Film Review: Spider-man: Far From Home MILD SPOILERS

As the first MCU movie set in the post-Endgame world, this one is key with setting up how the universe will go from here, and it seems as though Marvel will be fine, as this is one of the best movies so far.

A large part of this is that Tom Holland is the best Spider-man we’ve had so far, he captures perfectly Peter Parker’s nerdy awkwardness, enthusiasm and the sense of a hero trying to find his place in the world. Having returned five years after Thanos’ finger snap, he has to rebuild his life (the movie does this very well, with a quick recap at the start which explains the whole situation in an entertaining way) and faces some tough questions. With several of earth’s mightiest heroes gone, can he continue as a friendly neighbourhood hero, or does he have to step up to the big leagues? And is he even ready for that? And how much will it impact on his personal life.

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Peter is worried about this all, and still grieving the loss of his hero, mentor and friend Tony Stark. Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) is trying to contact him, but Peter just wants to go on his school trip to Europe, have some time with his friends and tell MJ (Zendaya) that he’s into her. When they get to Venice, Fury is waiting and wants to enlist him in the effort to stop giant “elementals”, beings which embody the elements and are a threat to the world.

During his first run in with one Peter is joined in the fight by a mysterious cloaked figure who defeats the water giant. Fury introduces them, and the man, dubbed Mysterio by the press, is revealed to be Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), who has fought the elementals before but was unable to defeat them before they destroyed his earth. The events of Endgame have torn the fabric of the multiverse and the elementals, and Beck have wound up on this earth, and he is determined not to allow the same thing to happen again.

Beck and Peter bond, and the older hero provides him with advice, compassion and guidance, praising his bravery but understanding his desire for a regular life. Fury, however, is less well pleased and manipulates the events of the school trip to ensure that Peter is where he wants him to be, namely Prague, where the next attack will come.

The only quibble I have with this movie, and it’s extremely minor, is that they use Mysterio. Long time Spidey fans know that the fishbowl wearing character is a villain who uses trickery and illusions, which means that the revelation that Beck is a wrong ‘un lacks any surprise, which is fine as it’s not portrayed as a massive twist and occurs about halfway through the movie. My criticism here is that as soon as they introduce Mysterio you know that something isn’t quite right, and the film might have been more interesting had they used a second tier Marvel hero as the character. Picked a lesser known Avenger who’s a hero on the page and had them do the fake hero thing here.

But like I said, the movie works fine despite this. Gyllenhaal should be praised for coming across as fairly likeable, and it’s a nice dramatic irony that we can see the tricks he’s using to exploit Peter into doing what he wants. The little moments, the allusions to Tony Stark, it’s all done extremely well.

While the audience can see the turn coming, it makes sense that Peter falls for it. He’s desperate for someone to fill the shoes of Iron Man, not just on a personal level but for the world. He feels uncomfortable and unprepared to step into the role of earth’s greatest defender himself, so a charismatic, older hero with a sad backstory is exactly who he’d believe would be the right choice.

His decision is dumb, but you can see how he’s manipulated into making it, so it makes sense why he does it.

The cast in general are all on fine form, with Jackson in his comfort zone as Fury, backed up by Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill, who is still a bit one note but convinces as a capable and cool headed agent. And all of Peter’s fellow students work well, and there is plenty of humour in their interactions, particularly his best friend Ned played with real comic talent by Jacob Batalon. And there’s a nice subplot about Aunt May and Happy getting closer.

And the Peter and MJ relationship is wonderful. Zendaya’s character is a sarcastic, darkly humorous delight, a bit of an oddball but one who sparks well with Peter’s more cheery demeanour. Her confidence and openness in conversation makes her an interesting character and it’s easy to see why Peter is smitten, it also helps that Zendaya has little moments where she allows cracks in the exterior to show. Their relationship is wonderfully sweet and charming, a natural awkwardness to some of their chatting and probably the best Spider-man couple we’ve had so far.

This movie ticks all the boxes for me, it serves to develop Peter as a character and set up what Spidey will have to deal with in the future and it deals with how the world it takes place in has changed. It works as a self contained movie but also feels like the continuation of the whole series, showing the impact of the relationships and events of the previous movies.

It just works and continues to show that the MCU incarnation of Spider-man is the best so far.

Verdict: 9/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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