As the dust settles on Avengers: Endgame, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes a breath, one final film rounds out the critical and financial juggernaut that has been Phase Three. This could have been a risky move, as Endgame was a wonderfully-executed finale and it’s always a good idea to leave the audience wanting more. Happily, however, Spider-Man: Far From Home makes a convincing case for its own existence and is a delightful adventure to boot.
Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place in the aftermath of Endgame and the world is a much-changed place. In the film’s hilarious early scenes, we see the effects of half the population vanishing and then reappearing five years later in an event now known as “the blip”. In particular, we focus on how this has changed life for the students of The Midtown School of Science and Technology, the school of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland). After the breezy introduction, Peter is relieved to go on a school trip to Europe, where he wants to hang with his bestie Ned (Jacob Batalon) and finally admit his feelings to MJ (Zendaya). Of course, Peter’s life rarely runs smoothly, and his plans swiftly come unstuck in Venice when the sinking city is attacked by a Water Elemental. Spidey must leap to the rescue, also coming across Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), a handsome super-powered stranger who claims to be from an alternate earth. Is Quentin all he claims to be, or is there a deeper mystery to be explored?
Far From Home continues Spider-Man: Homecoming’s light and snappy tone, but manages to raise the emotional stakes in ways that feel authentic and rarely twee. It’s a testament to the quality of the acting, particularly Holland and Zendaya, that the film’s teen drama is as compelling as the superhero action. Jake Gyllenhaal is delightful here too, and director Jon Watts does excellent work realising Mysterio’s shenanigans in original, visually exciting ways. And while the villain’s motivation is never quite as compelling as Michael Keaton’s Vulture from Homecoming, arguably the MCU’s most nuanced baddie, it’s thematically consistent with a cinematic universe in a period of change.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is a breezy romp that positively drips with crowd-pleasing charm. It manages to illustrate the changes in the MCU, deliver an engaging superhero story and sketch out a credible teen drama in just a little over two hours and contains two of the best post credit sequences to date. If you’re in the mood for a light adventure with loads of chuckles and heart, Far From Home should be your next travel destination.