‘Far From Home’ benefits from a slew of strong performances and characters that carry the film forward even when it lacks the quality this franchise has had before — especially in its first half.
The film finds Peter Parker, after the tragic events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’, having to deal with the aftermath and his now much more independent superhero life, especially when a trip to Europe goes awry.
Jon Watts returns to the helm after ‘Homecoming’, and he shows considerable growth as a filmmaker, especially when it comes to the action sequences. Watts has a lot more confidence now with his ideas, and without giving anything away, he shows off quite impressively in a few highlights regarding the film’s main villain.
Unfortunately, while visually it’s mostly a treat (but not without the usual boring “cement” look present in all of the MCU) the film suffers from the absence of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley at the writing department, lacking, in my opinion, the effective comedy and villain brought to the table in that installment. Whereas Michael Keaton delivered a nuanced villain that expertly connected to Peter in a clever personal way at the end of that film, here, we get another mostly uninteresting one that is mostly used for laughs by the end that is reminiscent of the old MCU films, despite showing promise at the start. Replacements Chris McKenna and Erika Sommers often find themselves with far too many story ideas that, in the end, results in a rushed product that barely explores any, leaving you scratching your head regarding the inclusion of several story beats, even apparent in both post-credits scenes. What used to be mere winks to the audiences for what was to come has now fully formed into what the ending of the film is supposed to be, robbing the actual ending of any significance.
However, in the absence of Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland proves to be an excellent leading man, filled with charisma to anchor the film. The character is by far where he has shined the most in the MCU, and his struggles are apparent throughout the film. Jake Gyllenhaal does a great job with what he’s given, as does Zendaya, who provides much of the “John Hughes” tone for the film that, frankly, worked a tad bit better in Homecoming (being set in a high school also probably helped).
In the end, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is a fun, albeit rushed, ride with a lot to enjoy, even if it doesn’t quite live up to its own potential.