Warning: This review contains spoilers of Avengers: Endgame.
After “Avengers: Endgame,” Spider-Man (Tom Holland) needs a break from superheroing.
Over the summer after returning from Thanos’ snap — referred to as “The Blip” — Peter Parker and some classmates decide to travel through Europe to destress. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” provides an amazing and relatable story, spectacular visuals and the exciting introduction to one of Spider-Man’s longest-lasting rivals— Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) better known as Mysterio.
The plot surrounds Parker and his classmates as they explore Europe and try to survive Spider-Man’s fights with the Elementals; beings made of earth, water, fire and air whose sole purpose is causing destruction throughout the world. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) teams Spider-Man up with Quentin Beck to stop them from destroying the world. Along with juggling the trip and fighting villains, Parker must protect his secret identity, which provides some hilarious moments as he and Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) use flimsy excuses to cover his absences.
Humor is alive and abundant throughout the movie. Parker and Leeds’ excuses are often weak and awkward, causing their classmates to be confused by the ridiculous explanations given. Besides hiding his identity, Peter’s awkwardness kicks in while admiring Mysterio and trying to start dating MJ (Zendaya). His grand romantic plans and awkward glances toward MJ bring classic high school romance to the film. Spider-Man’s idolization of Mysterio is comedic, as Parker’s over-excitement causes Mysterio to call Spider-Man out as weird whenever talk about his universe comes up.
With his introduction, Mysterio already proves to be one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most fascinating characters. Beck’s existence brings the idea that the multiverse could be explored in future movies, teasing endless possibilities for Marvel’s future. Along with this, his experience in his universe against the Elementals provides useful information about their weaknesses without giving any fluffy exposition. Beck gets along well with Parker and fills his void of a father figure with Tony Stark dead, providing some touching moments that include giving Spider-Man guidance when he’s confused. These heart-to-heart scenes provide some compelling and shocking results surrounding their relationship as twists begin to come up deeper into the film.
The special effects are uncanny and there aren’t enough good things to be said about them. Spider-Man’s ingenuity and new suits are showcased perfectly alongside Mysterio in battle. Mysterio’s powers and signature fishbowl helmet capture his strange presence along with the flashy outfit. Even the Elementals look great despite being composed of a single element, as their massive forms still have recognizable features. The Molten Man has metal rods sticking out of its back and Hydro-Man has distinct waves moving throughout him.
As with any Marvel movie, there are plenty of easter eggs to keep the audience entertained. Callbacks to previous movies including “Avengers: Endgame” help explain certain plot points while at other times providing humorous jokes, including Spider-Man feeling inadequate for Fury’s job despite having fought Thanos in space or musical references to previous films. Even in Stark’s death, his presence is felt throughout the film whether it’s the pair of glasses he wore in “Avengers: Infinity War” or even Spider-Man being harassed by the public about whether he’d be the world’s new Iron Man. Besides movie references, the comics and the recent Spider-Man video game are brought up in subtle ways for superfans to catch and get extra entertainment from.
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” proves it can swing any of Spider-Man’s odd villains into theaters and make it work flawlessly. As entertaining as the film is, the most important scenes are saved for the mid and post-credits teasers that leave room for heaping doses of speculation that can fuel anyone until the next movie comes along in a few years.
Contact Caleb Barbachem at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.