Eight months have passed since The Snappening was undone and Peter Parker and His Amazing Friends are trying to readjust to life living again. Peter, Ned, MJ, and Flash go on a class trip to Europe and, while there, Nick Fury hijacks the vacation so that Spider-man can team up with a new hero named Mysterio to stop these colossal beings called Elementals from destroying the Earth. But, for Peter Parker, this is a lot more personal… Can’t he be just a normal teenager for five damn minutes? Can’t he just tell the girl he likes how he feels about her? Is there any room for Peter Parker in Spider-man’s life?
I heard months ago that Spider-Man: Far from Home was going to round out Marvel’s Phase 3 films which I thought was odd since Endgame seem to be the logical ending. Far From Home, however, serves as a coda to the gigantic Avengers melee… a sometimes silly, sometimes somber story where one character simply catches his breath and decides what to do with the life he’s got back. In many ways, Far From Home takes a lot of cues from Rami’s Spider-Man 2. We’ve got a hero who is torn and tired, he loves being a hero, but still wants that normal life that everyone else gets. This leads him to make stupid and selfish decisions and, to be honest, that’s what I like about Tom Holland’s Spider-Man… he’s a kid and he acts like a kid.
Rather than being a kid who makes stupid mistakes just because he’s a kid, however, Peter has a tremendous weight on his shoulders following the death of his mentor, Tony Stark. He’s got all of these expectations placed on him by the public and others that he follow in Tony’s footsteps and it’s a real and believable burden that wears him down.
Add to that a hero that might be Peter’s way out. Mysterio is introduced into the MCU in an interesting and yet flawed way. Jake Gyllenhaal does an admirable job bringing the character to life, but at the same time, anyone with a cursory knowledge of Spider-Man knows that Mysterio is a bad guy and so you’re just counting down until the sudden and inevitable betrayal. It’s puzzling because this could have been easily avoided simply by having Mysterio pretend to be someone else… either a previously introduced hero or someone knew and then reveal later that he’s Mysterio.
Still, I like the take on the character, I like his illusions and gimmicks, and Jake Gyllenhaal plays him with just likeable charisma that you almost find yourself rooting for him as well.
The movie is a joy. The plot carries over the ramifications of Endgame, the characters are fun and identifiable, the sense of humor and fun is never lost, and the action sequences are well choreographed and exciting.
Far from Home is a smaller movie than Endgame, but it feels every bit as important and is an excellent capper to Phase Three.
I will also say that the cameo in the first after credits scene has got to be the most amazing and unexpected character return in the MCU to date.