Marvel Studios are the modern-day Pavlov, they ring their new release bell and the masses come running, myself included. After being both underwhelmed and rather disappointed with Avengers: Endgame I really fancied a bit of a break from the MCU but Far From Home is the final installment of both Phase 3, and the ‘Infinity Saga’ as a whole. After committing to the previous twenty-two films, I couldn’t exactly give up now, luckily despite my reservations, I actually really enjoyed Spider-Man: Far From Home but I am hoping for a bit of a break before the circus that is Phase 4 begins.
Disclaimer: this review does contain a couple of spoilers for Avengers: Endgame so read on at your own peril.
There’s nothing like a near-death experience to help you re-evaluate your priorities, and following on from the dramatic events of Infinity War and Endgame, there is nothing that young Peter Parker would rather do than go on a school trip to Europe with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and win the affections of his crush, MJ (Zendaya). However, Peter’s best laid plans are thwarted when the school’s trip to Venice coincides with an attack from a Water Elemental, and with the Avengers all but gone, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) is turning to Spider-Man for help, along with newcomer, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhal).
With the fate of the world at stake, Peter must decide what he really wants, and whether he is ready to step up as a leader in the new age, before someone else makes that decision for him.
As a story, it seems to step out of the MCU spotlight and is a little more reminiscent of ‘old-school’ Spider-Man films, with the focus mainly being on him wanting to balance the responsibility of being a friendly neighbourhood hero with being a normal teenage boy, all whilst coping with the loss of his friend and mentor, Tony Stark.
Speaking of old-school Spider-Man, keep your eyes open during the end credit scene, for the unexpected return of a fan favourite played by the original actor. Whether this was the character’s introduction into the MCU or just a crowd pleasing cameo is yet to be seen but it was fun all the same.
Tom Holland continues to deliver as our favourite web-slinger, perfectly balancing grief and a sense of responsibility with the angst and lightheartedness that comes with being a typical teenage boy. Holland’s Peter Parker is brilliantly offset by Zendaya’s scene-stealing performance as MJ, who in this universe, is thankfully more than just a damsel in distress but an excellent character in her own right.
Jacob Batalon provides the comic relief as Peter’s best friend Ned, continuing on his role from Homecoming although not really coming into any prominence, drifting into the background as MJ’s character is pushed further into the spotlight. Angourie Rice (Betty Brant), Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson) and Remy Hii (Brad Davis) flesh out the class trip aspect but, like Ned, don’t really add too much to the film other than comedic relief and filler content.
Maria Hill (Cobey Smaulder) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) return, indicating the continuation of SHIELD after the events of Endgame, although ‘The Blip’ seems to have had an impact on the former SHIELD director, he clearly doesn’t like not always being in the know, and he definitely doesn’t appreciate being ghosted by a teenager.
Rounding off the main ensemble is Marisa Tomei (Aunt May) and Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan). Although, overall, I really like the way the MCU portray Aunt May, in this instance I found her a little annoying, although if I’m honest, I can’t really put my finger on why. I did like, however, the little sub-story between her and Happy, who happens to be one of my favourite minor characters in the whole of the MCU.
The story itself was entertaining and well-paced, if not a little too predictable. To be honest, if you are at all au fait with the world of superhero movies, you will, more than likely, already have deduced some of the main plot points simply from watching the trailer. That being said, this film still has plenty to offer and is well worth a watch.