Release Date: July 2, 2019
Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal
Director: Jon Watts
Studio: Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios, Pascal Pictures
Distributor: Sony Pictures Release
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I dug Spider-Man: Far From Home as a light, fun adventure after the dark, heady, edgelord sob-verse that was Avengers: Endgame.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is a fun tonal departure from the rest of the Marvel package, but it doesn’t seem to do much to move the broader story (whatever the next phase may be) forward. But I can appreciate that not everything needs to scream PLOT! PLOT! at me to have a good time, so let’s take a look.
One of the reasons why I appreciate Spider-Man‘s inclusion in the Marvel universe is because the high school setting allows his character’s adventures to be a little less high stakes and a little more silly. This movie casually glosses over the angst of half of life in the universe being extinguished in the first ten minutes (they literally refer to it as “the blip”), then goes on a guided road trip through Europe for the rest.
Most of the tension in the movie is a tug between Peter Parker trying to live a normal life (complete with vacations and crushes) and the rest of the world pressuring him to fill Iron Man’s shoes as the lead Avenger.
When Nick Fury shows up with an Avenger’s level problem, he waylays Peter’s European school vacation plans to save the world. This time, the world needs saving from mysterious Elemental forces, living embodiments of wind, earth, fire, and water (think Captain Planet if there was an episode where the Planet Strikes Back).
New kid on the block, Mysterio, has conveniently volunteered to save the world from the Elementals, and for all purposes appears to be Peter’s green, smoggy father-figure substitute for Iron Man. When Peter realizes not everything is as it seems, he has to save the world from a different threat (the threat of remote warfare and toxic working environments, yo!
Side note: I really appreciated the call-backs to some of Iron Man’s greatest technological hits at the expense of his beleaguered coworkers.) and keep his friends, and his identity, safe.
Most of the real story-propelling action takes place in the first of the two post-credit cutscenes. Before those scenes roll, it seemed like there wasn’t much substance- it was a fun romp, but there weren’t THEMES that were going to recur.
As much as I enjoy teenage antics and international incidents, I wish the movie before the cut scenes me a little more weight than it did. But boy, after that first cut scene, the stakes get real high, real quick. There’s going to be some slick maneuvering to get out of the sticky web that the villain wove for Spider-Man, and I can’t wait to see how Marvel twists and turns to do it.