Starring: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal
Directed by: Jon Watts (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”)
Written by: Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers (“Spider-Man: Homecoming”)
Here we are, in the first visit back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe since the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” namely the return of everyone disappeared in “the snap” and death of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and we’re spending that time with his protégé (and heir apparent?) Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” With Iron Man gone and Captain America now a nonagenarian, who’s left to lead the Avengers?
Eight months after the reversal of “the blip” where half of all life in the universe disappeared, the public seems to think the answer is Spider-Man. Though after being re-blipped into existence, all Peter wants to do is take his school trip to Europe and, hopefully, profess his love to his snarky crush MJ (Zendaya) atop the Eiffel Tower. But Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has other ideas for the web slinger, with the arrival of monstrous creatures known as Elementals, who are wreaking havoc across the globe.
Fury hijacks Peter’s trip, pressing him into service with Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), a hero from another version of Earth who lost his family in a battle with the Elementals. Dubbed Mysterio by Peter and the media, the noble Beck is seemingly the perfect person to step into the vacant Avengers leadership role, and to take the pressure off the unsure Spider-Man. But things aren’t always what they seem.
Less of a standard superhero adventure and more of a Marvel spin on “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” or “Eurotrip,” “Far From Home” leans heavily into comedy more so than perhaps any other movie in the MCU so far. The film, tasked with rebuilding a sort of normal after “Endgame,” plays most everything for laughs, from the logistics of what happened when “the blip” was reversed to the technological legacy Stark leaves behind for Peter. Holland’s Parker holds it altogether as the awkward teenage straight man, though the film’s somewhat lumpy narrative and too-long runtime suck a little fun out of the whole thing. And as the MCU looks to pivot to focus on the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man for phase four, “Far From Home” can’t help but do a little table setting in its two post-credits sequences. The first one, featuring a delightfully perfect cameo, makes for an interesting cliffhanger that will leave you tingling for what’s coming next.