Film Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and the twenty-third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – it could also be the best Spider-Man film we’ve ever had.

Dir: Jon Watts Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jacob Batalon, Samuel L. Jackson, Angourie Rice, Marisa Tomei.

Far From Home begins after the traumatic climax of Avengers: Endgame, with half of the world’s population suddenly reappearing after five years of being snapped from existence. The film follows Peter Parker (Spider-Man) as he tries to adjust to a world without his previous mentor and desperately clings to the shreds of innocence and teenage normality he has left.

While exploring Italy during a school trip, Peter and his classmates encounter a gigantic elemental monster and are saved by the magical Quentin Beck (Mysterio), leading Peter on a journey across Europe to protect his friends while trying to understand his place in the world as Spider-Man. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays Mysterio in his MCU debut, and brings the layered balance required – and previously thought impossible – to do the classic character justice.

The star of the show, however, is our friendly neighbourhood superhero. One of the unique things about Spider-Man is that the role demands an actor to play two separate, yet cohesive parts: the bright-but-awkward Peter Parker, and the wise-cracking webslinger himself. Tom Holland has brought incredible charisma and warmth to his portrayal of Spider-Man, and Far From Home sees the actor rise to a new level in his performance. Holland might be the most authentic Spider-Man ever seen on film, and this stems from how perfectly he captures the relatable awkwardness of Peter Parker.

This is largely in part to the strength of the supporting actors, Zendaya as the endearingly morbid MJ: Jacob Batalon as deadpan best-friend Ned Leeds, Angourie Rice as Betty Brant, and Jon Favreau as Harold “Happy” Hogan, who all add depth to their characters in a way that was impossible to explore in previous films. Far From Home manages to pack a classic superhero story, an emotional coming-of-age drama, and a romantic comedy all into one film, while remaining remarkably fun and light in exactly the right moments.

Far From Home serves as the antidote to any grim residue following Endgame, and takes the MCU back to a fun, enjoyable place. It also contains some of the most baffling and brilliant special effects in the MCU so far, with every appearance by Mysterio and the otherworldly Elementals a delightful spectacle that many will be aching to rewatch. But it’s a film that flows around its set pieces, instead of feeling tied to them – it’s goofy, genuine, heartbreaking, laugh-out-loud hilarious at times, and pure, authentic Spider-Man.

Far From Home reminds Marvel fans that it’s okay to relax and have fun again in the MCU, and delivers a portrayal of Spider-Man that even the least comic-friendly viewer will find entertaining and endearing – a version of our beloved webslinger that has been long overdue, and deserves to be around for a long time to come.

Oxford Lamoureaux