but in the end you’ll see the best movie of the summer.

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ gets five out of five on the Skolnick Scale.

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