After the emotional devastation of Avengers: Endgame, Marvel fans knew we were in for more of the same with Spider-Man: Far From Home. We knew it would be a tough ask to have Tom Holland’s web-slinging hero catch a break. Although perhaps a mid-tier Marvel entry, Holland’s second solo outing managed to find a balance that touched hearts and gave fans what we love the most about this franchise.
Clearly, the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame needed to be addressed, and of course it would fall to the teenage superhero to take the brunt of the impact. The moments where Peter Parker took time to reflect on the magnitude of the loss of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) were some of the strongest in this movie. It made the loss so much more real and tangible, seeing it through the eyes of someone who loved him. Stark was made less of an icon and more of a person who had a real impact on others.
On that note, I was sure that at some point the Russo’s had confirmed that May (Marisa Tomei) had in fact survived Thanos’ snap, but had no idea Peter went to space and was snapped. Turns out, I was right (according to Screen Rant anyway). I know it’s a nitpick, but this was actually an opportunity for a very emotional story of how May reconnected with her nephew, and how she navigated his disappearance. On a positive note, her hot-and-cold relationship with Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) was both hilarious and endearing, and provided perfect comedic moments.
The fact that this movie was made into a Euro-trip adventure was the right choice. Holland’s Peter Parker/Spider-Man is arguably the most age-appropriate for this character, facing issues and opportunities of a teenage superhero. The scenery was gorgeous and the locations were used to perfection. It was the perfect venue to explore the awkwardness and magic that co-exist when teenagers are set loose on a school trip.
As with all of Holland’s solo outings, one strength of this Spidey entry was the portrayal of teenage love and friendship, specifically in MJ (Zendaya) and Ned (Jacob Batalon). Ned’s relationship with Betty (Angourie Rice) was so incredibly endearing, and an accurate portrayal of whirlwind teenage romances that go on entire journeys in the span of a few days. MJ and Peter’s relationship worked in so many ways. At the time of writing, these two are dating, but the chemistry was evident even in this movie.
The only reason any of the Mysterio stuff worked was through sheer force of will on Jake Gyllenhaal’s part. Otherwise, the character himself fell into the eternal pit of Marvel villains, being killed off before the movie’s end, and serving the single purpose of setting up Spider-Man: No Way Home. It was also an odd choice to have yet another villain whose sole motivations stemmed from being wronged by Tony Stark. I understand the man had incredible influence in-universe, but he really wronged most people he met? It just doesn’t make sense.
The Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) storyline also didn’t work particularly well in this movie. It’s frankly exhausting to think that this may become a trope used in future entries, swapping a character and revealing that they are a Skrull. This is lazy writing, and hopefully Marvel doesn’t make it a habit as we continue in Phase Four of the franchise.
Spider-Man: Far From Home was an ultimately enjoyable, solidly mid-tier Marvel entry. Not all of the storylines were choices that made sense. Though there were glimpses of tropes and stories that can make Marvel infuriating when it comes to storytelling, there was enough of what fans love to make it more than worth a revisit.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is available to stream on Netflix.