“Spider-Man: Far from Home” picks-up right where “Avengers: Endgame” left off. So if you still haven’t seen that yet… then honestly, why are you reading this review?
In any case, Tom Holland’s still awkward, insecure and 16-year-old Peter Parker. He doesn’t know what to do now that you know who is gone. Peter’s looking to get away from the stresses and preasures of his double life on a school vacation to Europe with some of his classmates. His big plan is to get MJ (Zendaya) to the top of the Eiffel Tower so he can tell her that he really likes her.
But if you’re a Marvel movie character, you should know by now that there’s no such thing as down time. A new threat to the planet has emerged, so Nick Fury recruits Peter and a new superhero who’s entered Earth’s atmosphere, Mysterio, to save the day. Mysterio is played by Jake Gyllenhaal who, yes diehard Jake Gyllenhaal fans, does get a few moments to scream.
As was the case with 2017’s “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, the school stuff (most of it on the road this time) is weak and silly filler. This includes Peter’s two chaperone teachers. One is actually played by J.B. Smoove, who is completely wasted here (not drunk, but very miscast). This script could have used some real J.B. Smoove.
Tom Holland is now 23. That’s not as old as Andrew Garfield was in his Spidey films, but let’s get real for a second: How long can Holland keep playing this shy, goofy, high school Peter Parker? His take on the character, introduced to us in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War”, has now appeared in five MCU films. The writers have yet to show us why we’re supposed to believe that this 16-year-old could be the next leader of The Avengers.
The plot of “Far From Home” is far from original. Marvel likes to craft interconnected webs of content. There’s no shortage of evolving material here, yet it’s all very basic. The romance aspect between Holland and Zendaya is actually the strongest element, maybe because it’s the calmest.
But much of this story is essentially “Iron Man 3” all over again. Getting into details would give away too many spoilers (Marvel’s biggest trigger word), but the parallels are obvious.
In the end, “Spider-Man: Far from Home” is watchable but not necessarily intelligent. It zigs when it should zag. It relies on convention when it should go big (a mid-credits scene is actually the only time when it does). Marvel has invested in Holland and this concept for the long run. But I’m running out of patience for something great.