‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ swings into theaters with style

By Parker Otto, Columnist

After “Avengers: Endgame” created one of the greatest comic book movies of all time with an emotional payoff to 10 years’ worth of film, there was much need for a fun, light-hearted superhero film. Thanks to a likeable protagonist, great humor and a great sense of heart, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is a film worthy of the character of Spider-Man and a fantastic conclusion to Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Taking place eight months after “Avengers: Endgame,” Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, decides to go on a trip to Europe with his school to get away from his heroic alter ego: Spider-Man. While traveling through various European cities, Peter encounters dimensional entities called The Elementals, beings made up of basic elements including fire and water. With the assistance of Nick Fury, played by Samuel L. Jackson, Peter teams up with a new hero named Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal, to fight The Elementals and save his friends. 

Several actors, including Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, have played Spider-Man quite well. However, Tom Holland is not just playing the Web Slinger, he has become the character. The late Stan Lee, who co-created Spider-Man, commented on Twitter, “He [Tom Holland] is the exact height and age I envisioned when I first wrote Spider-Man,” in a May 19, 2018 tweet. Lee, as well as the late artist and Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, would no doubt love Holland’s performance as he brings a great deal of charm and humor to the role. 

Holland constantly reminds the audience why Spider-Man is so beloved. It’s because he juggles the small scale problems of a high schooler with the heavy weight of a superhero which leads to entertaining stories and a relatable character. Spider-Man is everything that people want to be: a kind and mild individual who constantly does great deeds, yet remains humble. 

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has, so far, had a knack for taking comic book villains that people don’t expect to see on the big screen and making them one of the finest aspects of the film. Examples have included Hela from “Thor: Ragnarok” and The Vulture from “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and when it comes to fearsome, frightening foes, Spider-Man’s rogues gallery is the best that Marvel has to offer. 

Jake Gyllenhaal does justice to the character of Mysterio by creating a mentor for Peter and the pair’s chemistry is fantastic to watch. The character looks fairly ridiculous in the comic books, which is fine for this particular medium, but costume designer Anna B. Sheppard did a fine job bringing Mysterio’s costume to life.

The rest of the cast is fantastic to watch especially Zendaya who plays Peter’s classmate/love interest MJ. Her dark humor and sarcastic attitude compliment Peter’s more upbeat personality perfectly. Samuel L. Jackson also adds a great deal of weight to the film as Nick Fury thanks to his no-nonsense delivery and calculating persona.

Action wise, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” contains several decent sequences of fighting, but it’s near the third act where things get interesting. Without giving away any spoilers, the imagery is some of the greatest seen in a Spider-Man film. Despite good imagery, the action is fairly standard. There aren’t any scenes that are a waste of time, but there also aren’t any sequences on par with the train chase in “Spider-Man 2” or the hallway battle in “The Amazing Spider-Man.” 

While not a groundbreaking comic book film, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is the film that Marvel fans need to see following “Avengers: Endgame.” It’s lighthearted, funny and will leave most satisfied. According to Marvel Studios CEO Kevin Fiege in an April 22 ScreenCrush article, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is the last film in Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which began with 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” Currently, a film centered around Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is being shot and Disney has an undetermined Marvel film set for a May 1, 2020 release date. 

Whether it’s “Black Widow” or not, it will be about 10 months before the MCU graces the silver screen. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” ushers in a new age of films for Marvel and lets the world know that even without the massive buildup of Infinity Stones, Marvel will be just fine.