'Spider-Man: Far From Home' review: A new beginning

The real winner of the film has to be the Peter-Quentin dynamic.

Director: Jon Watts
Cast: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya
Score: 3.5/5

Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has now officially concluded with Spider-Man: Far From Home. The movie picks up after the end of Avengers: Endgame, closes the doors on the chapters that have come before and opens new ones to hopefully, possibly very exciting stories.

The story follows the finish of Endgame with the Avengers either dead or having moved on to doing their own things. For his part, Peter Parker is taking part in a charity for those who returned from the ‘Snap’ while contending with his own post-Tony PTSD, while Nick Fury and Maria Hill come across Quentin Beck, who claims to be from another Earth.

Removed from his universe-saving escapades, Peter is back to doing what he does best: Being the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. Only this time, he has to deal with the classic teenage angst of a first love in MJ (Zendaya), while engaging in a not-quite-Avengers-level threat, but one just as dangerous in the Elementals.

Jon Watts is given a much smaller sandbox than any of the Avengers films ever got, but within that sandbox, he has created an intricate castle of wonders. The characters are lively, though they deal with their own return from death and changed dynamics in an off-line banter sort-of way. The film doesn’t do ‘dark’ like the trailers would have you believe, though there are a few genuinely disturbing moments in it.

The film’s action choreography is solid and makes use of Spider-Man’s inherent ‘parkour’ movements fluidly. This is most apparent towards the end of the film, which is basically one really long take with some cuts in between for exposition. But even aside from that, its choice of action is delightfully elegant. It might be just a bunch of CGI objects and people smashing each other, but the fluidity and the weight to the action are undeniable.

The real winner of the film, though, has to be the Peter-Quentin dynamic. Jake Gyllenhaal rises to the occasion as Mysterio, a hero from another world that was consumed by the Elementals and aids Peter like a mentor, like a second...Tony Stark, to Peter’s angsty and uncertain rising hero who’s got the pressure of the world’s hopes on his shoulders. Holland and Gyllenhaal really play off each other so seamlessly that it’s not easily detected that they’re just acting. It’s just a shame that the angle used for Mysterio is just so...plain when it could’ve been something much more given the greater scope of the MCU.

If you had to describe Far From Home in relation to its predecessor, Homecoming, you could say that it is an emotion-driven story over Homecoming’s more suspense and action-driven plot. Well, the suspense bit in both movies is never really a surprise, but that isn’t necessarily a negative given the history of comic books.

P.S. - stick around for the mid- and post-credits scenes.

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