Our friendly neighbourhood Spider-man is going global, but wherever he goes chaos seems to follow. While Peter Parker (Tom Holland) wants to enjoy some free time with his friends, duty calls, except duty is Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and he really doesn’t like being ghosted. Cue Far From Home, an epic summer action flick occurring within a teenage rom-com which, paired with some of the best visuals in the MCU, makes for a solid entry and an end to Phase Three.
You know what they say, don’t judge a movie by its poster. While the marketing seemed like something the Midtown High students themselves might have made, the sequel to 2017’s Spider-man: Homecoming steps up a notch in every way imaginable. In a cinematic universe that already contains entries like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 and Doctor Strange, it sounds crazy to say that Far From Home contains some of the most impressive visuals yet – but it’s something you have to see to believe. What the visuals lacked in pre-release is more than made up for in the films’ content. The story lends itself to various displays of CGI prowess and trippy sequences, and it’s not a stretch to say that one particular action sequence will go down in Marvel history as one of the best. It is exhilarating, mesmerising, and everything you never knew you needed from a Spider-man movie. It puts you right in the action with Spidey and uses every opportunity to shock and impress you.
One of the biggest reasons they pull this off is the fact that most of this movie is viewed from Peter’s perspective. After the colossal scale of Avengers: Endgame, it’s truly refreshing to focus on a singular character once again, and Tom Holland has no issue taking centre stage. He brings more range to the role than we got to see in Homecoming, as he battles with his school priorities alongside mourning the loss of his mentor, Tony Stark. Far From Home also provides well-founded character development for its other characters – from Ned (Jacob Batalon) and MJ (Zendaya) to even Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and Happy (Jon Favreau). Jake Gyllenhaal shines as Quentin Beck, bouncing well off of Holland and stealing most of the scenes he is in.
As much as this remains a superhero movie, like Homecoming, it takes time to focus on the coming-of-age aspect. It seems much more balanced than Homecoming, too, establishing the romance with Peter’s intentions kicking off the movie before the chaos ensues. Then, once the action kicks off, it does not stop for a minute. One of Peter’s most interesting conflicts in this movie comes from that lack of a break; all he wants is to enjoy a holiday with his friends, but “with great power” etc etc. Peter has a very big choice to make. Most of all this works because it makes sense; after everything that happened before – from him going to space to being snapped away and then coming back to see Tony Stark die before his very eyes – Peter deserves a break.
On top of all this, Far From Home manages to act as a tribute to Stark. While this is the first film since his departure from the MCU, his presence is still felt. The movie manages to show us not just a character but a world in mourning, looking for hope. It forces Peter to grow up at the time he is most desperate to just be a teenager. While there was a question of whether Phase Three should have ended with Endgame, this movie proves vital in showing the importance of powering through and moving on. Yes, Tony is gone, but there is still work to be done, and his legacy will continue to be felt.
Peter may have been to space, but Far From Home brings him back down to earth whilst presenting a more than optimistic future for the MCU.
by Georgia Carroll
Georgia Carroll is a Broadcast Journalism student from the University of Leeds, currently living and studying in Wellington, New Zealand. She is a proud Mancunian who loves radio, film and pretty much anything sci-fi or 80s. You can find her on twitter @georgiacarroll_ and letterboxd