Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Tom Holland) is taking a break from his superhero duties and going on a trip across Europe with his classmates. His vacation is cut short when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) arrives to give him an assignment. For the task he partners up with Quentin Beck aka Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). Peter has to decide whether he is able to take up the mantle now that the Avengers are no more.
‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’, like its predecessor ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ (which has the same director in Jon Watts and same writers in Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers), manages the same balance of superhero epic and teen flick preoccupied with first love, friendship, and the joys of being a kid. The problem is that there’s little departure from what we saw in ‘Homecoming’, and with ‘Far From Home’ being the twenty-third film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and indeed the eighth feature led by Spidey – it’s all starting to get very samey.
Mind you, there is still much to enjoy and admire in ‘Far From Home’, including its establishment of Peter’s world in the aftermath of the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’. Peter is suddenly forced into the responsibility of adulthood and while he doubts he is ready, he’s more capable than he gives himself credit for. The ‘Eurotrip’ framing device proves an effective one as it inspires some slick continental backdrops while there’s good banter in the dialogue among the teachers and students. As the chaperones, Martin Starr returns as Mr. Harrington with J. B. Smoove joining as Mr. Dell, while the kids consist of returning faces (Jacob Batalon as Ned, Peter’s bestie, Tony Revolori as his rival Eugene, Angourie Rice as Betty Brant) and new faces, primarily in Remy Hii as popular boy Brad.
Tom Holland is the most impressive he’s ever been as Peter, playing a more emotionally complex character than ever before. Zendaya is as charming as ever as the deadpan but sweetly shy MJ, while Jon Favreau delivers a surprisingly touching performance as Happy Hogan. Then of course there’s the debut of Jake Gyllenhaal into the Marvelverse. In a word, he is exquisite, and we expected nothing less.
It’s all good superhero movie fun, though you can see the twist coming a mile away. There are some stellar trippy CGI sequences and the action scenes are all done well, but again, is it all that different from what we’ve seen before? No. At that, the post credits sequence – which includes an inspired cameo and a couple of game changing revelations – will have you wanting more regardless. Sure that’s why Marvel does what it does so well.