“The next Iron Man?”
RELEASED: July 2nd 2019
DIRECTED BY: Jon Watts
WRITTEN BY: Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers
PRODUCED BY: Kevin Feige & Amy Pascal
MUSIC BY: Michael Giacchino
STARRING: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Angourie Rice, Tony Revolori, Remy Hii, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, J. B. Smoove, Cobie Smulders & Samuel L. Jackson
After the universe-shaking events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home closes out the Infinity Saga with an epilogue of sorts, and follows Peter Parker recovering from the loss of Tony Stark and hoping to get away from it all by going on vacation with his classmates. However, his holiday is interrupted by the arrival of Nick Fury and Mysterio, who put Spider-Man to work saving Europe from the monstrous Elementals.
Much like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Far From Home presents audiences with a Peter Parker who is much closer to the classic Spider-Man than the depictions seen in the Raimi Trilogy and the Amazing duology. Tom Holland nails the depiction of Peter Parker, reaffirming that he is the greatest Spider-Man commited to film. His stories manage to perfectly juggle the superheroics with the high-school drama, and his chemistry with his fellow cast members is outstanding. The relationship between him and Zendaya’s MJ is particularly adorable and feels very genuine in regards to actual high school romances.
The rest of the cast also shines, as alongside strong performances from Holland and Zendaya, we also get very amusing turns from Batalon and Rice, who play the similarly infautated Ned and Betty. Remy Hii presents an amusing foil for Peter as a rival for MJ’s affections, and J.B. Smoove adds to the array of hilarious teachers who work at Midtown High. However, some of the standouts in my mind (beyond the aforementioned stars pictured above) are Martin Starr and Jon Favreau. Both function primarily in a comic relief role, but the delivery of both actors is superb, and they have some of the best gags in the film. Furthermore, Favreau really steps up when making Happy Hogan an integral part of MCU Spidey’s world, and the evolution of the two characters’ relationship is something I really want to see more of.
Once again, director Jon Watts manages to create a very charming picture, one that distances itself from other Marvel movies with its teenage characters and goofy humour, despite having a lot of the same tonal decisions that make Marvel movies consistent hits. It’s genuinely funny, utilising visual gags and the high school aesthetic to their full potential.
The way it manages to adapt ridiculous comic book premises for the big screen should also be applauded. Mysterio, if we’re being honest, is a ridiculous comic book character. His look, his personality. All of it. Lovable, but goofy as can be. And yet, as portrayed by Gyllenhaal, Mysterio becomes an interesting character for Spider-Man to bounce off, and when the story finally allows him to go full-on Mysterio, the film is all the better for it. Some of the visuals associated with the character are beautiful and fascinating, and while there are a few slip ups (especially where Spider-Man is involved, and the CGI-heavy sequences betray the fact that Spidey’s costume itself, is CGI), overall it is a visual spectacle that is a joy to behold.
Unfortunately, there are some points in the story that, when given a bit of thought don’t make a whole lot of sense. There are also some creative choices that I take issue with, but that’s more personal preference than it is a comment on the quality of the film. I’m going to follow this up with a spoiler review at some point, because to discuss those choices, we’ll obviously have to go into the film in greater detail. One thing I can tell you though, is that these things open the world up for a new and interesting take on Spider-Man.
But for now, all-in-all, I give Spider-Man: Far From Home: