Reviews | Written by Andrew Pollard 04/11/2019

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME / CERT: 12 / DIRECTOR: JON WATTS / SCREENPLAY: CHRIS MCKENNA, ERIK SOMMERS / STARRING: TOM HOLLAND, JAKE GYLLENHAAL, ZENDAYA, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, MARISA TOMEI, JON FAVREAU / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 11TH

Special Features: Peter’s To-Do List short / 11 featurettes / Alternative and extended scenes / Easter eggs / Gag reel / Outtakes

The Infinity War has been and gone, and the Endgame has well and truly changed the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the cold, hard truth is that life goes on. And for young Peter Parker (Holland), he now finds himself elevated to the level of one of the world’s greatest heroes. Does Peter even want this responsibility, though? How can he possibly live up to the likes of Captain America and Iron Man? And can’t this high school student just live the life of an everyday teenager?

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first MCU offering since the game-changing Avengers: Endgame, and we find a world full of uncertainty. For Peter, he’s soon on a school trip to Europe, with his main focus being on telling MJ (Zendaya) how he feels about her. As is ever the case for our beloved Wall-crawler, life is far from simple, of course, and the prospect of a trio of all-powerful, otherworldly Elemental villains is soon on his radar. Fortunately for Spider-Man, however, is the presence of a shiny new hero in Mysterio (Gyllenhaal). Mysterio, aka Quentin Beck, is a hero from an alternative Earth who has battled these Elementals before, and as such he’s quickly working alongside Nick Fury (Jackson) and Spider-Man to help stop the chaos and carnage that these no-good rogues are capable of conjuring up.

What Far From Home does marvellously well is in how it focusses on the world’s need for heroes to step up. With so many of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes now either deceased or out of action, the world is desperately seeking new protectors. Likewise, for a Peter Parker still grieving after the death of his mentor, Tony Stark, this is a youngster crying out for guidance and emotional support. And in Quentin Beck, so many of these issues start to become solved, as Mysterio steps up to become the hero the planet needs, and Beck also finds himself striking up a bond with Peter. On that front, the dynamic between Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal is so often what holds Far From Home together, and both actors put in great, nuanced performances that tick a host of different beats. Elsewhere, away from Mysterio, Holland’s screen time with Zendaya is another highlight, as the burgeoning romance between Peter and MJ goes through the ups and downs so often associated with Spidey's infamous ‘Parker luck’.

To date, Tom Holland’s Web-head has been brilliantly fleshed out in his four previous MCU outings, and Far From Home takes that momentum and characterisation and then develops the Peter Parker character even further by adding an extra layer of emotion and strength due to how he’s left to handle the Endgame fallout. Brimming with heart, Spider-Man: Far From Home is up there in the upper echelon of MCU movies, and in Mysterio fans are given a fascinating character who ultimately has a key, key role in changing the landscape of this shared Marvel realm.

Elsewhere on this release, there are a number of excellent featurettes exploring how Far From Home came together, although the standout highlight of the bonus content is the Peter’s To-Do List short that sees Peter having to pick up some last minute bits and pieces for his Europe trip while taking down the Manfredi crime family.