Spider-Man: Far From Home proves that Marvel can still turn the MCU completely on its head
JOE's review for the web-spinning sequel is here!
So… that happened. The Snapture from Infinity War has effectively been (mostly) undone by Endgame, but the repercussions are still being felt. And we’re assuming you’re all caught up with the events of those movies, because the plot of Far From Home leans pretty heavily on the aftermath of…
(GET OUT NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN ENDGAME!)
… Tony Stark’s death.
Cleverly replacing the Uncle Ben-there, done-that sad passing we’ve seen one too many times, here Peter Parker is forced to step up to the great powers/great responsibilities plate when the world’s best known Avenger has been killed in the process of saving half of all known life.
Those brought back by the undoing of The Snapture – here renamed The Blip – are now in a world where those who weren’t snapped away having continued living those last five years. Which is Parker’s (Tom Holland) first issue in Far From Home, as the once five-years-younger Brad Davis is now a bit of a teenage hunk (Remy Hii) who may have caught MJ’s (Zendaya) eye.
Still in emotional recovery mode from the events of Endgame, Parker wants to take a holiday from the high-pressure stakes of planet saving, and his school trip around Europe couldn’t come at a better time. EXCEPT… a series of inter-dimensional beings have arrived and are beginning to cause chaos, and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) recruits Parker to team-up with Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) to defeat them. Beck was pulled into our Earth by the reality-altering events of Endgame, but in his reality, Earth was destroyed by these creatures, and he may be the only one who knows how to stop them from doing the same thing here.
So we’ve got a teen rom-com on holiday mixed in with a high-stakes superhero movie, with Parker thrown into some huge action set-pieces that destroy large parts of Venice, Prague, and London. The smaller scale of Homecoming has been mostly left behind, as Far From Home ramps up the scope to what is referred to as “an Avengers-sized problem”.
Therein lies pretty much the only problem with this Spidey-sequel, as the more intimate tale of Homecoming was a welcome respite from The World Is Ending Again plots of the rest of the MCU. Huge action sequences are all well and good, but barely anything else in recent Marvel movies can match the jaw-dropping scene of Michael Keaton opening a door in Homecoming when you least expected it.
That being said, there is still plenty of room here for the John Hughes-esque teen comedy from that first Spidey movie, with Holland, Zendaya, and Jacob Batalan as BFF Ned are perfect as the central trio, with Marisa Tomei and Jon Favreau assisting in the comedy stakes. Jackson slots in brilliantly as his tough-love Fury doesn’t have a lot of time for Parker’s feelings, while Gyllenhaal adds an interesting new twist to proceedings, delivering a performance that is operating at several levels simultaneously.
In the light of Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, it is great to see that Sony, Marvel, and everyone involved in the MCU isn't just resting on the laurels of what has come before and simply doing it again. Big new ideas are still being introduced, and huge swings are being taken for the future of the franchise.
After the MCU-altering events of Endgame, Far From Home does represent a bit of a palette cleanser, in that this does certainly feel a bit lighter, but it is far from inconsequential. Just hang around for BOTH of the credit scenes to see that the future of Spider-Man and the Marvel movies in general are being put on a brand-new path.
Clip via Sony Pictures Entertainment