Warning: considerable spoilers are waiting Avengers: end game.
Spider-Man: Far from home arrives in theaters that have impossible expectations. It follows immediately in story continuity Avengers: end game, released only a few months ago kiosk's record-breaking success. In terms of Spider-Man stories, it follows visually and narratively Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which is perhaps still the most ambitious Spider story that has ever appeared on the screen. And in terms of its own internal story continuity, it follows the incredibly enjoyable Spider-Man: Homecoming, an admirable human film that followed the great, global action of Captain America: Civil War by limiting the action and placing a more personal focus on protagonist Peter Parker, also known as the teenage hero Spider-Man. Marvel Entertainment has recently experienced a long series of triumphs, both in the most important Disney-produced films from Marvel Cinematic Universe, and in the affiliated Spider-Man films produced by Sony Pictures under a separate license. That sets the bar Spider-Man: Far from home almost embarrassingly high.
But the film apparently cleans that bar effortlessly. It is a convincing triumph, an adrenaline explosion of pure action and emotion that lives up to its predecessors and continues the MCU story in memorable and even moving ways.
Far from home – which Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has confirmed is the last film of the & # 39; Phase Three & # 39; from the MCU, an arc that began with Civil war in 2016 – observes the story Endgame not among them, both addressing some of his concerns about the story and processing some of his major emotions. The death of Tony Stark is felt worldwide, while spontaneous commemorations arise in the form of everything from stylized murals and urban shrines to inexpensive YouTube videos as they open the film. Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is particularly badly hit by the death of his mentor and by the feeling that he would not only have to continue without him, but would also live up to his legacy and even replace him somehow. Although the film does not emphasize the point, he clearly incorporates a trauma of what he has experienced in the Avengers films. He is ready to take a break from superhero life and to be a teenager again for a while.
But he walks back into a world that has been radically changed by Thanos & universe-separating snapback Avengers: Infinity War. Endgame the people recovered Thanos snarled out of existence, but the world had to adapt to their abrupt return after five years. Far from home treats the ramifications only in the shortest and most comical way, but it is clearly a backdrop for the world Peter is visiting again, where some people are five years old in high school, while others are exactly like before & # 39; The Blip & # 39; as the hole is now called. Fortunately for Peter, apparently, all his loved ones and loved ones – including his aunt May (Marisa Tomei), his best bud Ned (Jacob Batalon) and his beloved MJ (Zendaya) – were wiped out and have been virtually unchanged since Coming home. He has the chance to continue where he left off, especially when his beta class is on his way to a European excursion, hoping that he can spend personal time with MJ.
Unfortunately for his plans there is a new hero in the world: Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), an inter-dimensional traveler whose alternative earth was destroyed by mysterious raging elementals. Those creatures now appear on Peter's Earth, and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) wants him to help Quentin – immediately named Mysterio by Peter's classmates – fight them before they destroy everything. Just like in Coming home, where Peter was torn between an approach to normal life and his perceived great responsibilities as a hero Far from home he just wants Quentin to tackle the problem so that he can get a little downtime with MJ. But that turns out to be impractical for a number of reasons, including the fact that the elementals and his class trip continue to clash, for increasingly hilarious reasons.
Anyone familiar with Spider-Man & # 39; s character gallery will have some idea where this all goes, but they will have a harder time anticipating the pure verve of the playful, exciting way it plays. Writers Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers (who previously worked together) Community, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man and the Wasp, and The Lego Batman movie) to draw directly from some of the ideas they put forward Coming home, in particular that Tony Stark, although a hero of the world, is still an outright villain in someone else's eyes. They are cleverly using earlier MCU films to build their background story, in ways that are aimed at making MCU fans roar of recognition and open enjoyment.
And as with Ant-Man and the Wasp, they are just bland enough about their character motives to prevent the public from taking them too seriously. Like most MCU movies, Far from home alternates between snappy comic Banter and big action setpieces, but here the comic timing seems particularly sharp, with Peter's open frustration, incidental accidents, and charming naivety all popping up to laugh. Gyllenhaal delivers a sharp and knowing performance in a similar way, half modest soulfulness, half something completely different. He seems to be another very talented actor who lunks like a square-tormented, almost expressionless generic hero, until the film asks him for more, at which point his versatility suddenly comes into play sharply.
But Far from homeThe action beats are also amazing. Another dynamic that is not explicitly described, but is still evident in every fight, is that Spider-Man's ability to swing from the web and hit quite hard is not widely used against monsters made of water or fire. He must become creative to fight them, and the creativity of the fighting becomes one of the film's most impressive possessions. In particular, the specific power set from Mysterio makes possible some sequences that really succeed in competing In the Spider Verse for a dazzling effect and visual creativity. MCU films generally move fast and challenge viewers to keep up, but director Jon Watts (who also helmed Coming home) trusts the public to cope with an ever-changing world that is passing rapidly, and to accept what is important in a constantly changing landscape. The same plot elements with which he can play with space and tempo, also make him figure in these films in Spider-Man & # 39; s history, making the film an ongoing reward system for fans with a sharp eye who record Easter egg references.
But even for target groups that do not come from an MCU perspective of an expert level, Far from home is a surprisingly effective and emotional film. Peter's longing for MJ, for a normal life, and for a chance for a peaceful vacation runs through the film, causing lots of jokes and lots of emotional push and pull. But his grief to lose his poor father figure, and his fear that he might not be able to face the challenge of filling Tony Stark's robo boots, gives the film its true emotional backbone. It is just like a giant group therapy session for MCU fans, asking them to handle the loss of a favorite superhero after a decade of watching him happily make his way through a winning series of films. Peter's loss is felt more personal and deeper, but he is still a public avatar, and the inevitable moment when he leaves is a solemn promise that the MCU is not dependent on one talent.
It has a great little moment Far from home where Tony & # 39; s assistant Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) keeps an eye on while Peter steps to one of Tony & # 39; s old makers and starts turning through holographic package elements to give himself a new outfit. Happy says nothing about it – he just smiles a small, melancholy smile, clearly recognizes the behavior and remembers the last man he saw doing the same. It is nothing more than a temporary grin of lips in the midst of a much larger and more exciting crisis. But it is Far from home in a nutshell – a recognition of small emotions in the midst of big moments, a reminder of the ever-advancing continuity that makes these stories so memorable and so satisfying for fans, and a moment that is taken by grief between action strokes. It is a wonderful little moment in a beautifully large film. But moments like this are something to do Far from home feel so sincere and relevant. It is a breathless and admirably well-composed film that proves that the Marvel formula is still not tired. But it is also a capper in more than a decade of building powerful feelings around powerful heroes.