Movie review: Spider-Man: Far From Home is a home run
It’s a very bold move to poke fun at your home team’s recent triumph.
Considering the dark cloud Avengers: Endgame could have cast over this film, Far From Home cuts through the gloom with a shimmering multi-coloured laser beam of action, heart and a large amount of laughs.
Not that Endgame is forgotten, it’s just not treated as reverently as one might expect.
Far From Home might reference the after-effects of Thanos — both the snap and his defeat — but that does not mean it isn’t out to have fun.
After swiftly introducing Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, it sends you off-balance with I Will Always Love You belted out over the Marvel logo.
And then it’s straight into the laughs, and unfortunately for this review, the spoilers.
There’s a lot going on — including some very deep cut references — and most of it needs to be seen unspoiled.
What we can say is that Tony Stark looms large, literally and figuratively.
A number of huge murals remind Peter Parker of his lost mentor to the extent that even in his absence, Stark may as well be on the cast list.
For the other players, Samuel L Jackson still clearly loves playing Nick Fury, Gyllenhaal makes for a pretty cool superhero and Marisa Tomei and Jon Favreau get to expand their roles as Aunt May and Happy Hogan.
In Favreau's case, it's the biggest outing Hogan's had for many years, possibly ever.
That said, there’s not much introspection.
While this film does not have anything as rug-pulling as the Michael Keaton reveal in Homecoming, there are a number of areas where the sequel surpasses its predecessor.
Director Jon Watts creates some amazing action moments, far better than the finale of 2017’s Homecoming.
Think Spidey’s frenetic fights in Civil War with the mind-bending moments of Doctor Strange.
But what sets Marvel films apart is the quiet times.
Tom Holland, is not just a great (arguably the best) Spider-Man, he is a pretty astounding actor.
Let’s not forget he managed to devastate audiences with just a few lines in both Infinity War and Endgame.
Here, it’s the lighter moments where Holland — and Zendaya as MJ — shine brightest.
Their awkward shuffle of adolescent attraction and denial are moments of pure charm and utterly convincing.
It also helps that the other trip romance — involving Jacob Batalon’s Ned — is perfectly toe-curling.
It used to be that sending characters on holiday signal sequel desperation. Here, it's used to the best effect. Not one single "are foreigners funny" gag — unless you count how wonderfully accomodating people are in the Netherlands.
Far From Home is a home run. It signs off on one Marvel era, sets up the next and a sequel can’t come soon enough.
And to answer the big question: Yes, wait for the very last credits scene.
Rating: 4 ticks
Film: Spider-Man: Far From Home
Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L Jackson, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon
Director: Jon Watts
The Skinny: Facing a new Avengers-level threat, but without any “big” Avengers to call on, Nick Fury (Jackson) recruits Spider-Man (Holland) to work with newcomer Mysterio (Gyllenhaal). But Peter Parker is more concerned with impressing MJ (Zendaya) on their school Euro-trip.