Spider-Man swings back into theaters the same way he swings back into a post Avengers: Endgame world, full of thrills and excitement. Carrying the weight of being the first movie post Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home wisely chooses to focus less on world threatening issues and instead confronts Peter Parker with something far more perilous; a class trip with his school crush. Spider-Man: Homecoming was met with much praise for showcasing Peter’s turmoil over balancing what he wanted to be as a super hero with the expectations of his mentor, Tony Stark, and now (SPOILER) in this Iron Man deprived world, Peter needs to decide if he wants to still be the “friendly neighborhood” hero he always envisioned or the Avenger Tony thought he could be.

Much like Homecoming, Far From Home’s success rests on Tom Holland’s shoulders and once again the charismatic young actor proves to be more than capable of carrying the load. Perfectly balancing the essential Spidey/Parker traits, Holland has long ago proven that he was the right choice for the role, but his latest turn in tights cements his place as the best Spider-Man to ever crawl onto the big screen. All of Peter’s classmates are back for the ride (seriously, all of them) including Jacob Batalon’s lovable Ned and Zendaya’s MJ. Zendaya is given a lot more to do this time around and she thrives in the role. Hijacking the festivities is Nick Fury and Maria Hill, with Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders imbuing the familiar authoritative energy we’ve grown familiar with. Thankfully, Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May and Jon Favreu’s Happy Hogan are also given more to do in this film, providing the guidance missing from Robert Downey Jr’s Stark.

Filling out the cast is Jake Gyllenhaal, making his long awaited super hero movie debut as Mysterio, who is also making his live action debut. For years fans have been dream casting Gyllenhaal in different super hero roles, and the wait was well worth it. Stepping into the mentor role Peter is desperately searching for, Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio dominates every scene he’s in, providing mind bending visuals and proving he can go quip for quip with Holland’s Spider-Man. Their chemistry is pure magic whether they’re quietly sitting on a rooftop or battling the film’s big threat, the Elementals. Speaking of whom, the Elementals, great monstrous baddies based off classic Spidey villains who probably couldn’t support movies in their original forms, provide beautiful spectacles for the hero team to overcome and showcase just how far SFX has come in these films.

Far From Home strengths don’t just lay with the cast’s performances but the amazing direction and writing they’re provided with. Jon Watts returns to helm the sequel written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. Crafting a story that not only has to serve as a sequel in the titular franchise but also pick up the loose threads from another franchise is no easy task, but everything runs so smoothly that despite Peter feeling overwhelmed with his new status quo, the movie never feels overloaded. The action, comedy and pure emotion work on every level, and without giving away too much, there’s one fight sequence that may prove to be the best of the entire Spider-Man franchise, even surpassing the train fight scene in Spider-Man 2 with Doc Ock.

This film marks the end of the MCU’s Phase Three but by the time the credits have rolled and both the mid/post credits’ scenes have played not only has Spider-Man’s world been forever changed but the larger MCU has as well, setting the stage for an exciting new direction. As intimate a story as Far From Home can be at times, the personal stakes for Peter have never been higher. Win, lose, or draw Peter Parker’s life will never be the same. To elaborate would be to give too much away, but it cannot be understated how exciting the mid credits scenes are. Eliciting reactions similar to when Samuel L. Jackson first walked out of the shadows to speak of an Avengers Initiative, Far From Home’s mid credits’ scene will have people talking for years to come.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is a masterstroke for the MCU providing one of the universe’s best outings and quite possibly the best live action Spider-Man movie to date. Heartfelt, packed with action and starring a hero we can watch grow in front of our very eyes, Spider-Man’s journey continues in this sequel that surpasses it’s predecessor in almost every way.


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