Spider-Man: Far from Home is the latest addition to the MCU. The film sees Tom Holland’s young web slinger being drafted by Nick Fury to fight the elementals alongside the ostensible hero Mysterio all while trying to enjoy his vacation and get close to his crush.
Now there will be spoilers…
This film was a blast from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
First, the performances. Tom Holland as Peter Parker continues to be the most accurate to date incarnation of the wallcrawler, with his portrayal of both Parker and Spider-Man being incredibly accurate and grounded. Whereas Maguire and Garfield were good at Peter Parker and Spider-Man respectively, Holland is the only one thus far to be able to capture the nuance of both sides of the superhero. The introverted, nervous Peter and the cocky, quippy Spidey. Zendaya as MJ was also quite a surprise. I wasn’t fond of her portrayal in Homecoming as she felt like the edgy, by the numbers female side character that is so prevalent these days. (Search Goth Rebel Dream Girl. You’ll see.) Shifting her from a side character into a main role with more screentime and more time to develop her character worked wonders, and helped to break the preconception that she was hired by Disney as an attempt to diversify their roles for public support. She shines in this film however, and the development from being the edgy outcast into being a realistic and relatable teen that is just scared and angsty. Jacob Batalon as guy in the chair Ned Leeds was good too, but his character feels no different to his portrayal in Homecoming and seems not to have progressed at all.
Jake Gylenhaal as Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio is also a delight. While the whole Mysterio mystery and twist is fairly easy to piece together if you have either A) basic comic knowledge or B) a shred of common sense. The twist still works though because of the way it is presented to Parker and because of the post credits Nick Fury twist. The twist that Mysterio isn’t the Multiversal messiah he is made out to be initially is played off well considering that he is really only trying to fool a 15 year old kid. The way that Mysterio goes from grandiose and upstanding when pretending to be a hero to being a weaselly, whiny little pissbaby once he is on the backfoot is seamless.
One of the worst elements of the MCU is, undoubtedly, the cinematography. While not bad, Disney are so afraid that their golden goose is going to stop laying billion dollar eggs that they take very little risks in these films. The cinematography is so bland and boring that the majority of the MCU just looks dull and without colour. Far from Home broke this mold completely. The use of Mysterio’s illusions as a way to portray so much information was genius, and the execution was brilliant. From a dead Iron Man with spiders crawling out of it to a hundred different Spider-Men beating up Spider-Man the illusion sequences were easily my favourite bit and made me quite confused trying to figure out what was real and what wasn’t. I only hope that the MCU and its mousy overlords learn a lesson in future and continue with the esoteric and off-beat cinematography.
As for criticisms, I really don’t have that many. The Fury twist ending was a good moment, but I feel that it makes Mysterio a tad redundant as he only succeeded as far as he did because Fury wasn’t himself. If I were to have a criticism, it would probably be that the film probably had too low stakes and felt like very little actually could impact the greater MCU. This is obviously a symptom of post Endgame syndrome however, with almost any subsequent entry that isn’t cosmic scale feeling the same way. This film felt like a comic book, and as a lifelong Spidey fan I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect, but it tried its best and in the end isn’t that what Spider-Man is all about?
VERDICT: Overall I would give this film a solid 8.5/10 and I would say it is definitely in my top 5 favourite MCU films if not my actual favourite.
P.S. That JJJ end credits scene was sublime and took the entire film up to an 11.