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Review: SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is the Fourth Best Spider-Man Movie

Image of Tom Holland as Peter Parker / Spider-Man in Spider-Man: Far From Home movie
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) - Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Tom Holland), Quentin Beck / Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal)

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a good movie, but not as good as others. Jon Watts' second Spider-Man movie succeeds on many levels. As the end of Phase 3 of the Marvel movies, it excels but as a stand-alone movie, it lacks something.

Warning: Minor spoilers for Spider-Man: Far from Home.

The movie picks up five years after the events of Avengers: Endgame and everyone including Peter Parker (Tom Holland) are trying to rebuild life after "The Blip" where everyone disappeared for five years thanks to Thanos. Spider-Man is traveling the country for charity with his Aunt May and decides to go with his class on vacation to Europe. He's tired of saving the world and is looking forward to spending time with his friends and telling his friend Michelle "MJ" Jones (Zendaya) how he feels about her. After getting there he sees the country attacked by hostile creatures of Fire, Wind, Water, and Air called "Elementals". Turns out Nick Fury organized the trip to bring him in and meet Mysterio a traveler from another dimension who's fighting the Elementals. Peter reluctantly joins the fight and discovers a present from Tony Stark has more secrets for him to master.

My wife asked me who Mysterio is and I told her he's an old villain of Spider-Man. "He's a villain?" she said. "I thought he's a hero". I chuckled and said, "that's what they want you to think".

After the movie, she said "thanks for the spoiler". I had no idea it would be the big plot twist in the movie. If the history of a 60-year old comic book character spoils a movie then that's a pretty lame spoiler to me.

In this age of Internet sleuthing, Marvel managed to make the twist that Mysterio is a villain a surprise to 90% of the audience which says a lot. They even threw in Easter Eggs like comic book names in license plates to throw people off the trail. Which means people like my wife were surprised and people like the guy who called me an "idiot" for saying the Elementals aren't Sandman and Hydro-Man is surprised. That says a lot.

The acting in Far From Home is excellent. Tom Holland pulls off the shy teenager role perfectly and has really settled into his suit. His emotions are raw and powerful and he can communicate without words. Zendaya is a bold, brashy woman but manages to slip unerringly into the role of a shy, socially awkward teenager that is just too lovable. Jon Favreau returns as Happy Hogan and, like in the last movie helps to remind us why we love Tony and manages to play the awkward action hero yet again. Samuel L. Jackson is getting older and it's starting to show. He spends most of the movie sitting but still manages to carry the "man of action" style. Now that his character's been fleshed out in other movies he's more comfortable. His performance is a little off, but if you saw the end credits scene then you know why. Martin Starr reprises his hilarious role of the hapless teacher. Cobie Smulders returns to kick butt and take names as Agent Hill and she's been missed.

A special mention has to be given for Jake Gyllenhaal. His warm and affectionate tone perfectly contrasts his true intentions and when he turns it's genuinely terrifying. Not since Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) has a villain been so loveable and hateable at the same time.

The story itself has a theme of betrayal as Peter struggles to understand how to balance his needs with the needs of Spider-Man. He fights it for a long time but eventually finds a way to balance the two. Throughout there are some great comedy moments and the struggle with Brad Davis (Remy Hii), a new student in the class who's a rival for MJs affections, stands out.

Speaking of Brad, as I watched the movie I still can't figure out why MJ isn't Mary Jane. Not only does she have the same nickname but Brad is an old boyfriend of Mary Jane in the comics. Why bring this into the MCU? Will it turn out she's adopted and her name is really Mary Jane Watson? Why keep teasing the MJ connections if she's a new character? I dunno.

Anyway, overall it's a good movie but lacks the emotional turmoil of Spider-Man (2000) and pales in comparison to the wacky inventiveness of Spider-Man: Homecoming. It also doesn't have the character depth of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse. But it's a welcome addition to the MCU and it's myriad of Tony Stark references and homages are a great bookend to the first movie in the MCU.

About Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Official synopsis: "Peter Parker returns in Spider-Man™: Far From Home, the next chapter of the Spider-Man™: Homecoming series! Our friendly neighborhood Super Hero decides to join his best friends Ned, MJ, and the rest of the gang on a European vacation. However, Peter’s plan to leave super heroics behind for a few weeks are quickly scrapped when he begrudgingly agrees to help Nick Fury uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks, creating havoc across the continent!"
Directed by Jon Watts
Cinematography by Matt Lloyd
Production Design by Claude Pare
"Spider-Man: Far From Home" stars Tom Holland, Jon Favreau, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, Marisa Tomei, Cobie Smulders, Angourie Rice, Numan Acar, Martin Starr, Tony Revolori, Remy Hii, Jacob Batalon, J.B. Smoove, Hemky Madera
"Spider-Man: Far From Home" was released on July 05, 2019 (United States)
Check back with the Geek Twins for more Spider-Man: Far From Home movie news and hype!

Author - Maurice Mitchell

Maurice Mitchell has been a passionate science-fiction fan of movies, television, books, and comics since age five. He and his twin brother Nigel created the site "The Geek Twins" to share that passion. Maurice has written and created infographics for sites like The Geek Twins and About.com. His work has been featured on sites like Business Insider, io9 Slashfilm and more. Ask him a simple question and expect a long answer.

Read more of his posts by clicking on the link
Follow him on Twitter @mauricem1972

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