Spoilers might be deceiving.
I think even us casual Spider-Man fans are familiar with Mysterio’s deal. That is why it was important for Marvel to keep its plot as carefully built as possible. That being said, before we get to the spoiler part let me just say that you will enjoy yourself with Spidey’s latest outing although the character seems to appear younger every time the part is recast and rebooted. Yes, Peter Parker is still in high school, which means the movie itself is also in high school. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. Yet.
Spider-Man: Far from Home is a high school comedy. It has action, you could arguably say it has adventure, but it’s strength is comedy antics by teenagers that stay safely within a family friendly pg-rating. The film was directed by Jon Watts with a screenplay by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, it’s inspired on the famous comic book character of the same name written by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. Officially, this movie is the end of Marvel’s cinematic universe’s phase three and happens after Avengers: Endgame.
The movie has a superhero plot involving Mysterio aka Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhall) who has convinced SHIELD director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and agent Maria Hill (Colbie Smulders) that these entities called Elementals destroyed his Earth and are now after ours. Yeah… however Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is less interested in being Spider-Man right now and wants to become closer with MJ (Zendaya). The cast also includes Peter’s best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) and a lot of his school mates, as well as his quirky teachers and of course his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) as well as Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau).
The large cast does get used through out the film, with Peter having to skirt around teachers, love interests, rivals and frenemies every time he needs to save the day. The way each situation is made the most complicated and awkward is funny and amusing most of the time. It’s also a guarantee you get to see a lot of the characters until we finally get to the deal with Mysterio. I’m not spoiling it, but suffice to say every comic book reader and even casual fan of Spider-Man should know what to expect. Gyllenhall does play a smooth character, too smooth to believe. It’s the kids that really are the movie’s main focus though.
I’m nitpicking but the movie plays up the comedy with the action on the background. Once we go into the second half and after the deception is revealed, the problem is the stakes are kinda lowered instead of raised. The movie wants to be an action movie but that’s not what it’s been doing for most of its run. For the final act, we get a little of both and although it remains enjoyable, it’s never really thrilling. At no point in time does it really feel like Spider-Man’s in danger. The superhero himself feels to be in the background of his own movie. Everyone else seems to be taking the spotlight from him.
The comedy is Marvel’s staple at this point. But we never get the thrill. There’s never a point in which we have the superhero moment of Spider-Man proving himself the better person or inspiring someone else. You never feel that any of the characters will die. There is none of the gravitas of Endgame where you feel the weight of the world, the call of destiny or the impending doom. When the turnaround begins and victory is at hand there is no feeling of triumph. It lacks risk and therefore there’s no sense of adventure. The bad guy gets defeated at some point because that was going to happen anyways. What it does well is nostalgia. The scenes in which Peter remembers Tony make the character endearing.
Recommended for younger fans of Spider-Man and Marvel fans in general with a few reservations. It’s a very funny and amusing comedy but it might work better for a younger audience. Spider-Man does have to share the screen with an ensemble cast, so I did feel at times like he rarely had the focus. The movie does pay its respects to the fallen Avengers and gives us some moments where Peter misses Tony that are sweet. I feel that as an action comedy, it was very solid on the comedy but I think it misses a step in the action. That being said, you’ll probably be laughing too hard to notice.
That will do for now.