If you haven’t noticed, Spider-Man is going through something of a modern-day renaissance in popular culture. With the web-slinger playing a critical role in two of the decade’s biggest films, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, a record-breaking video game for the PlayStation 4, and an animated feature that nabbed an Oscar for Best Animated Film, to say that his upcoming film, Spider-Man: Far From Home, is one of the most anticipated films of the year would be a severe understatement.
Spider-Man: Far From Home Strikes the Right Balance Between Comedy and Heart
While taking place right after Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home is still very much a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. Directed by Jon Watts, the 2019 sequel is a teenage comedy secretly disguised as a superhero film. Incredibly hilarious and light-hearted, Spider-Man: Far From Home is easily one of the funniest entry in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
While the film is arguably more comedic than its predecessor, don’t let it fool you into thinking it’s any less personal. In Spider-Man: Far From Home, we see a very different Peter Parker (Tom Holland). One that is learning to cope with the loss of a loved one. The Spider-Man sequel explores the effects of Tony Stark’s death on Peter’s psyche and wellbeing. While Peter yearned for adventures and exhilaration in Homecoming, he second guesses his purpose and his identity as a superhero in Far From Home.
Tom Holland & Jake Gyllenhaal Steal the Show
It’s insane to think that over the span of three years, Tom Holland has played the role of the beloved wall-crawler more than any actor has. While Homecoming showcased the immense potential that Holland possesses in playing the character, Far From Home solidifies his status as the definitive live action Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
Without giving too much away, Jake Gyllenhaal’s take as Quentin Beck/Mysterio is one of the film’s most memorable highlights. The Oscar nominated actor brings a level of gravitas and charm to Mysterio as he takes up a mentor role similar to that of Tony’s in Homecoming. His evolving relationship with Peter is engaging and an absolute blast to watch. Spider-Man: Far From Home does a spectacular job in introducing the character, flawlessly integrating him into the wider MCU.
A Spider-Man Story That Brings the Character Closer to its roots
One of the advantages of integrating Spider-Man into the wider MCU is that audiences get to see him evolve into the classic Spidey that we’ve come to love. Watts utilises this to his advantage by creating web-slinging and action sequences that convey exhilaration and excitement, further emphasizing on how far the beloved wall-crawler has come since his debut in Captain America: Civil War. However, the real visual standout moments of the film all revolve around Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, with one sequence in particular that rivals some of the most ambitious set pieces in the MCU.
Amidst all of the spectacular visuals and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far From Home is at its heart, a love story. While its predecessor barely explored the dynamic, Far From Home takes a step further in exploring its central romance between Peter and MJ (Zendaya). Michael Giancchino’s soundtrack shines whenever the romance takes the centre, adding to the already electrifying chemistry between the two.
All in all, Spider-Man: Far From Home serves as a continuation to both Homecoming and Endgame, giving us an exciting follow-up to the former and a fulfilling epilogue to the latter. Several pacing issues aside, Far From Home does whatever a Spider-Man sequel can in delivering an exhilarating blend of teenage drama and superhero action, one that lays an exciting foundation for what’s coming next. With the film marking the end of the Infinity Saga, let’s hope that Marvel and Sony have more web-slinging adventures in store for us.
Read more: Stan Lee, Spider-Man, and the Essence of True Heroism