By Adam Brannon
Film Reviewer from Movie Metropolis for What’s On Hub
Spider-Man: Homecoming was one of the biggest surprises in the superhero genre. After the masked web-slinger’s troubled history on the big screen, Marvel intervened and took the story back to basics. With a compelling villain in Michael Keaton’s Vulture, Homecoming shot to the top of many MCU rankings and it’s easy to see why.
Ending Phase Three of the MCU was never going to be easy, especially after the drama of this year’s Avengers: Endgame, but Tom Holland’s Peter Parker has been tasked with tying up all those loose ends. So how does he do?
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man (Holland) must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. Alongside Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury, Peter Parker must come to terms with his own demons, as well as those that are terrorising the earth.
The scale of Far From Home is much, much larger than that of its predecessor and at times, this proves to be the film’s undoing, but there is so much here to enjoy that it’s impossible to leave the cinema dissatisfied.
Holland has proved time and time again that he IS the perfect embodiment of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. Where Tobey Maguire was the ideal Parker but suffered as Spider-Man and Andrew Garfield was a poor Parker and a brilliant superhero, Holland manages to get that delicate balance absolutely spot on. His character is more fleshed out here and that’s great to see.
One of the highlights of Homecoming was that it felt like a teen rom-com first and a superhero movie second, and that is a theme that continues in this follow-up. While there is plenty, almost too much, of the city-levelling drama we’ve come to expect from these films, it’s pleasing to see that director Jon Watts still allows that teenage angst to be put front and centre.
Scenes of Holland trying to awkwardly woo Zendaya’s brilliant MJ are a nice touch and his on-screen chemistry with Jacob Batalon’s Ned remains, even if plot points mean they are apart from each other a little more in this instalment. It’s also nice to see Samuel L Jackson continue to appear in the MCU – his acting prowess needs no introductions.
Then we have the elephant in the room: Mysterio. Jake Gyllenhaal makes his MCU debut as the multi-verse living illusionist and it’s the perfect role for the actor. His scenes supporting Holland’s Parker are touching and nicely filmed, especially after the events of Endgamewhich we won’t spoil here.
And that’s where Far From Home really shines. It feels like a direct continuation of Endgame. There are nice call-backs to previous Marvel films and the toll that Endgame took on the Avengers is felt readily across the film’s runtime. This is probably the darkest of all the MCU movies outside of the core Avengers films – there is a scene in particular that harks back to Dr Strange with its stunning imagery, but young children may find it just a little too much.
Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. While the script and acting are all spot on, the special effects are not. There are sequences where the green screen is a little too obvious and the CGI a little too jarring and that’s a shame for a film that cost upwards of $150million to produce. This is an issue with most Marvel films and is probably down to the quick turnaround time more than anything else.
However, as a way to tie up Marvel’s Phase Three, it’s hard to think of another film that could have done it so well and the ramifications from the film’s ending are set to shake up the MCU forever. I for one cannot wait to see how Phase Four plays out.
Overall, Spider-Man: Far From Home is another slam dunk for Tom Holland’s web-slinger. With a script that perfectly balances humour and emotion, it may be the funniest MCU film yet, this is a film with massive re-watch value with lots of nostalgia and a fabulous cast. Nevertheless, the dodgy special effects do pull you out of the illusion at times and that just stops it from achieving a perfect five stars.
Our score: ★★★★
Spider-Man: Far From Home is showing now at Odeon Luxe Cinema, Hull