Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

A lot of people are tired of all the comic book movies that have been flooding the box office over the last twenty years. For me, however, I grew up wanting live-action adaptations of the characters I loved to read so much, that I accepted even the lesser quality movies as “good” or “great” for the first many years they started being produced. Now, we are in the golden era of comic book movies, thanks to Marvel – and Spider-Man has always been my favorite. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) works for me in every way, and Tom Holland cements himself as THE Spider-Man – don’t @ me Toby fans, because it’s time to move on.

Spider-Man Far From Home solidifies Holland in this role.

It should be clear that spoilers for Avengers Endgame (2019) will follow, as there are many plot points to Far From Home that follow the events of Endgame specifically. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!! After the blip and Tony Stark’s snap, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is in need of a vacation. Lucky for him, he is off to Europe on a school trip with his guy in the chair, Ned (Jacob Batalon), and his crush, M.J. (Zendaya). Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) has different summer plans in mind for Spider-Man and recruits him to work with Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal), a.k.a Mysterio, to save the world from an elemental threat. 

Holland is just so likable. He is charming, relatable, and the perfect embodiment of the Peter Parker I remember loving in the animated series and in the comics. Okay, this Parker isn’t 100% the one from the comics…but he’s so close, and the changes just work for the stories that they have decided to tell. In Far From Home, he’s dealing with the loss of Tony Stark, juggling the duality of being a superhero and recovering from the reality of the blip. Not to mention it seems Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) has started dating, and he’s just not ready for that. Holland brings much to the character with his performance in Far From Home, and I just enjoy watching him as both Parker and his super alter-ego. 

I also really enjoy the high school coming-of-age storytelling that we got in Homecoming, and again in this new film. Zendaya and Batalon are great friends, and even better supporting characters. The awkward chemistry between Zendaya and Holland works perfectly for this take on the M.J. character. Batalon takes more of a backseat role, but still gets some solid comedic moments. The rest of the supporting high school cast is also great, including Tony Revolori’s Flash Thompson, Angourie Rice’s Betty Brant, and the two teachers heading up the field trip played by Martin Starr and J.B. Smoove. The MCU Spider-Man movies really capture the high school life of Parker, and it is one of my favorite aspects of the franchise. 

As far as the Spider-Man aspect of this film, Mysterio was a really cool comic character to see brought to life on the big screen. There are some awesome visuals as a result that reminded me of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins Scarecrow sequences – though Mysterio’s are much more colorful and rely heavily on CG, I thought they looked awesome. The story that plays out with the Elementals is compelling, and Spider-Man just becomes more of a vital part of the MCU as the film plays out. 

Final thoughts…

Spider-Man: Far From Home checks all the boxes for me, and I enjoyed the entire film. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stay focused at the 12:01 a.m. screening, but the movie never gave me a moment to get tired. Even waiting for the post-credit sequences paid off more than expected, because both are actually much more than just throwaway scenes. It’s probably no surprise that I give the first post-Endgame MCU film the Must See rating.

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