As the credits to recent release ‘Avengers: Endgame’ rolled, it was clear the next few movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) franchise weren’t going to be light-hearted, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ styled romps.
After all, the collective MCU just underwent a sizeable trauma, and Marvel isn’t a company known for avoiding the emotional aftermath of their story arcs. ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, being the first post-Thanos movie, was always going to be the one showing how humanity moves on after the ‘Endgame’ reveal.
This is, frankly, a power move. In ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, we were introduced to an adorable, earnest and far too optimistic Peter Parker. It’s clear that the events of ‘Endgame’ have had a huge impact on Peter Parker, and ‘Far From Home’ serves as both an action-packed superhero flick, and a rather compelling story about learning to live with trauma. Taking his second movie in a darker, grittier direction perfectly captures that post-Thanos sense of baffled horror, while somehow managing to keep the warm, cheerful tone that’s so quintessential to Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter Parker. This isn’t DC, so while there’s doom, gloom, and seriousness, there’s also laughter, hope, and the eternal glory that is MJ (played to perfection by Zendaya).
The blessing of Marvel movies is also its curse for trying to discuss them: Marvel doesn’t do explosions for the sake of pretty booms, and every fight scene, action, and character interaction progresses the story, each character’s arc, and the overarching MCU storyline. It makes for deeply compelling viewing, but discussing any part of it feels like drunk-staggering through a spoiler minefield.
Overall, it’s a strong story, with a few characters feeling like they’ve been ripped from wildly out-of-character fanfiction. But it’s Marvel, so the weirdness, of course, is resolved. This is also a two end-credit scene movie, so hold back until the very end of the credits. To be honest, the biggest flaw in the work lies in the extra scenes. Both are high impact, but the second scene loses something in following the first. Switching it around would have made for a far more powerful moment of cinematography.
‘Far From Home’ might not be the best pick if you’re introducing young kids to the MCU, and there are a couple of scenes that might serve as nightmare fuel for younger viewers. It also possibly needs to come with an epilepsy trigger warning if jerky camera motions and bright, flashing lights are problematic.
This might not be the best choice for young kids, or as a cheer up movie on a bad day, but if you like your action with complex and compelling plotlines and staggeringly good acting, you’re probably going to love ‘Far From Home’.