Spoiler Warning: This review contains major spoilers for Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame.
It has been an amazing time to be a Spider-Man fan, from entering the Spider-Verse to a spectacular PlayStation game. Now, Marvel Studios brings us the highly anticipated follow-up to Spider-Man: Homecoming and the final chapter in their epic 23 movie Infinity Saga, Spider-Man: Far From Home.
After the climactic events of Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker decides to take a break from superhero work and enjoy a vacation around Europe with his friends, unfortunately for him, Nick Fury is in need of his assistance with the arrival of the destructive Elementals and the sudden appearance of Mysterio.
Tom Holland (Spies in Disguise) returns in a record breaking fifth big screen appearance as the wall-crawler, and he proves once again to be the best choice for a younger Peter Parker struggling with his responsibilities. He really sells his performance, which always comes through wonderfully whether he’s fretting about telling MJ how he feels or mourning the loss of Tony Stark. He really is a fantastic choice and hopefully we will be seeing even more of him in years to come.
Samuel L. Jackson (Shaft) also returns in his eleventh appearance as the eyepatch wearing Nick Fury. His role is a lot more involved than many of his previous appearances, as is his right-hand woman Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders). It’s great to see these long-time Marvel characters getting to meet and interact with the web-slinger and their contribution to the movie is a welcomed one.
In his first live action appearance, Quentin Beck aka Mysterio is played by the incredible Jake Gyllenhaal (Velvet Buzzsaw), who puts a new spin on the character that many fans won’t expect. He absolutely nails each aspect of the iconic character and proves to be one of the greatest additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.
It’s also nice to see the rest of the Homecoming cast making their return including Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Zendaya as MJ and Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, as well as Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan. Each actor does a fantastic job in their role, and especially in the case of Zendaya and Tony Revolori, who both get the chance to better realise their characters.
But it isn’t just the humans who get in on the fun, as this movie introduces us to the Elementals, Colossal creatures made up of fire, water, earth and air that appear around Europe wreaking havoc wherever they go. They look great and their sequences are very creative, allowing Spidey to do what he does best.
The story takes influence from a number of 80’s teen movies, with the main focus on Peter travelling around Europe with his friends as he tries to ask out MJ. It’s a really nice change of pace for the MCU after the emotionally charged Avengers: Endgame. And while this is fun, it doesn’t quite feel like a Spider-Man movie until the action kicks off.
The action is nothing short of spectacular. Those who were disappointed with the smaller scale action of Homecoming will surely be thrilled as director Jon Watts crafts some truly memorable, intense and dizzying sequences that make full use of everyone’s abilities.
The effects are great as always and always manage to blur the line between what is real and what isn’t, with hardly anything ever looking out of place or fake, including an incredibly trippy sequence that rivals Doctor Strange (2016). Although a few wirework scenes feel a little off, it never takes away from what the movie manages to do.
It also helps seeing Spidey somewhere new, with the events of the movie spanning from Venice to Prague and all the way to London, giving the audience something they haven’t seen before. The use of the locations is beautiful and separates this from the previous films.
But like Homecoming, Far From Home plays out like a high school comedy masquerading as a superhero film. It works really well for the character and keeps the movie feeling breezy and fun, even when addressing the aftermath of ‘The Snap’, now referred to here as ‘The Blip’. The movie is genuinely funny, with everyone getting a few good gags.
The movie is heightened by the fabulous score by Michael Giacchino (Incredibles 2), who upgrades his Spider-Man theme in a similar vein as Christophe Beck did for Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018). It plays up the spy aspects of the movie and manages to balance the epic, creepier and emotional moments really well, including Mysterio’s brilliant theme, which sounds like something directly from The Incredibles (2004).
Overall, this is an amazing movie that improves on the first film. Although some may think the first half drags, it’s a really good time with some fantastic characters and inventive action and a magnificent score. It’s genuinely fun and at times shocking. It’s also a great way of closing out Phase 3 of the MCU and setting up for the future.
Purple Revolver rating: 4.5/5. In a word: “Amazing!”