Tom Awesome’s Review Score: 9.5
Spider-Man Far From Home takes us on an adventure to Europe with the titular web-slinger to deal with an Avengers-level threat. Ironically, Peter Parker has been much further from home in his brief career – you know, like, SPACE. Naming conventions aside, I am an unabashed webhead and I’m always up for a new Spider-Man movie.
For those scoring at home, Peter Parker has been portrayed by three actors in 10 live-action movies since 2002. In my review of Spider-Man Homecoming, I reported that the wall-crawler was going in a family-friendly new direction. While Far From Home maintains that vibe, it steps up the action and the humor in a big way. Overall, this is one of my favorite Spider-Man movies to date.
Plot Summary – SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION ONLY
The movie opens with Nick Fury and Maria Hill investigating the aftermath of a devastating cyclone in a desert region. The natural disaster was rumored to have a face, and it turns out it was one of four elemental creatures threatening to destroy Earth. The sequence ends with Mysterio showing up to battle the beast.
Meanwhile, at Midtown High, Peter Parker and his friends are preparing to embark on a European science trip. Crushed by the events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter intends to use the trip as a vacation to clear his head, and pursue his romantic interest, MJ. Before he leaves, Peter receives a gift from Tony Stark, access to a multi-billion dollar defense system, accessed though the glasses Stark wore in Homecoming.
Fury intersects Parker on the trip and coerces him to join with Mysterio to battle the next elemental beast. The heroes save the day, and Peter decides that he isn’t ready to take on the burden thrust on him by Stark. Enamored by Mysterio’s power and leadership, Parker hands over the defense system.
After Peter leaves to rejoin his friends, Mysterio reveals that he has been using advanced holographic technology (BARF) and drones to stage elaborate hoaxes to position himself as the world’s greatest hero. He and his team decide to attack London to create an Avengers-level threat for Mysterio to battle, to cement his status as Earth’s mightiest hero.
In the meantime, Peter and MJ finally get a little alone time. Instead of sharing their feelings, MJ confronts Peter about being Spider-Man. As Peter tries to downplay his secret identity, he accidentally uncovers Mysterio’s plot. He races off to Berlin to tell Fury. Mystero finds out that Peter knows of his do-baddery and races to intercept him. Mysterio dupes Peter again, and leaves him for dead.
Fortunately, Spider-Man is difficult to kill. He survives and races to London to confront Mysterio. Their battle showcases the wall-crawler’s improvisational skills, as he is tasked with overcoming overwhelming odds to confront the villain.
SPOILER FREE FROM HERE ON!
- This film nails the pressure put on Peter in the aftermath of Endgame. He is lost, and it summarizes Peter Parker’s life extremely well – Peter wants to live a normal life, but he can’t. He wants to help people, but he doesn’t know how. He constantly manages to put the people he cares for in danger.
- The high-tech suit from Homecoming is thankfully gone. Spider-Man no longer feels like Iron Man, and he wears a couple different suits throughout the film
- Jake Gyllenhaal was incredible. All of the leading actors, including Tom Holland, were very good, but Gyllenhaal stole the show. I would argue that he is the bet villain in a Marvel movie to date.
- Following up on Gyllenhaal, there was one sequence between Mysterio and Spider-Man that was unbelievably well done. I can’t dive into it without going into spoiler territory, but the villain uses his power and it is awesome.
- The soundtrack had a late-80’s vibe to it. For me, it recalled feelings from a time when I really connected with Spider-Man.
- I thought the humor was really good. There were some very funny moments that didn’t rely solely on Peter’s quips.
- They throw a (figurative) grenade at the end of the movie that leaves me desperately wanting to know what happens next.
- I’m still not sure why they cast a hot Aunt May.
- They constantly refer to the events at the end of Endgame. Anyone who hadn’t seen that movie yet would have a major plot point spoiled. And if you didn’t care about Endgame, it would be hard to care about this central theme, and the effect it has on Spider-Man.
- Spidey ends up fighting a lot of drones. For me, having heroes fight remote-controlled robots is a little dull.
- MJ – I liked her better than I did in Homecoming, but I still struggle with her portrayal. For me, Kirsten Dunst is still the gold standard for this character.
The Final Word
Spider-Man Far From Home is one of the best Spider-Man movies ever made. The hero is coming into his own. This is an absolute must-watch for Marvel/superhero fans of all shapes and sizes.