Spider-Man: Far From Home is the perfect film to follow the triumph and heartbreak of Avengers: Endgame, and deliver a fitting epilogue to Marvel’s Phase 3. It’s a teen film in every meaning of the word, delivering a suitably angsty take on the burdens of heroism, full of sad dad villains and charming awkwardness over the franchise’s usual slick quips.
Tom Holland remains arguably the best ever screen Spidey, nailing the character’s goofy charisma and his desire to do the right thing. He is most convincing when struggling with the decision to be an under-staffed Nick Fury’s Avenger du jour, or to pursue his crush on MJ (a brilliant Zendaya) and just be a teenager. It’s a conflict that’s always been critical to Spidey’s identity, but is rarely explored by Marvel heroes.
Far From Home has other big topics to explore, including a few broad thoughts on fake news and blockbuster spectacle. It’s such a shame that Chris McKenna and Erik Somers’ script never develops its villain or story enough to do justice to these fascinating ideas. A more astute version could make a five-star film, but the dots just don’t quite connect.
Jon Watts must also shoulder some blame for direction that lacks the zip of Homecoming. It’s a tough hand for him coming off the back of a Spidey film as visually spectacular as Into the Spider-Verse, but he never really manages to capture the acrobatic thrill of being Spider-Man. There are however several spectacular CGI sequences to compensate, and he crafts some good performances from his young cast.
Both Watts’ Spidey films have shown a Nolan-esque eye for developing a realist version of traditionally larger-than-life characters, so it will be intriguing to see where the series goes after a mic-drop of a post-credits sting.
CAST: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, Angourie Rice, Tony Revolori, Samuel L. Jackson
DIRECTOR: Jon Watts
WRITER: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
SYNOPSIS: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.