Spider-Man: Far From Home, much like its titular hero, is dealing with the weight of expectations. Not only is it following on the heels of Avengers: Endgame, it also follows the lightning in a bottle success of Into The Spider-Verse. Thankfully, it succeeds due to a stellar performance from its cast, and by bringing back all the best aspects from Homecoming-namely the humor, heart and heroics.
Picking up eight months after the events of Endgame, Far From Home finds Peter Parker (Tom Holland) grappling with the loss of his mentor Tony Stark and his feelings for fellow classmate MJ (Zendaya, whip-smart and witty.) When his school schedules a two-week summer trip to Europe, Peter feels that this is the perfect time to unwind and confess his feelings to MJ-until spymaster Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) ropes him into a mission. Monsters from another dimension, with the ability to wreak havoc using the elements, have invaded our world with magician Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) in hot pursuit. Peter must team with Mysterio to defeat the Elementals and salvage his summer vacation.
Director Jon Watts and screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Somers return for their sophomore Spidey film, and it’s clear that the trio has upped their game. The action sequences are bigger and better, featuring Spidey using his wits and webs to battle the Elementals. There’s plenty of humor to be mined from the film, including Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) mistakingly naming Peter’s Spider-Sense the “Peter Tingle”, Fury and Peter’s interactions, and a sudden romance between Peter’s “guy in the chair” Ned (Jacob Batalon) and Betty Brant (Angourie Rice). And much like the revelation that the Vulture was the father of Peter’s crush, Far From Home contains a few jaw-dropping twists of its own (including a mid-credits scene that will leave Spidey fans speechless.)
However, the standouts are Holland and Gyllenhaal. This is, without a doubt, Holland’s finest performance as Peter Parker; the young web-slinger is dealing with a LOT in this movie, and he wears his feelings on his sleeves which only serves to endear him further to the audience. Spider-Man has always been the “everyman” hero and Holland nails that aspect of the character perfectly. Gyllenhaal is charming and charismatic; considering he was tapped to play Spider-Man at one point, it’s wonderful to see things come full circle.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is an excellent coda to the Infinity Saga and a stellar sequel to Homecoming. Based on the ending, I hope that Holland, Watts, Sommers and McKenna return for a third installment-and that they continue to improve on one of my favorite incarnations of the Spider-Man mythos.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 webshooters.