Far From Home Brings Spider-Man Home
Far From Home
Starring Tom Holland, Samuel L Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, and Jake Gyllenhaal
After the character’s MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War, his own Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Homecoming (and two subsequent Avengers films), Far From Home sees Spider-Man in an interesting arc where the character must stand on his own without being overshadowed.
Having well and truly introduced the character to the MCU, Far From Home marks a much needed evolution in the character, who to date has been portrayed as a young and inexperienced hero. Long term fans who have missed key aspects to the character’s mythos will be pleased with the way that this film progresses things.
Far From Home stands out as perhaps the best live action Spider-Man
film. With the character (re)introductions out of the way, the film’s team have
a much wider canvas to work on, taking the story to Venice, Prague, and London
among other locales. While Spider-Man is a traditionally New York-based
superhero, the film manages to make this shift work.
Set after Avengers Endgame, Far From Home sees Peter Parker/Spider-Man taking a much-needed overseas holiday with his school class. Hoping to get away from it all and tell his classmate/love interest MJ how he feels, the trip takes an unexpected detour when it is interrupted by the Elementals, giant element-based monsters that tear up the ground under Peter’s feet, literally and otherwise. Working with S.H.I.E.L.D, he is introduced to Mysterio, who claims to be from a parallel universe the Elementals destroyed.
The film portrays Peter Parker mourning some heavy losses in
his life. The Spider-Man character has always been linked to the subject of
grief, and Far From Home portrays
this in a variety of interesting ways. The film’s plot divides nicely between the
more serious, quiet moments and the action sequences that force the narrative
to advance. With its globe-hopping story, there are some big set pieces in
Far From Home has quite the amazing cast, all of whom deliver their roles with aplomb.
Tom Holland delivers well as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, a character away from his home city and out of his element.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s take on Mysterio is perhaps the film’s
best performance, delivering all dimensions of a character that promised to be
one of the most difficult to translate to the silver screen.
Zendaya returns as MJ, delivering on a character that is similar in vein to the comics’ Mary Jane while adding some additional humour. The character is a good deal more fleshed out than the brief glimpse Homecoming offered.
Far From Home also has plenty of hidden references and in-jokes, with everything from a hidden reference to the first issue of The Amazing Spider-Man to the recent PlayStation 4 Spider-Man game. A mid-credits scene had audiences cheering at the screening Insights attended. There is also a post-credits sequence that may have implications for the MCU’s as yet-unannounced fourth phase.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor