Review – Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

by Armando Vanegas

For a long time, Marvel movies have been very conventional and safe in terms of how the stories played out. I’m fine with them, but I find myself wanting more out of these movies than they’ve given me. Over the last few years, these movies have gotten more comfortable than ever with sticking to the formula and I find myself feeling jaded with some of these installments in terms of how invested I get into the story and situations these characters find themselves in. I still enjoy these movies because I do love the characters even if I’m not fully in love with the movies they inhabit all the time. I just wish that the people behind the scenes took more chances with these movies. It will be no surprise to many that Spider-Man: Far from Home is more of the same from the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. However, there’s a sense of fun and excitement throughout that makes it a blast to watch from beginning to end.

Tom Holland returns as everyone’s favorite web-slinging superhero, Spider-Man, who’s decided to take a vacation from superheroeing to go on a school vacation to Europe as regular high school student Peter Parker. But being a superhero has its downsides as Peter is forced to deal with issues he was trying to avoid. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Nick Fury forces Peter to come out of his hiatus to help defeat the strange beings known as the Elementals, who have been causing trouble all around the world. Holland is fantastic as he successfully handles the balance of being both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He’s wonderful being a kid and he gets how someone in his character’s age range would act in his situation. The moments where Fury has to confront Peter to balance his personal life with being an Avenger are engaging when you realize Peter’s just a kid who wants to fit in while he’s being forced into things beyond his control. Not to mention that the events of Avengers: Endgame seemed to affect him personally and Holland sells that aspect of the character. While he has his moments being a goofy high school kid, we all buy the moments when Peter is feeling overwhelmed by his current situation. MJ, Peter’s love interest, played by Zendaya, didn’t wow me in the last movie and I can’t say that I was totally in love with her here. I get she’s supposed to be jaded but it was a bit much at times. I’m not in love with the idea of her and Peter being a couple as I wasn’t sold on them. It feels more like a platonic relationship rather than two people who are destined to be in love. Even still, they have believable chemistry together and they play off each other well. It’s just that they feel more like friends than lovers to me.

Jake Gyllenhaal is intriguing as Mysterio, a fishbowl wearing superhero from an alternate universe and a new friend of Peter’s. If you know anything about the character, you probably won’t be surprised by where the movie takes his character. It’s what the movie, along with Gyllenhaal, do that makes him more interesting. It was interesting to see things from his point of view when he starts to make some decisions about how he’s going about certain things. You see where things are going, but the movie does enough with his character to make the dynamic between him and Spider-Man engaging throughout. Their new friendship raises the stakes at times and gives their characters more dimensions for the movie to explore. Peter’s best friend Ned’s new romantic relationship was cute and made for some nice comic relief. School bully Flash Thompson was funny to watch taking all the L’s throughout the whole movie as it felt justified due to all the times he was being a dick. I like Aunt May and Happy Hogan as a couple and I hope it works out for them. Martin Starr and JB Smoove were funny as the two school officials chaperoning the trip and they complimented each other well.

Spider-Man: Far from Home is a satisfying summer blockbuster that will delight those who are looking for something comforting yet has the right amount of stakes to keep you invested. There are some decently shot action sequences mixed with really awesome special effects. The movie works best when it plays with the high school movie tropes like the first movie did. Spider-Man’s journey is always engaging thanks to the playful nature courtesy of the actors, the writers, and Jon Watts’ direction. It’s still a standard superhero movie in many ways, but it’s willing to take some chances here and there to have some good old fashioned fun. The decision to make it a vacation movie à la National Lampoon’s European Vacation is a nice choice as it gives the movie a more distinctive feel. The first half is enjoyable as a slice of life story when it focuses on Peter and his friends on vacation. When the story and the action pick up, it becomes more conventional but the movie is able to still be involving thanks to how well crafted the characters are. I prefer when Marvel movies have more of a sense of humor like this or the Ant-Man movies than the more serious and cataclysmic events that occur in The Avengers movies. The fact that it didn’t take itself too seriously made it more of a breeze than these movies usually are. It’s constantly got your attention as it’s actively trying to keep you entertained. It’s nice to see someone in the MCU let their hair down and enjoy themselves. I don’t know how much of the fun is corporate mandated fun or genuine fun among the cast and crew, but either way, I’ll take it as this movie is so enjoyable. I love how well done Spider-Man was done as a character as Tom Holland does him justice. I’m enjoying this iteration of the character and the world around him so much. The recent news about Spider-Man’s removal from the MCU is concerning if this is the last time we see this version as there’s a lot of things left open for the next installment. The future is worrying, but I seriously want Sony to not mess things up. I want to hope for the best. As it stands, Far from Home is a great time at the movies for both Spider-Man and MCU fans.

I am giving Spider-Man: Far From Home a 4 out of 5 Hairpieces!

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