Remember in Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 when Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) told Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) that they were going to move to England together, and then five minutes later Gwen got her neck snapped, and then the franchise was canceled? I sometimes like to imagine a beautiful alternate reality where the franchise didn’t crash and burn, Gwen didn’t die, the power couple went to England together, and Peter Parker got to fight in beautiful European set pieces. Spider-Man: Far From Home, the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has brought this reality to life in the best way possible.
This Spider-Man flick takes the MCU on a European vacation. | © Marvel
Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place after the traumatic events of End Game, where the world lost its hero, Tony Stark. Peter Parker (Tom Holland, excellent as always) wants to have a normal European vacation with his friends, get closer to MJ (Zendaya), and spend one day where he doesn’t have to save the world. A new threat from a new dimension, however, crashes Peter’s dream vacation, and Peter must work with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and new hero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhall) to save his friends.
Spider-Man teams up with new hero, Mysterio. | © Sony Pictures
A solid addition to the MCU, Spider-Man highlights what these films do best, carefully combining genuine humor with genuine heart, while featuring well-crafted fight sequences and seamlessly tying together dozens of other films. Tom Holland is still pitch perfect casting, and it’s lovely to watch him grow from the stuttering Avengers fanboy to a real hero who has to deal with making real sacrifices.
As Peter’s new mentor figure, Jake Gyllenhall is a wonderful addition to the cast, and it is obvious he is having the time of his life milking the role for all it’s worth. Peter’s peanut gallery of classmates, including Peter’s best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), Ned’s girlfriend Betty (Angourie Rice), heartthrob Brad (Remy Hii), and rich bully Flash (Tony Revolori), give a wonderful showing of young comedic talent (seriously, the first five minutes of this film is the funniest sequence in any Marvel film).
Spider-Man takes up the torch and soars into the next phase of the MCU. | © Sony
This film also has the difficult task of being the direct follow up to End Game, and therefore, must confront the major realities of life post-Thanos. And really, this film is used as a tribute/love letter to Tony Stark, which is not a simple task. While some moments felt a bit forced, the ‘passing of the torch’ to the younger generation of Avengers was fairly subtle and touching. The next phase of Marvel, it seems, is in good hands.
All in all, this sequel is a welcome breath of fresh air in the franchise. While the story is on a smaller scale than some of the more recent Marvel flicks, this one is not to be missed. And while it should go without saying at this point, make sure you stay for the mid- and end- credit scenes; these two are probably some of the strongest I’ve ever seen (possibly beating out the iconic shwarma scene).