A lot of things happened in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the last two years. There was the Snap in Avengers: Infinity War that dusted half of the humanity; and there was the Blip in Avengers: Endgame, which brought everyone back. The earth’s mightiest heroes annihilated Thanos and his orders but also suffers an enormous casualty, making the whole victory a Pyrrhic one. Since then, the world changes, people adapt accordingly and Spider-Man: Far From Home attempts to address the post-Endgame world with a homecoming.
Far From Home begins with a sappy slideshow (along with some tacky edits and watermarked Getty Images stock photo) commemorating those who have passed away in Endgame before re-introducing Tom Holland’s agile Peter Parker. Struggling with PTSD worsened with the grief over the loss of his mentor and fatherly figure (somehow ‘substituting’ the original Spider-Man arc following Uncle Ben’s passing), Peter decides to take a break from his friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man duty for a school trip across Europe. Instead, he decides to use this trip as an opportunity to express his feeling towards the love-interest, MJ (Zendaya).
Leaving all his Spider-Man attribute in Queens, Peter departs to Europe with his best friend, Ned (Jacob Batalon) and some of his classmate, including Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori), Betty Brant (Angourie Rice), and the non-Blipped Brad Davis (Crazy Rich Asians’ Remy Hii). A trip that should have been a therapy turns into a disaster when colossal monsters start to wreak havoc in some European cities, prompting Peter to make a come-back. At the same time, a never-seen-before hero dubbed as Mysterio, an alter ego of Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), also appears to obliterate the mortal danger.
After the time-travel element in Endgame and the multiverse narrative in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, we learn that all possible comic-book narrative devices can also exist in the cinematic counterpart. Far From Home will introduce a multiverse element in a tongue-to-cheek manner via Gyllenhaal’s Beck. However, long-time Spider-Man fans would have known the true nature of his character and noticed some of the movie’s most twisted elements. Long-time MCU fans will also further notice that the whole setup in this movie resembles Iron Man 3. Not only that Iron Man 3 features a troubled Tony Stark experiencing some episodes in the wake of the first Avengers in a similar condition as Peter, but one of the most crucial factors in Far From Home also makes a direct callback to the conflict in that third movie.
Given the template, the whole Far From Home seems to play a little too safe in the narrative trajectory, making it less impactful than some finest MCU movies like Doctor Strange and Black Panther. The movie’s biggest twist, albeit playful, is preferred instead of necessary; and the PTSD fragment is only presented and never been explored further than the surface. However, Far From Home compensates the plot’s lack of jolts with some aspects that exclusively in Spider-Man’s. The high-school rom-com adorns the superhero movie with lots of sweet and hilarious moments, including the romance-rivalry between Peter and Brad. Given the summer setting, Far From Home plays the summer fling tropes right, stuffing the whole movie with a high dose of romances, which makes the movie a little too cramped but fun.
When the narrative is a bit of a letdown and the teenage romance elements might sometimes divert the narrative, Far From Home amps up its best feature: mid-air action sequences involving the web-slinger swinging between buildings and doing stunning acrobats. While Homecoming is often criticized for the lack of maneuver varieties, Far From Home answers the criticism with a series of Spider-Man’s best choreographed fighting scenes among all other Spider-Man movies. Jon Watts forces Spider-Man with even more sophisticated stunts that will please audiences’ eyes. Even further, the movie introduces one of the trippiest imageries in MCU which gets you thinking, like “Where is the spider’s sense?”
It’s as playful in every manner as Iron Man 3 and as cramped as the most cramped Spider-Man movies. The globe-trotting Spider-Man: Far From Home is possibly the best choreographed Spider-Man movie ever but that’s possibly its best suit. It has never reached the level of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 level, but it has all the spirits that keep Spider-Man movies fun.