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SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME gets 7/10 World wide web


Directed by Jon Watts

Starring Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson

7/10

Spoiler warning – Avengers: Endgame spoilers included

Acting as a coda to phase three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Far From Home, sees the world picking up the pieces from Avengers: Endgame, and the fallout from having half of all life in the universe being snapped out of and then snapped back into existence (a five year period referred to here as “The Blip”). Yet the major concern of our friendly neighbourhood web head, is how to be a hero in a world that is now devoid of so many Avengers due to those events, especially his mentor, Tony Stark.

As the world deals with the aftermath of the events caused by Thanos, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) struggles with the added responsibility placed upon his alter ego Spider-Man in the wake of Iron Man’s death. Part of him wishes to just be an average high school student, leave behind that burden, and head off on his school’s European field trip to find romance with his classmate M.J.(Zendaya). However, when a new threat arises to threaten the world, Spider-Man finds himself press-ganged by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to help an extra-dimensional hero called Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) deal with the emerging menace.

Although Spider-Man: Far From Home touches upon the theme of Peter struggling to live up to the legacy of Tony Stark early on, it still seems a while before the script really comes to terms with the plot and switches into gear. Instead, we are left with a comedy travel log while Peter’s class jaunts around Europe. As Peter attempts to balance his personal life with his heroic endeavours Far From Home feels loosely scripted, but it does give the talented young cast an opportunity to showcase its comedic talents and the charisma of all involved, leading to some enjoyable, albeit it unnecessary scenes. However, when Far From Home gets up to speed, and the main plot finally kicks in, it delivers all we could hope for in your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man.

A lot of the appeal here rests with the cast. Holland is perfect as Peter Parker, moving with an uncanny grace, as if he’s truly imbued with supernatural dexterity, but also capable of bringing the dorky lack of confidence Parker suffers from to the fore. Here he struggles with his own self worth as a hero, as he’s catapulted onto the world stage, and accepting the responsibility he’s inherited weighed against his own simple desires. It’s classic Spidey fodder, and Holland conveys it with effortless skill.

Zendaya as M.J. has been a portrayal that’s differed from the comics, bringing us the strength and confidence we’d expect, but in a more cynical, sarcastic, and confrontational package. Holland and her work well together, bringing a touch of teen romance to Spidey’s escapades. Gyllenhaal makes a surprisingly good Mysterio, bringing a different origin story and energy to old “Fish Bowl Head”.

Although some of the comedy elements are a little thin on occasions, Spider-Man: Far From Home manages to deal not merely with the standard acceptance of “great responsibility” that is so often weaved into the Spider-Man mythos, but even cover some real world issues of fake news and trustworthy sources of information (throwing in a 1984 quote for good measure). All this is delivered in a joyously entertaining package, that should please comic fans with its frequent references (Marvel Zombies even gets a nod), and general audiences alike, rounding out phase three nicely. Best of all, Spider-Man: Far From Home still manages to have a few surprises to deliver late in the piece, so as most Marvel veterans know, stay for the after credits.

DAVID O’CONNELL

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