Forgive me but it does feel a little bit weird writing up a SPOILER FREE review after discussing the “massive twist” of Spider-Man: Far From Home just a couple of days ago. I didn’t see the movie then but I was already fully aware that the “surprise” was going to happen. So I was a tiny bit concerned that knowing what was going to happen was going to ruin it for me. Just a tiny bit only, though, since Marvel’s track record has been stellar for the most part. As this was the first Marvel flick set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, I was wondering if they blew their entire load in that movie.
I’m happy to say they didn’t. Spider-Man: Far From Home is an excellent movie and worthy of the Marvel pedigree.
Although I mentioned it at the start, it does bear mentioning again that this will be a SPOILER FREE review of Spider-Man: Far From Home since I already talked about spoilers in an earlier post. So, even though I already told you that I liked the movie, I do like to talk more about what I liked and disliked about Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place around eight months after the events of Avengers: Endgame. The people who were snapped out of existence were brought back and that event has been called The Blip. Peter Parker and the entire Midtown High School Science Team are taking a school trip to Europe when a new threat threatens that part of the world. However, a new hero dubbed Mysterio appears and needs Spider-Man’s help to defeat them.
That’s the general main plot of Spider-Man: Far From Home. There is a little more to it as there a some nifty sub-plots, like Peter Parker planning to confess his feelings to Michelle “MJ” Jones and the pressure the people are putting on Spider-Man to be “the next Iron Man.” There are actually quite a number of moving parts in the movie and, while all of them may not work as smoothly as others and some are even brushed off by the end, they do form a rather cohesive story that works for the most part. It does seem like they did try to overextend themselves a little bit but it doesn’t lead to any major plot holes, thankfully.
The acting across the board is really good. Tom Holland reprises his role as Peter Parker and Spider-Man and I can say he’s done an excellent job at bringing the popular Marvel superhero to life. I really enjoyed how awkward he comes off as it comes off as really genuine. Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders once again portray Nick Fury and Maria Hill, respectively. While they don’t really get all that much screen time, it’s really obvious that they’ve gotten real comfortable with these roles.
Speaking of characters that I wish had more screen time, Jon Fabreau returns as Happy Hogan and he’s really good here as well and it is a shame he’s wasn’t in the film more often. Same for Marisa Tomei as Aunt May. I really like this version of the character as she’s more feisty and witty. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that Marisa Tomei is still quite a looker. Who knew a hot Aunt May could work?
Zendaya is overall great as MJ and she’s a character that actually grew on me throughout Spider-Man: Far From Home. I didn’t like her wise-ass attitude in Homecoming but, as the character opens up a bit more in Far From Home, she comes off as more likable. Peter’s other classmates are a joy to watch. I was surprised to see Betty Brant have a more meaty role this time around and, thankfully, Angourie Rice, the actress that portrays her, pulls her off well.
But the character that really stands out is Mysterio. I have to say that casting Jake Gyllenhaal in the role was a stroke of genius. Although he’s not as well known to the non-comic book reading public, Mysterio has always been a huge fan favorite character in the Spider-Man mythos. They needed to get an actor that could lend some credibility to him and, well, Jake Gyllenhaal succeeded. Mysterio has to do a lot here and Jake Gyllenhaal made it seem so easy.
The acting may be on point but some of the backgrounds didn’t sit well with me. Some of the sets do feel… how do I say this? They look kind of staged. Not all of them; just some. There are some specific areas, such as some scenes that were supposed to be in Venice and Prague looked like they were built from the ground up specifically for this movie. I get that they can’t film everything on location and there are always going to be sound stages constructed for a movie. But I guess it’s either the design or the quality of the sets that made it look fake to me. It’s not a huge gripe but it’s a gripe nonetheless.
The special effects and the action scenes, however, fare much better. There are some really excellent CGI here with Mysterio flying and blasting those Elemental monsters as well as Spider-Man swinging all over the place. They looked real for the most part. I will say that there is this one really brilliant sequence just before the final action scene just just blew my mind. You’ll know it when you see it. There are, however, a few milliseconds when they do look a little “uncanny valley” but these moments are very brief. The action sequences do come off as rather sterile initially but things to build up with each battle. It all comes to a head in the final action scene and this is where things may look kind of hectic but it’s all still easy to follow.
Strangely enough, the plot follows the pattern of the action scenes. Spider-Man: Far From Home feels slow at the start and you only get to see your first real superhero action scene until probably a quarter into the movie’s 129-minute runtime. It does take it’s time getting to that point as it’s trying to establish Peter Parker’s high school life and, since that’s presented in an interesting way, you don’t really mind all that much. It still does seem to drag just a smidge, though.
One thing that I do have to mention is that, even though you have an idea of the plot twist, Spider-Man: Far From Home still has quite a few surprises in store for you. I can’t really delve into details as this is a SPOILER FREE review but these surprises are really clever and are some of the better callbacks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Overall, I enjoyed Spider-Man: Far From Home. It had a lot riding on its shoulders as it is the first Marvel film after Avengers: Endgame. It may not be a game changer like Endgame but Far From Home is still something you should watch if you enjoy superhero movies or good movies in general.
Oh, and stick around for, at least, the first end credits scenes. You’ll thank me later.
Have you seen Spider-Man: Far From Home? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!