Spider-Man Far From Home Review

The Plot

Peter Parker returns to his normal life following the climactic events of Avengers Endgame and sets out on a summer holiday to Europe with his friends looking to escape the pressures of being Spider-Man and possibly even find love.

The Good

Marvel takes an assured first step as it casually launches the next phase in its vast cinematic universe. After the dramatic and universe re-defining adventures of Avengers Endgame, it’s refreshing and vaguely appropriate to have the adolescent Peter Parker guide audiences back to more earthbound human drama in a post ‘snap’ world.

Swinging back into action as Spider-Man, young star Tom Holland continues to do great work in making his version of the costume clad web crawler an endearingly awkward and earnest young hero, reluctantly drawn into the responsibilities of saving the world yet again. Holland does well in playing the genuine conflict between Peter Parker’s desire for an ordinary teenage existence and the obvious responsibilities of being a super hero. This is the true essence of the character that Stan Lee originally created and Marvel clearly understands that.

Having obviously lost the excellent chemistry between Holland and Robert Downey Jnr’s mentor like Iron Man, Marvel is quick to replace this with a new adult chaperone for Spider-Man in the form of a stern faced Nick Fury, played with usual flare by Samuel L Jackson. It’s a smart move that gives both characters a more natural place in the MCU going forward. Combined with the more affectionate mentorship of Jon Favreu’s Happy Hogan it’s a successful substitution for the scene stealing bond between Peter and Tony Stark.

A solid supporting cast lends Far From Home much of its comedy and heart with particular praise due to Jacob Batalon as Peters pal Ned, Martin Starr as his clueless teacher and Zendaya as love interest MJ. Jake Gyllenhaal is also another welcome and long overdue addition to the MCU, playing the suitably mysterious new hero Mysterio.

The Bad

Some of the film’s plot points might be a little too easily second guessed by those familiar with the comics. Also given the sheer number of films Marvel have already offered up to fans it’s a little difficult to find a story that offers something truly original and unexpected at this stage.

The film is also burdened with having to explain how a post Thanos world functions, forcing the film to hastily gloss over the many unanswered questions about the ‘snap’ and its eventual undoing. This new world presents plenty of unique storytelling opportunities that could have been explored by much more than just a couple of minutes of casual exposition nestled amongst an otherwise unrelated adventure.

While the film offers plenty of the usual action it’s perhaps also noticeably slightly more cartoonish and obviously CGI enhanced than past Spider-Man versions have been. Likewise the film’s set pieces and European setting does at times fell like an obvious parade of recognisable landmarks. As a vehicle for moving the story forward a literal tourist road trip feels just a little heavy handed at times. Though certain to be a huge help with international marketing campaigns.

The Ugly Truth

Spider-Man Far From Home is another pleasingly playful addition to the never ending MCU that gives Tom Holland another chance to shine as a convincingly adolescent Pete Parker and an increasingly seasoned Spider-Man. The film follows a similar formula as Spider-Man Homecoming and offers fans the usual mix of action, winking comedy and even a few genuine surprises along the way.

Review by Russell Nelson

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