Are you ready to find out what really happened post-Avengers: Endgame? When Spider-Man: Far From Home swings its way into theaters worldwide on Tuesday, July 2nd, audiences will get their first look at the state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) after the cataclysmic events of Avengers: Endgame.
Ten-plus years and twenty-three films in, there is a lot riding on Spider-Man: Far From Home as it concludes phase three of the MCU and the final Marvel film of 2019. Director Jon Watts (Cop Car 2015, Clown 2016)and Writers Chris McKenna (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 2017, The Lego Batman Movie 2017) and Erik Sommers (American Dad series, Ant-Man and the Wasp 2018) must wrestle with the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man advancing to the global stage. We already know Spider-Man can thwart everyday baddies and even have a hand in defeating Thanos, but can he live in a world without his mentor?
By now, the pressure is on to keep up the balance between trademark comedic wisecracks and touching emotional moments. Spider-Man: Far From Home nails that balance, and manages to set the tone for a single character-focused film set after the conclusion of the Infinity Saga. Sixteen-year-old Peter Parker (Tom Holland: The Impossible 2012, Wolf Hall mini-series) has already helped save the world a few times, and returned from being dusted in Thanos’ life-erasing snap, but now he is back and just wants to attend his high school’s European field trip.
Of course, Peter Parker having a normal week abroad with his friends is just not going happen, no matter how much he just wants to spend time with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon: Blood Fest 2018, Banana Splits 2018), and tell MJ (Zendaya: The Great Showman 2017, K.C. Undercover series) that he likes her. In a world without Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers scattered about the Universe, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson: Pulp Fiction 1994, Shaft 2000) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders: How I Met Your Mother series, Safe Haven 2013) are out to fill the void as “Avenger’s level threats” crop up around the world.
When a new caped hero—Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal: Donnie Darko 2001, Nightcrawler 2014)—appears from an alternate to save the Earth from Elemental monsters that threaten to take over, Peter finds himself drawn to the charming figure, and thinks he might have found someone to fill Tony Stark’s iron shoes. Peter, on the other hand, has been granted some multi-billion dollar AR tech from Stark and must wrestle with the weight of that responsibility. Holland is already the best Peter Parker/Spider-Man to hit the big screen in the last twenty-years, and he can easily stand beside powerhouse actors like Gyllenhaal. These two actors, along with the rest of the cast, create plenty of laugh-out-loud moments that are right in line with the Spider-Man franchise.
While the tone of the film is more familiar, the setting takes a step in a different direction than audiences might be used to. Taking Spider-Man away from the microcosm of New York injected some freshness into the Spider-Man series, balancing out the neighborhood of the first film with the expansive universe of the Avengers. However, the variety of these European locales seems lacking. There is little distinction from one to another, and for a big-budget film the green screen seems extremely obvious at times. Still, big-budget action sequences, massive set pieces, and lots of web-slinging action make Spider-Man: Far From Home an MCU entry than fans are sure to love.
Spider-Man: Far From Home may not be the best MCU film, but as it stands right now, it is definitely the most interesting for its look into the minutiae of life in an overpopulated post-Blip world. Getting a look into the future of Marvel after the culmination of ten years of film is worth the price of admission alone. Plus, Spider-Man is just a web-slinging good time that anyone can enjoy.
Those who have not seen Avengers: Endgame will likely find themselves lost by jumping in with Spider-Man: Far From Home, but MCU and Spidey enthusiasts will have plenty to devour and analyze. And make sure you stick around for both the mid-credits and post-credits to get a glimpse into what Marvel has up its sleeve for Spider-Man and phase four of the MCU. For another great superhero film, Cryptic Rock gives Spider-Man: Far From Home 4.5 out of 5 stars.