Trying to fall in love with film again.

'Spider-Man: Far from Home' continues Marvel's winning streak

This review contains spoilers for Avenger: Endgame


Spider-Man: Far From Home Posters Look off into the Distance ...Story

Taking place 8 months after the events of Avengers Endgame, the world is still coming to terms with life after Thanos' snap, called 'The Blip', Peter is trying to come to terms with what it means to be Spider-Man in a world that had been changed forever. All while mourning the loss of his friend and father figure Tony Stark.

While in Europe on a school trip, Peter plans to stay away from heroic work but can't when he encounters Mysterio and Nick Fury who enlist his help defeating Elementals who seek to destroy the world.

This is the first MCU movie since the seismic event that was Avengers: Endgame and much like Ant-Man and the Wasp last year this movie is lighter than the one that came before it. Even with its lighter tone, it doesn't compromise on story, heart or emotion. Peter is in an emotional place and the movie doesn't ignore that in lieu of a lighter tone. There are moments that directly reference Tony that fit into the narrative of the story and the MCU while being incredibly emotional and I was almost driven to tears in the last third of the movie.

Acting 

This movie stars Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, and Marisa Tomei and I have to say that I love the cast in this movie and having the original cast from the first movie return made me so happy. Everyone has great chemistry, so much so that it doesn't look like they're acting at all. I can imagine that this movie was incredibly fun to film.

Tom Holland' acting in this movie is nothing short of amazing. I said in my mini-review of Homecoming that you can read here that he encapsulates Peter Parker from the comics and that statement is truer than ever. Much like the first film, he really does feel like a teenager even though Tom Holland is in his early twenties, he doesn't feel like a twenty-year-old playing a teenager.  One of the best things about Tom Holland's acting is his ability to convey emotion with just his eyes. One scene, in particular, comes to mind when he's talking to Happy Hogan and you see everything Peter is feeling in his eyes which elevated an already emotional scene.

When it was announced that Jake Gyllenhaal was going to be in a Marvel movie, I couldn't believe it but after watching the movie, no one else could have played this character. Saying Jake Gyllenhaal is a good actor is like saying the sky is blue, an incredibly obvious statement. You and I both knew that he was going to be good in this movie and while his performance isn't the most dramatic (looking at you Prisoners and Nightcrawler) you can see elements of that here. Quentin Beck is an extremely likeable character and that is in part thanks to Jake Gyllenhaal's performance. His chemistry with Tom Holland is so palpable. When they are on screen together you can see the way they play off each other and it makes the movie much more entertaining.

I cannot talk about the cast in this movie without mentioning Jacob Batalon and Zendaya who play Ned and MJ respectively. Even though they are supporting characters, they don't feel like it. Ned might be my favourite MCU side character. He is such a breath of fresh air and whoever decided to cast Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya in a movie has my unending gratitude (Sarah Hayley Finn I'm looking at you) because the 3 of them just work. I don't know what it is but their relationship just works and I love seeing them all on-screen together

Writing/Direction 

This movie has the same director and the same writing team and it works for one big reason. Continuity. The people who made this film created the tone and after working on it for so long, have a clear understanding of all of the characters and the setting. Even though this movie takes place in locations that are so far removed from the setting of the first one, it still the characters that you know and love from the first one.

The characters in this movie are written like real people with distinct personalities that make them stand out. You see their struggles and they are believable especially Peter. Nothing he does feels out of place for what a person in his position would do and because of that you relate to and empathise with him. In this movie, you also get to see his character growth. In the previous movie wanted to be more of an adult, but in this movie, Peter wants to be young and experience life without the responsibly of being an Avenger.

This movie also has great direction Jon Watts did a great job of delivering a fun superhero movie with a great story, likeable characters and brilliant pacing, not once did I feel the urge to check my phone or watch once. I was completely focused on what was going on in front of me. The runtime is that of the average MCU movie being that is it 2 hours long but you really don't feel it.

CGI/Set Design

One thing that really surprised me when I think about the CGI in this movie is the budget. This movie has huge CGI sequences and characters that are entirely CGI and it looks really good (99% of the time as there are moments that look like green screen, but they really are). This movie has a lower budget than the first one  (probably because the first one had to pay RDJ) and looks even better and I am in awe of all the VFX artists who worked on this movie. You can read a full break down if the VFX here.

Apart from the VFX, this movie takes place all over Europe and even though the characters are constantly moving, you still get a sense of each place, even when famous landmarks aren't used. That's due to the way the film is set. Every location has its own look and feels which helps each place feel different from the last.

Score/Soundtrack

What else is there to say except... MICHAEL GIACCHINO!! He is my all-time favourite composer and the fact that he has scored 3 MCU movies has me ridiculously excited. Much like the writing, there is continuity in the score.
If you listen to the suite from Homecoming
And then the Far from Home suite
They are incredibly similar. and I like that. A lot of the time Marvel loses its auditory continuity cause they don't usually have the same composer carry over from previous films. And even when they do, that link still isn't there. (Henry Jackman and the Captain America movies is a great example of this).

Even though there is a link, the two scores are very clearly different. The score in this movie feels more epic, probably due to the larger scale that this movie has in comparison to the first one. Either way, I am a massive fan of this score so much so that I listened to the Far from Home suite while I wrote this blog post.

The movie also utilises popular songs from previous MCU movies and I won't spoil when those are used but they're placed perfectly and fit their respective scenes to a T.

Overall Thoughts

As a hardcore Spider-Man fan, I really enjoyed Spider-Man: Far from Home. it took everything I loved about the first movie and doubled down on it while expanding the scale. There are so many nods to the comics, video games and even previous movies which made my nerd heart extremely happy. (Can we talk about that end credits scene????) It made me laugh, it made me cry (not really but for the sake of the blog post lets say it did) and reminded me why I've loved Spider-Man since I was a kid.

Is this my favourite MCU movie? No. However it's everything I love about the MCU, it has a great story with really good acting and likeable characters which makes for a really good movie that I will definitely watch again.

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