Spider-Man; Avenger, Teenager, and Contender on everyone’s “Favorite Superhero” list, has graced the big screen yet again (counting all appearances in the MCU, this is Spidey’s 11th movie!). And dare I say, this might be my favorite.
Spider-Man: Far From Home manages to give us what we love from Spider-Man mythos, as well as keep it fresh and entertaining. Don’t get me wrong, there are some issues, and following up Endgame was a serious task. But warts and all, this Spidey flick was everything it needed to be and more.
Spider-Man grounds the MCU
First, exploring all the implications of the Snap was something that needed to be done and this movie did it so well. Following the Marvel Studios logo is a fun, as-fresh-as-can-be take on the not so fresh, not so fun “exposition by news” method. Peter’s school news explains to us that everyone that was killed in the Snap has been brought back by the Blip. Everyone who was snapped away did not age, and is back attending school. We learn things like how someone’s little brother is now older than them. Or how a woman pretended she was snapped in order to leave her husband. Interesting implications came out of the snap, and Far From Home explored and exposed them in fun ways.
Second, because of Spidey’s unique position in the MCU, being the youngest hero, as well as the only one with a secret identity, we get to see perspectives of “ordinary people.” The other Avengers are typically surrounded by people who are used to super heroics. But with Peter Parker, we get to see a science teacher who has to come to terms with a world where science has been turned on its head. We hear Peter explain how “Thor used to be a myth, now I study him in my physics class.” Plus, see the world reacting to the heroes who sacrificed themselves fighting Thanos, or discuss who their favorite superhero is – even in a world where they really exist.
Spider-Man has growth
As the youngest hero we have in the MCU, Spidey is at an age where he is not only developing as a hero, but also growing and learning as a person. All the others have moments of growth and development, but they’re all adults.
The big theme of Far From Home is the question “Who will be the next Iron-Man?” (RIP). For most of the movie, Nick Fury is trying to groom Spider-Man to replace his mentor. There is also a new hero on the scene, Mysterio. Spider-Man, wanting to just take a break from superheroing – likely because of the pressure now that Iron-Man (RIP) is gone. He not only sees Mysterio as a way out of replacing Iron-Man (RIP), Spidey seems to start considering Mysterio his new mentor.
Unfortunately, as per usual, the whole father-figure thing doesn’t work out, but, Spider-Man is not lost. By the climax of the movie, Spidey finally realizes who he is. He doesn’t need a mentor to aspire to be. He doesn’t need to “be the next Iron-Man.” All he needs to do is be the first Spider-Man.
Jake Gyllenhall is a gosh darn delight (Spoilers Ahead)
Everyone in the cast does a great job. Tom Holland proves again that he is the definitive live-action Spider-Man (Tobey, you’ll always be number one in my heart). Zendaya brings a fun flavor in her portrayal of the MCU’s MJ. But you read the paragraph header.
Jake Gyllenhall as Mysterio honestly stole the movie. In the beginning, Mysterio is a kindly superhero in a new dimension. He earns SHIELD’s respect and trust, he bonds with Peter and acts as a surrogate super-mentor. Eventually, though, Mysterio is revealed to be a charlatan, attempting to fill the void of Tony Stark. Gyllenhall portrays both so well. I suspected Mysterio wasn’t really going to be a hero since the first trailer, knowing him from Spider-Man’s rougue’s gallery, but honestly, I was second guessing myself during Gyllenhall’s performance. There’s one shot where he gives Peter a little nod and smile after he says “Call me, Mysterio”, and there’s nothing more I can say it’s just so great.
Thanos was a larger than life villain. Infinity War is the first time in 19 films where the heroes lost, so giving us a villain to care about was a tall order. Mysterio was a great choice. His use of illusions and mental manipulation were a breath of fresh air. Most MCU villains powers are punching good. But Mysterio had me saying “Wow, how is Spidey gonna beat this guy?” After seeing the movie, I can’t imagine anyone other than Jake Gyllenhall playing him.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, 1) you’re a madman, 2) just… look if you’re a fan of the original Spider-Man trilogy, see Far From Home and stay for the mid credit scene.
It’s hard to condense what is so great about this movie. It gives us what we love from the MCU, what we love from a Spider-Man movie, and what we didn’t know we needed! This article will be released long after the movie’s release, but seriously, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, check it out.
ps: We get into other super-hero discussions in quite a few of our episodes: