Ever since Tom Holland flipped through a German airport and pinched Captain America’s shield right out from under his nose with an awkward “hi everyone”, you feel that Sony Pictures finally have the Spider-Man franchice they’ve always been striving for.
With his appearance in no less than 4 MCU movies, the Venom movie somehow scoring huge at the box office AND the magnificent Into The Spider-Verse webbing itself an honest to God Oscar all in the space of a mere 3 years, you can’t help but feel the popularity of one Peter Parker is at an all time high and I haven’t even mentioned the PS4 game yet. Spidey’s last solo MCU release; Homecoming, was a wonderfully frothy joy, combining John Hughes high school movie traits with zippy action to give us a wall crawler that felt classic while still feeling fresh and vitaly new. The sequel however comes in the aftermath of Endgame, Marvel’s super-epic that came with a major character death and more people in costume than a unisex changing room at comicon; and therefore has to carry the weight of the metric ton of baggage that comes with it.
Well, unsurprisingly, Spider-Man: Far From Home handles such weighty issues the way it’s hero handles everything else: with remarkable athleticism.
8 months after the “blip” brought back everyone dusted by Thanos, a burned out Peter Parker is feeling the loss of his mentor and merely wants to go away for his school’s European vacation, however, this being the MCU means that giant creatures formed of fire, water, wind and earth are attacking various cities across the world. Intercepted by Nick Fury in Venice, Peter Parker is introduced to a fishbowl helmeted warrior from another dimension named Mysterio (aka. Quentin Beck) who teams with Parker to attempt to subdue these “Elementals”.
If the above synopsis sounds rather basic or vague then understand that all I have described to you is only the first half of the movie which is a wonderfully fun, superhero version of Euro trip teen comedies. The second half of the movie, which contains enough rug-pulls to de-carpet a mansion, is quite possibly one of the most comic booky experiences I have ever experienced in my life. Those of you who have even a passing experience with the works of Mysterio probably won’t experience the full force of this movie’s equivalent of the senses shattering Vulture twist from Homecoming but some of the imagery unleashed here rivals Doctor Strange in it’s psychedelic nature. Needless to say, such is the standard of Marvel movies these days, the blinder you go in the better it is as secrets are, ironically, Far From Home’s secret weapon.
Having Tom Holland and Jake Gyllanhall as your leads don’t hurt either, the former embodying the role of the long suffering Wall Crawler arguably better than anyone before him and the latter nailing Mysterio and making him an enjoyable multi-layered character (the bar scene is stupendous proving that Marvel’s “villain problem” is truly a distant memory). Samuel L. Jackson returns as a more classic Nick Fury after his lighter turn in Captain Marvel and Zendaya and Jacob Batalon as M.J. and Ned continue their winning streak as Peter’s love interest and support system respectively.
Returning director Jon Watts and the script are both light-footed and nimble – although the perky joke rate arguably doesn’t score as many bullseyes as Homecoming – and the return of the pre and post credit scenes (especially the first) boast revelations that will blow MCU devotees through the back of the theatre.
Fun, colourful and possibly THE most Spider-Man movie experience ever made – yes, maybe even more than Spider-Verse).
Arguably Spider-Man 2 is probably still the king of the Spider-flicks but with the sheer wealth of quality Spider-product coming out on multiple formats left, right and centre, if it is indeed still the best of the bunch, it’s only by the tiniest width of a single web line…. and the MCU cannon is awfully close. I once described watching Homecoming as pouring pure joy directing into your eyeballs, I guess Far From Home would be the equivalent of injecting it between your toes…
I guess the Paker luck isn’t so bad after all.