Starring: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon
Director: Jon Watts
Writer: Chris McKenna
Spider-Man fans far and wide know there is one line that has followed the character throughout all of his history. “With great power comes great responsibility.”
However, never before has any movie version of Spider-Man had this much responsibility placed on him. First off, before moving forward, know that there are spoilers for Avengers: Endgame in this review. Ok, back to the review. In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker has been given the responsibility to fill the void left by Tony Stark’s death.
What is that void? That part is not totally clear, as Stark played several important parts within the MCU. He was the public face, the smartest man in the room, and the humor that broke the tension. Here’s the problem after the events of Avengers: Endgame: right now, all Peter Parker wants to do is spend time with his friends on a school trip in Europe.
While Avengers: Endgame did all of the heavy lifting to finish out this phase of the MCU, it is Spider-Man: Far From Home that serves as the official closing chapter. Because of that, the new status quo of the MCU is not dealt with as a whole. Instead, the question that we deal with is who will replace Tony Stark and the legacy he left behind. With the focus being on a singular character from the MCU, it allows the audience to sit back and catch their breath.
Tom Holland continues to show why he was an excellent choice for the role. His looks and personality match what you would expect from a high school boy. He is goofy, endearing, slightly clumsy, and, at the heart of it all, he wants to ask MJ (Zendaya) out on a date. This is a kid who has now lost three male role-models in his short life. So when he sits down with Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to confide in his desire to take a break from being a hero, it feels genuine.
Gyllenhaal plays the character of Mysterio perfectly. The character is a hero from another planet, and he’s larger than life in his mind. Gyllenhaal plays up the campy side of the character at the exact right points and then reigns it back in to add to the dramatics. The character’s powers have been updated in a way that are believable while also paying homage to the original.
DIrector Jon Watts and the special effects team take advantage of some of Mysterio’s powers and amp up the virtual reality elements. Watts is smart while using some of the reality-bending effects. He keeps the audience guessing without taking away from the story. The shifting effects are visually dizzying while Watts forces the audience to listen carefully as the dialogue presents a barrage on Peter’s mind.
On the other hand, the Elementals are presented as city-destroying monsters that become bigger than life itself. While they present a world-ending threat, the lack of personality behind them leave them as CGI marvels with no lasting effect. That being said, once the twist is revealed, the lack of personality is understandable.
One person who does not get enough credit for their role in Spiderman: Far From Home is Zendaya as MJ. It would have been easy for her to become the mere love interest for Peter Parker. Instead, her dark humor, witty comebacks, and ability to protect herself present a much deeper character. It is her ability to show off the character’s vulnerable side without playing into the damsel-in-distress tropes that is the most impressive.
Spider-Man: Far From Home does an excellent job of answering some of the unanswered questions of other MCU movies. We find out those who went missing for five years were part of “The Blip.” The two post-credit scenes set up major plot points for the MCU moving forward. The first of the after-credit scenes acts as fan service for longtime fans of Spider-Man. It provides a plot point that is certain to be used moving forward in the franchise. The second helps to answer a nagging question about the MCU after the events of Endgame.
In the end, Spider-Man: Far From Home hands the MCU another crowd-pleaser. It provides audiences with some closure in the post-Endgame world while providing plot points for the universe moving forward. Peter Parker is set up as a major player within the MCU while establishing a new status for the character for movies moving forward.