Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – Jon Watts

If Homecoming was a celebration welcoming viewers back to the world of Spider-Man, Far From Home is a journey of discovery for Peter/Spider-Man (Tom Holland giving another stellar portrayal of the beloved character) as he confronts the expectations the world has for him as well as his own. So better way to find yourself than go on a European vacation? Backpacking across Europe if you will.

Peter, MJ (Zendaya – wow do I love their chemistry, and they perform so well together), Ned (Jacob Batalon), Betty (Angourie Rice), Flash (Tony Revolori) and the rest of the science class are headed on a tour of Europe under the watchful eye of Mr. Harrington (Martin Starr) and Mr. Dell (J.B. Smoove).

Peter is struggling, the world sees Spider-Man stepping into Tony Stark’s shoes following his death, even Happy (Jon Favreau) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Peter is still dealing with the loss of his mentor, struggling with his feelings for MJ, his future, and what the hell is happening with Happy and his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei)?

His superhero life isn’t much better. Fury has been trying to get in touch with him for some help. It seems that some giant beasts known as Elementals are attacking locations across Europe, and only one hero, the strange Mysterio aka Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) stands between them and the total destruction of the planet.

Spidey fans will smell something funny going on, perhaps they are getting a Peter-Tingle, as they know Mysterio is one of the webhead’s major villains.

There are illusions, and tricks, and all of them are done well, as both Spidey and Mysterio struggle with the weight of Tony Stark’s death and where that leaves the world. And, of course, that will lead to a showdown, set-up, and revelations that will impact what is to come.

Frequently funny, the film rests easily on Holland’s earnest shoulders bringing real emotion to the role and making him relatable, empathetic and heroic.

Homecoming was a great intro to this version of the Spider-verse, Far From Home really lets the characters and moments shine as it advances all the arcs for narratives, heroes and villains. It’s a fun and enjoyable adventure that really embraces the wealth of characters and story that the comic has at its heart.

There are in-jokes aplenty, little nods to continuity, the almost overwhelming presence of Tony’s memory hanging over everything, and the entire film is just a joyous romp with some real emotional stakes, especially as the film races to its stunning conclusion.

I’ve enjoyed all the cinematic Spidey entries, but there’s just something that feels like lightning in a bottle with the combination of Holland, Zendaya, Watts, and the rest of the cast and crew. As a second act, Far From Home is fantastic.

I need to watch these films more often.

I can’t wait to rewatch No Way Home.


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