Spider-Man: Far from Home, the first entry in the post-Avengers Marvel Universe, has many of the qualities that made the Avengers films work, as well as some of their faults.
It’s been eight months after the events in End Game, and what has become known as “the Blip, referring to the reappearance of those who were “gone” thanks to Thanos. This new outing for Peter Parker (Tom Holland), the insecure newly minted (again, as he’s the third Spiderman in seventeen years!) superhero, has him trying to get over the loss of mentor Tony Stark (aka Ironman, with Robert Downey Jr. seen briefly in flashbacks). Parker is also trying to summon up the nerve to make his feelings known to MJ (Zendaya), and what better time to do it than on a school trip to Rome. Complicating matters for Peter is an insistent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who wants Peter to commit to S.H.I.E.L.D., along with the emergence of an enigmatic would-be superhero and replacement mentor dubbed Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Oh…and his aunt (Marisa Tomei) and Tony Stark’s best bud “Happy” (Jon Favreau) might be in the early stages of a relationship. Things aren’t easy for poor Peter!
Directed by Jon Watts from a script by Chris McKenna and Eric Sommers, Spider-Man: Far from Home benefits from a winning lead performance from Holland, and some good support from Zendaya (no terrified damsel, she), Favreau, Jackson, J.R. Smoove (as one of the chaperones), and Gyllenhaal. There are some good (if not entirely unexpected) plot developments, and plenty of engaging interplay among Parker and his classmates, his supportive aunt, the invaluable Happy, and some touching moments as Parker tries to fill an emotional void in his life by reaching out to MJ and Mysterio. When the heroes are not fighting almost insurmountable odds, the films have contained plenty of humor and warmth, and even the odd insight or two. However there are the action scenes to reckon with, and they repeat the same fault of the other Marvel films of being overly long and emotionally wearing, instead of rousing. Spider-Man: Far from Home is the first example of a saga that is far from over, but at least it packs a good deal of entertainment value. And do stay for the mid-credits scene.