Spider-Man: Far From Home
It’s a post-Endgame universe and Midtown High School is back to normalcy following the “Blip”, the colloquial term for the Snap. Kooky teachers Mr Harrington (Martin Starr) and Mr Dell (JB Smoove) chaperone the class on a vacation across picturesque European cities, which are being torpedoed by extravagant CGI formally referred to as the Elementals.
A cloaked expert on Elementals named Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrives and fights back against these monsters every time. Beck’s superpowers catch the sole eye of Nick Fury, who then interrupts Peter Parker’s school fun and tasks him to provide ad-hoc support for the mysterious man, nicknamed Mysterio following an Italian news broadcast on his battle against the Water Elemental in Venice. But just who is Quentin Beck, and will he fill the shoes of Tony Stark?
Far From Home is a sterling coming-of-age film that revolves around 16-year-old Peter wanting the opposite of what he wanted in Homecoming, trying to cling to his youth but being forced to mature and take on greater responsibilities in a world without Iron Man. The spirit of Tony Stark is deeply felt and Downey Jr’s presence is sorely missed. As Happy Hogan says, nobody will ever replace Tony. However, Quentin Beck offers similar levels of stimulation for Peter’s mental health, reassuring him as he goes through a period of self-doubt after inheriting Stark’s glasses.
The motivations and backstory for Mysterio are fairly underwhelming but Jake Gyllenhaal is sensational. Beck’s modus operandi gives way to potent personal moments and dazzling set pieces. There’s a Doctor Strange-esque visual sequence that outdoes anything in Doctor Strange. In fact, it’s genuinely one of the most spectacular segments in the MCU’s history.
Beyond this, we follow Peter and his classmates in goofy relationship subplots reminiscent of John Hughes, including Peter competing against another student for MJ’s affection. Despite the clear 80’s inspiration, Jon Watts avoids outdated teen rom-com tropes, applying strong narrative choices that tie into the core Marvel loop of saving the world whilst maintaining the humorous and heartfelt qualities.
Samuel L Jackson lends the film gravitas and Holland continues to be the greatest live-action Spider-Man we’ve had thus far, deftly balancing the awkwardness of Peter Parker with the shrewdness of Spider-Man and the struggle with self-confidence in both, having already killed off our memory of Andrew Garfield and surely winning over Tobey Maguire purists by now.
And finally, the first post-credit scene is mind-blowing.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is released nationwide on 2nd July 2019.
Watch the trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home here: