“if you’re an over-all fan of all things Marvel,
you definitely won’t want to miss it”
Spider-Man: Far From Home not only has the distinction of being the sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, it is also the final film of the current phase of Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Far From Home is the final Marvel movie to be released in 2019 and not only wraps up phase 3 and the Infinity saga, but also begins laying the groundwork for what’s to come in phase 4. So for all you out there who might be on the fence about watching any further Marvel movies after Avengers: Endgame, trust me, Spider-Man: Far From Home is definitely worth checking out.
There are many reasons for this. The biggest of which is that Far From Home is a ton of fun! It’s got great characters, lots of humor, and a ton of heart. The action spectacle is big and exciting, and it does a great job of balancing its themes with its story. But it also expands upon the overarching lore of the MCU, giving us an idea of what the “street level civilian” experienced both before and after Thanos’s snap, and how life on a post-Thanos Earth is getting back to normal.
Though Far From Home does fall short of the epicness of a film like Avengers: Endgame, for a single-character-focused film, it’s a return to form for Marvel. Though Captain Marvel left a bad taste in a lot of moviegoers’ mouths (be it from the obnoxious virtue signaling of the film’s star Brie Larson or simply because the movie was a poorly-written lackluster slog), Far From Home is a well conceived, well written, and well executed movie in almost every respect. The characters we all loved from Homecoming are back, their relationships with one another are explored and deepened, and the complications facing them are ratcheted up to 11.
But the core of what makes Spider-Man: Far From Home a truly great film is its focus on the relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark. Ever since we got the “reboot” of Spider-Man within the MCU, the “surrogate father” role for Peter was handed from Uncle Ben to Tony Stark, who became Peter’s mentor and friend. Indeed, we never get to see this incarnation of Uncle Ben, nor the impact Ben’s death had on Peter. But the same isn’t true for Tony. We’ve seen their relationship develop since Captain America: Civil War, through the heartbreaking “dusting” of Peter in Infinity War, and now we get to see Peter mourn the loss of yet another father figure.
Tony Stark plays a large role in Far From Home, albeit in the background. His shadow is cast all over the world as people celebrate his sacrifice in saving them from Thanos. But no one feels his loss more deeply than Peter, who not only misses his surrogate father, but also feels the weight of having to live up to the example Tony set and replace Iron Man as the hero Earth needs and deserves. As one can imagine, this is quite a daunting prospect for a 16 year old kid, and Peter struggles with it throughout the course of the movie (just like every good hero should).
Despite this strong foundation, Far From Home is not perfect. It does falter a little, mostly in part due to its central conflict. The character of Mysterio turns out not to be as cool as the trailers lead us to believe (but he is pretty consistent with his comic book counterpart in that regard). Though we do get to see Peter connect with his antagonist (in a similar way he did to Michael Keaton’s Vulture in Homecoming), the threat Mysterio ultimately poses doesn’t seem as impressive as it should. Yes, Spider-Man has never been the type to fight “world ending threats,” with many of his adversaries being much smaller in scale, but the promise of what Mysterio and his “multiverse elementals” offered was pretty cool. It’s a shame it never quite lives up to the hype.
But the focus of Far From Home, oddly enough, isn’t Mysterio or the threat he poses. It’s the relationships between the “high school crew” and Peter Parker’s story. The interactions of Peter with MJ, Ned, Betty, and the rest of his “science club” on their European vacation is what makes Far From Home so much fun, as these characters are all interesting and enjoyable to watch. Even the subplot with Happy and Aunt May is adorable and fun to explore! Ironically, it’s the Peter Parker storyline that saves this movie from being too boring and generic of a superhero flick (considering the “Peter Parker” aspect of Spider-Man films tend to be the parts that drag).
Oh, and Spider-Man’s European alter-ego, Night Monkey, totally needs to be a thing, now. Seriously, Marvel – give us a Night Monkey comic! This character absolutely needs to be a thing!!!
My final rating for Spider-Man: Far From Home is 3 1/2 stars out of 5. It gives you everything you could want from a good superhero movie – lots of action, lots of great characters, and lots of fun. It really is a return to form for Marvel and deepens the MCU version of Spider-Man. Oh, it also has two fantastic post-credit scenes that not only imply major changes for Spider-Man going forward, but also sets up phase 4 of the MCU in a rather unexpected way. So if you’re an over-all fan of all things Marvel, you definitely won’t want to miss it!