“Are You Going to Step Up or Not?” (Spider-Man: Far From Home Movie Review)
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Remy Hii, Martin Starr, J.B. Smoove, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, and Jake Gyllenhaal
Writers: Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers
Producers: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal, Dave Minkowski, Matthew Stillman, Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach, Thomas M. Hammel, Eric Hauserman Carroll, Victoria Alonso, Louis D’Esposito, and Stan Lee
Composer: Michael Giacchino
Director: Jon Watts
After the events of Endgame, the world tries to move on from the events caused by the snap, while Peter Parker tries to move on from the death of Tony Stark. In an effort to unwind, as well as get closer to MJ, he attends a school trip with his friends to Europe, only to find himself right back in the fray of combat. As he’s unwillingly recruited by Nick Fury, a new ally named Quentin Beck leads the charge against powerful beings known as the Elementals, all while Peter tries to protect his identity from his classmates. Finding himself at a crossroads, can Peter find it within him to overcome all his obstacles and fill the void that Tony left behind? And what exactly are the Elementals?
Everyone has their own opinion on Spider-Man, as well as their own vision to him. Beyond just who is under the mask, the inner workings of the character have different facets that speak to different people. Because of this, in my humble opinion, there’s never gonna be an iteration that speaks to everyone, no matter how close to the comics they are. So with that out of the way, I want to say right off the bat that this isn’t the best Spider-Man movie, but by god is it a good one. It still very much is the MCU Spider-Man, but this movie has elevated him to a whole new level that comes closer and closer to the comics I read as a kid. So much of this movie felt like reading an off-the-rails story arc of Amazing Spider-Man, and if that isn’t Spider-Man, I don’t know what is.
To start off, Tom Holland absolutely kills it once again. It’s already his fifth time playing the role, and it’s more than clear that he’s only getting started. The challenges and dilemmas Peter faces in this movie are so relatable and absolutely remind me of all the comics I read, the shows I watched, and so on. From the little moments to the insane cathartic ones, Peter Parker shines throughout the whole movie brighter than ever. Seeing his evolution from his limited appearance in Civil War to now has been absolutely incredible, and I can’t wait to see more of this interesting and insane story that Marvel and Sony are weaving for our favorite underdog.
Jake Gyllenhaal as Quentin Beck / Mysterio was absolutely phenomenal, as well. While I can’t say much about him without going into spoiler territory, it absolutely feels like Gyllenhaal was born to play this role, and I absolutely can’t see anyone else playing good ole’ fishbowl-head. His chemistry with Holland is downright stunning, and I’m willing to bet that several of their scenes were ad-libbed due to how genuine they were, and I’d love to see these two again in another project. Mysterio as a character is just absolutely incredible, and I can’t believe we got to be alive for a movie that has him in it. No doubt, this will go down as one of Gyllenhaal’s most memorable roles.
Zendaya as MJ in this movie is everything I wanted to see and more from her in Homecoming, and her and Peter are absolutely adorable together. Their relationship is filled with the constant dilemmas and luck Peter faces all the time, while also being an utterly perfect depiction of relationships between two awkward people. I absolutely love that their moments together aren’t super dramatic (outside of the actual drama), or squeaky clean, either. The score for their romantic scenes is absolutely beautiful, as well as the score for the rest of the movie. Michael Giacchino wasn’t kidding when he said that this Spider-Man theme would evolve as the movies progressed, and it’s quickly become one of my absolute favorite themes and scores for the character.
The rest of the supporting cast was absolutely great, and seeing Fury and Peter together on-screen was an absolute dream come true for fourteen-year-old me who adored the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. On top of all of this, the action sequences in this movie were just downright incredible and jaw-dropping, and brought to life some of the absolute greatest action in a Spider-Man movie. Jon Watts has really stepped up his game as a director, from the actors, to the set pieces, to the downright gorgeous cinematography done by Matthew J. Lloyd from Daredevil, this movie looks beautiful and is dripping with incredible tone and visuals. While I was iffy on his directing for Homecoming, I now absolutely want to see Watts complete this (hopefully first) trilogy for MCU Spidey.
There’s definitely a good amount of complaints I have, though, as well as some possible concerns to address. The first act of the movie kinda drags, and is filled with a lot of jokes and comedy. Some work, but some could’ve easily been cut out, and one sequence could’ve easily been redone in order to be better while serving the purpose it does. The footage they cut out should’ve definitely been kept in, in exchange for a good few minutes that weren’t essential. Some characters once again take a backseat, one of which absolutely shouldn’t have at all, and some interactions felt kind of off at times. Also, it should be addressed that if you’re not on board with MCU Spidey, this movie probably won’t totally turn you into a diehard fan. It’s still very much a sequel to Homecoming, and Peter is the same character, just still progressing. However, the progression in this movie is absolutely incredible, and I’d recommend critics of this iteration of the character to give this movie a chance. You just might surprise yourself, after all.
Despite all the criticisms, though, I absolutely adored this movie, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. While the first act is kinda rocky, the second and third strike a huge cord with me as a Spidey fan, and there’s just so much incredible stuff to enjoy that takes me back to reading those comics as a kid (and even now as an adult). There’s so many different twists and turns (one of which has to be seen to be believed), and so much heart and soul to Peter and the rest of the cast. I can’t wait to see where the character goes next, and what his future will be in the MCU. The torch that leads the charge has officially been passed down from Tony to Peter, and there’s no doubt it’ll burn bright for years to come.
Summary An engaging, thrilling, and heartfelt Spider-Man movie that continues to brilliantly evolve Peter into the hero and person he's meant to be.