Let’s Address The Elephant In The Room
Spider-Man: Far From Home is the first movie to take place after Endgame, and as such everyone’s been waiting to see how the infamous “snap” carries over into the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While we don’t get all the answers in Far From Home, we do get our first look at a world post-Thanos. Five years have passed since half of the universe turned to dust and another six months has swung by as we roll into Far From Home.
Peter and his fellow classmates (Ned, MJ, and Flash) find themselves brought back to a world that’s gone by without them. Worst of all, they have to start their school year all over again from where they left off. We also get a glimpse into the lives of other people affected by the snap. For Example, Peter’s Aunt May comes back to find another family living in her apartment and one of Peter’s teachers discovers that his wife faked her death to cheat on him.
Spider-Man Far From Home merges the essence of a spy thriller with the drama of a teen holiday as Peter and his classmates travel through Europe seemingly followed by disaster wherever they go. Fortunately, Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal is on hand to save the day (with a little help from your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man).
Both Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal deliver superb performances, as Peter Parker struggles to come to terms with the death of his mentor, Tony Stark, Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck is there to fill the void left in Peter’s heart. The supporting cast of characters such as Jacob Battalion’s Ned, and Zendaya’s MJ serve as a fun distraction from the main plot and the chemistry between Peter and MJ feels natural and well-deserved.
But Everything Is Not What It Seems.
The central plot of the film revolves around the appearance of several elemental monsters that begin to terrorize western Europe, catching the eye of Nick Fury. Luckily, Mysterio bursts onto the scene, bubble helmet and all, to save the day. Meanwhile, Peter is trying to get his holiday off to a good start so that he can woo MJ, but after ignoring Fury’s attempts to contact him, he soon finds himself receiving a visit from the man himself. Fury recruits Spider-Man into his operation, hijacking his vacation along the way. On the plus side, he does provide Peter with a trendy new stealth suit, which fans of the comics or anyone who’s seen Into The Spiderverse, will recognize as a homage to Spider-Man Noir.
With this being the first MCU movie to take place after Iron Man’s death, there are plenty of references to the billionaire playboy philanthropist and even from beyond the grave he serves as an important part of the movie’s narrative. This is as Peter struggles to live up to the expectations placed on him to become the next Iron Man. Instead, Peter decides that it’s his duty to find the next Tony Stark, and who better to fill those shoes than the impressive Mysterio.
However, Quentin Beck is not everything he seems to be. Despite claiming to hail from an alternate Earth, a declaration that sent MCU fans everywhere into a frenzy with the possibility that Marvel could be starting the process of adding the newly acquired characters from FOX, such as the X-Men and the Fantastic Four into the MCU. Unfortunately, anyone who knows Quentin Beck’s alter-ego, Mysterio, will know that appearances can be deceiving.
Far from being the multiversal refugee that he claims to be, Mysterio is actually a former Stark Industries employee. Disgruntled after Tony used his hologram technology and then tossed it aside, Quentin gathered together all of Tony Stark’s former employees that held a grudge against him and combined their knowledge together for one purpose. That one purpose was to show the world that ordinary people could be heroes, as well. To this end, Mysterio utilizes a network of Stark drones to create widespread devastation in the guise of the elemental attacks, all the while fooling Nick Fury, Amanda Hill, and most importantly, Spider-Man into going along with the charade. It’s not until one of Peter’s friends discover a broken piece of the hologram technology Beck is using, that Peter figures out he’s been wrong about his new mentor all along.
An Action-Packed Emotional Thrill Ride
Spider-Man Far From Home delivers on everything we’ve come to expect from the MCU, the action is well-shot and choreographed. Of particular note is the fluidity with which Spider-Man swings and parkour throughout the movie, indeed the stunts kept me on the edge of my seat whenever the movie shifted into high gear. The CGI and special effects in the movie are phenomenal, helping to bring the character of Mysterio into a world of his own. Fans have always been nervous about seeing Mysterio on the big screen as the character focuses on mind-bending illusions to trick and overwhelm his foes. Thankfully, Gyllenhaal’s performance combined with the film’s excellent effects create some incredible moments that have to be seen first-hand to understand their impact and given the emotionally charged nature of some of the scenes, it’s easy to see why the film is rated PG-13.
But It’s the Post-Credits Scenes That Really Make the Film a Must-See
Ever the bane of movie theater ushers everywhere, Marvel’s post-credit scenes are always worth staying in your seat for. Let me tell you, Far From Home‘s post-credit offerings are no different.
WARNING: SPOILERS BELOW
Spider-Man Far From Home contains two after-credits scenes. The first see’s Peter and MJ back in New York, with Peter taking MJ on her very first web-swing across the Big Apple. But, it turns out it isn’t for everyone and the couple set down in Time’s Square. Just in time for a breaking news bulletin, courtesy of J. Jonah Jameson, with J.K. Simmons reprising his role as the hot-headed media tycoon. Jonah has an exclusive scoop courtesy of none other than Mysterio.
Despite dying at the film’s climax, Mysterio still manages to get one last dig in from beyond the grave as he doctors the footage from his and Spider-Man’s final encounter to make it seem like Peter was behind the attacks all along. But, not content with just ruining Spider-Man’s good name, Mysterio takes it one step further by announcing to the world that Peter Parker is Spider-Man.
This sets a new precedent for Spider-Man films, while single characters have, in the past, discovered Spider-Man’s true identity, there’s never been a situation in the cinematic history of Spider-Man where he’s had his identity revealed to the whole world. It’s difficult to say where Spider-Man will go from here, but with how Marvel treated Tony Stark’s reveal and character arc, we can be confident that they’ll do something equally as impressive with Spider-Man.
The second post-credits scene harkens back to Captain Marvel, as we see Nick Fury and Amanda Hill driving down the road, only for them to reveal themselves as Skrulls, specifically Talos and his wife who were last seen fleeing Earth in the 90s. The next scene shows us Nick Fury in full vacation mode aboard a spaceship somewhere in deep space. This could hint at a possible Nick Fury / Guardians of the Galaxy team-up or perhaps Captain Marvel 2 will feature Nick Fury as a “fish out of water” on the Kree homeworld.
All in all, Spider-Man Far From Home was a brilliant film and another stand-out Marvel hit. Tom Holland continues to embody both sides of the character and I’m personally excited where they head from here. The only dull parts of the movie were the supporting actors, namely the two teachers, who may have had just a little too much screentime. Otherwise, the movie was a joy and it doesn’t seem like Marvel will be slowing down any time soon.