Spider-Man: Far From Home follows on from the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame and deals with the consequences of the events in those films. It’s probably best seen as an epilogue to those films and, this being the case, I don’t think I can talk about this film without spoliering the films that have gone before.
So if you haven’t seen the Avengers films, I suggest you stop reading now.
If you have seen everything up to this point, or just don’t care, there’s more after the jump.
Spider-Man: Far From Home takes place in the aftermath of Thanos’ snap and his subsequent defeat at the hands of the Avengers and looks at the consequences of what is now referred to as The Blip. Half of the world’s population were snapped out of existence only to be returned — unchanged — five years later. Meanwhile, the other half of the population grieved, grew older and moved on.
On top of this, people who had become used to the Avengers always being there are now having to face the fact that many of these heroes are dead. Inevitably, people want to find new heroes and for someone to take over from Iron Man. With Spider-Man being the most high-profile of the super-powered survivors, young Peter Parker is feeling under pressure to step into Tony Stark’s shoes.
So the arrival of a new hero in the form of Mysterio, aka Quentin Beck, may just prove to be too good to be true.
The plot is wrapped around a school trip to Europe and Peter’s romantic ambitions towards MJ. This gives the film something of a teenage rom-com feel with a light tone and several genuinely funny scenes. Apart from a rather lengthy nightmare sequence, this tone is retained throughout.
After the world-shattering events of the last two films, Spider-Man: Far From Home brings everything back to Earth, both physically and emotionally. Tom Holland is superb in the lead role, brilliantly portraying an awkward teenager torn between the responsibilities he finds thrust upon him and his desire to tell MJ how he feels about her. I also enjoyed the juxtaposition of this with Happy Hogan’s romantic subplot and will happily watch the next Spider-Man film just to see how things turn out for him.
On the other side Jake Gyllenhaal puts in a superb performance as the charismatic and mysterious Quentin Beck who turns up just when Peter most needs a mentor and provides much of the thematic backbone for this film. At its heart, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a film about deception, about being deceived and about our willingness to be deceived. Redemption, in this narrative, comes from recognising these deceptions and accepting the need to step up and stop looking for someone else to be the hero.
Ultimately, Spider-Man: Far From Home provides a light and utterly appropriate epilogue to the Thanos storyline and reminds us that, for all the spectacle, it’s the characters that keep us coming back. With this film, Marvel regains the sense of fun and effectively sets things up for the next phase of their extended storyline.
And finally: stay until the end of the credits. It’s worth it.