Time to shake off whatever post-"Endgame" theater fatigue you have, because Peter Parker's back for his second MCU star outing in director Jon Watts' "Spider-Man: Far From Home" (out July 2). Does this movie manage to tie up the franchise's hanging threads, set up more films and *still* tell a good "Spider-Man" story? Here's what the reviews have to say:
"AVENGERS: ENDGAME" SPOILERS AHEAD
Peter & Friends Are Off To Europe, And It's Not Long Before Spider-Man Crosses Paths With Nick Fury And Mysterio
Far From Home plucks Peter Parker (Tom Holland) out of his familiar New York neighborhoods and drops him in the idyllic European locales of Venice, Prague, and London. Eager to take a break from his superhero duties and finally confess his feelings to the taciturn MJ (Zendaya), Peter ignores Nick Fury's calls and jets off to a glamorous European vacation with his science class that no New York public school should be able to afford.
But Nick Fury (Samuel L Jackson) has other plans for him: a terrifying storm-like force called an "elemental" is reducing various cities to rubble and so far the only combatant ranged against it is newcomer Quentin Beck (Gyllenhaal) from another dimension, who wears a helmet like an opaque fishbowl and whom the Italian media fatefully dub: "l'uomo del mistero".
On An In-Universe And Meta Level, 'Far From Home' Deals With What Comes Next For The MCU
Is half of Peter's high school class five years older now? When the missing people reappeared, how did this happen? Did people just reappear in houses that had been sold to other people? All of these questions are answered pretty early on in a lighthearted tone that equals those Captain America PSAs from Homecoming that social media still loves so much. Yes, Spider-Man: Far From Home was kind of dealt a, let's say, complicated hand and turned it into something funny and clever.
It was probably only a matter of time before the MCU produced a superhero movie that can be easily read as an allegory about the challenge of continuing to make additional superhero movies. Characters in Spider-Man: Far From Home talk openly about whether certain new feats of supervillainy constitute an Avengers-level threat to the world.
Holland Continues To Make The Case For Being The Best Live Action Spidey, By Way Of Playing A Believable Teen
Holland is an Energizer Bunny of a performer, but this time he gets to dip into Peter's vulnerability as he's never done before — making mistakes and endangering people's lives because of his immaturity. Far From Home finally allows Peter to be a teenager as previous incarnations rarely did, while not taking away from the deeper impact of his existential crisis.
Watching Peter experience grief, stress, and guilt over his role in this new reality is pretty difficult stuff, but in Holland's hands the emotional journey Peter takes feels natural and relatable.
Jake Gyllenhaal Makes Mysterio, A Character That No 'Spider-Man' Movie Has Dared To Try, Work Wonderfully
He and Tom develop a real chemistry here and it's really the backbone of the film in a lot of ways. Jake is one of those capital-T thespians who always goes out of his way to court a challenge. In other A-list but less capable hands, Far From Home could very easily fall apart.
Gyllenhaal Gyllenhaals all over Far From Home, adding a potentially illegal amount of charm to every single line reading and gesture. He's so conspicuously charismatic that every character who encounters him appears to have a moment where they come to the realization that Mysterio could beat them with a pillowcase full of bricks and they'd say thank you. And that's how you cast a comic book movie.
Honestly, I didn't think Mysterio was a character that could be pulled off properly in a movie. As it turns out, if you hire a fantastic actor and let a director who understands Mysterio take a crack at it, it's very possible. Who knew!
Samuel L. Jackson Makes A 2019 Marvel Movie Hat-Trick, Giving A Different Energy To Post-'Endgame' Nick Fury
Here the similarly un-snapped Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) plays the part of a weary producer, trying to goad Parker into stepping up and filling the superhero void left by a departed Iron Man.
For all the confidence Tony had in Peter's abilities to do the right thing, Fury is apprehensive, and Samuel L. Jackson introduces a new kind of exasperated weariness to his performance that feels fresh for the former SHIELD director.
Zendaya And The Rest Of The Cast Playing Peter's Classmates Are Just As Good As They Were Last Time
The increased presence of Peter's classmates are a welcome addition — Jacob Batalon's Ned is a sweet scene-stealer as always, and his fast-lived teenage romance with Angourie Rice's Betty Brant is nicely mined for laughs. Zendaya is endlessly charismatic as well, even as she's spouting off "dark" fun facts about death and the Black Dahlia.
Holland and Zendaya are younger than the past Spider-Man leads, but it's still remarkable to see a couple of twentysomethings evoking sweet, genuine teenage awkwardness. At the same time, Watts doesn't overplay the mooniness; unlike the leads of the Amazing Spider-Man movies, these characters actually talk to each other.
If there weren't twists and turns and acrobatic thrills ballooning the movie to blockbuster status, the cast would still make Far From Home a joy.
Jon Watts Is Two-For-Two In Shaping His Own Memorable Cinematic Take On Spider-Man To Rival Sam Raimi's
Jon Watts, who returns to direct Far From Home after impressing with Homecoming, delivers some of the most visually inventive action sequences in a Marvel film yet, rivaling the trippy sequences of Doctor Strange with a dynamic, deft direction that becomes a touch surreal. Despite their CGI-heavy nature, the action setpieces rarely threaten to become dull, and their settings at beautiful European locales only lend to their epic nature.
Far From Home is as nimble as movies of this size come, finding tiny bursts of comedy in the frustration of teenhood, and authentic fear in the oversized action sequences required to be a Marvel movie. Watts loves genre, and whether he's aping vacation movies with sightseeing montages set to pop tunes or giving Peter a Danny Ocean heist moment, he's wringing every ounce of moviegoing love into his sequel.
'Far From Home' Makes Being A Sequel To A Re-Rebooted Comic Adaptation With 20+ MCU Sibling Films Look Easy
Spider-Man: Far From Home is packed with references that speak to that which came before as well as the uncertainty that lies beyond Peter Parker's newest adventure, which makes the fact that the movie also serves as a delightful, self-contained chapter in the book of Marvel even more impressive.
Not only does the movie have to bring its titular hero back down to Earth from the most epic adventure of his life, it also has the vital job of setting an overarching tone and perspective for the next phase of Marvel's grand cinematic project. The great thing is that the film does all of that and a whole hell of a lot more.
It's a big, bold leap for Spider-Man into the future of Marvel's films, and it's got a strong upward swing that easily makes it one of the better Spider-Man movies in the character's history.