❉ Far From Home isn’t as funny as its predecessor, but it’s every bit as entertaining.
Spinning into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the epic events of Avengers: Endgame comes Spider-Man: Far From Home, the first of Marvel’s offerings since big, bad, purple baddy Thanos himself got snapped. The five-year absence, and then reappearance, of half the world’s population is explained for the uninitiated hilariously and casually to hereby be known as “The Blip”. As the world attempts to return to normal, minus Tony Stark and Iron Man of course, Peter Parker (Holland) is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his mentor. Tony may be gone, but his commanding presence is still felt throughout the film whether during intimate confessionals between friends, some graffiti on a wall or through a pair of glasses.
The weight of expectation is heavy on Peter’s young shoulders, as most people expect Spider-Man to step up and become the new leader of The Avengers, but all Peter wants to do is find the courage to tell MJ (Zendaya) how he feels about her. The opportunity arises as he and some of his classmates head off on a trip to take in some of Europe’s finest cities and so, leaving his Spidey-suit at home, he tries to enjoy being a friendly neighbourhood schoolboy for once.
Of course, things don’t run smoothly and before too long monsters from another dimension known as Elementals are giving famous landmarks the Roland Emmerich treatment. Venice, Prague and London are all in the line of fire spurring Spider-Man to step up and help save the day alongside Jake Gyllenhaal’s mysterious Mysterio, a caped crusader from the same world as the creatures aiming to deal out some rough justice of his own.
Following the resounding success of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, returning director Jon Watts relishes in having a broader geographical scale to play with. Whilst Far From Home isn’t as funny as its predecessor, it’s every bit as entertaining. There are grand set-pieces, including one of London’s bridges falling down and Spider-Man’s spectacular aerial agility is taken full advantage of. There’s even some psychedelic Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse-esque sequences which will excite a lot of fans hoping for some crossover interplay further down the line.
Tom Holland’s never been better as the geeky, hormonal teenage hero and his youthful energy and enthusiasm coupled with the more mature subject matter aids his most accomplished performance yet. His goofy double-act with Ned (Batalon) isn’t given as much time here, but he has some funny and poignant moments with Happy (Favreau) who is dealing with his own issues, romantically and spiritually. Jake Gyllenhaal has a blast hamming it up in spectacular fashion, Zendaya’s deadpan comic delivery is perfect and Martin Starr and J.B.Smoove are themselves a unique double-act as teachers completely out of their depth.
With some clever tributes to the absent Avengers and a script filled with the familiar lighter moments that the MCU write so well, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the perfect first film after Endgame’s end game and shows that the MCU is far from done.
Stick around for a mid-credit scene and one right at the very end.
❉ ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ (12A) is in cinemas now. Director: Jon Watts. Starring: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon and Cobie Smulders. 129m
❉ Ben Peyton is an actor, voiceover artist, husband and dad. Credits include Band Of Brothers, Holby City, Emmerdale and he was a regular in The Bill. You can find Ben on Twitter – @BenPeyton007 or at his website – www.benpeytonreviews.com.