‘Far From Home’ a fantastic return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
“Spider-Man: Far From Home” is officially the first installment of the next big phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it kicks things off with a bang. The movie takes an important next step in evolving Spider-Man’s character, excellently balancing sweet, hilarious personal scenes with big, dramatic moments. Tom Holland and Jacob Batalon are as fantastic as they were in the previous Spider-Man film, and Zendaya is making the absolute most of MJ’s expanded role. If this is what the future of the MCU looks like, then sign me up.
The movie starts several months after “Avengers: Endgame,” and touches on some of the big plot points in that movie. We quickly meet up with Peter (Holland), who is ducking Nick Fury’s calls because he wants to enjoy his summer school trip to Europe with his classmates. Specifically, he wants to enjoy it with MJ (Zendaya), with whom he’s hoping to have a romantic moment. When elemental monsters attack Venice, however, will Peter decide to embrace his inner hero or return to his normal life?
The movie, in essence, is all about Peter growing up. It’s just bad luck for him that some of the struggles he faces, and things he needs to come to terms with, happen on a global scale. There are plenty of big moments to propel the plot forward.
It’s the smaller moments, however, where the movie really charms. Peter’s dynamic with MJ is completely different than I’ve seen in any previous Spider-Man movie, and it’s completely adorable and so in-character for both of them. They both have a wonderful balance of toughness and vulnerability, and I’m really looking forward to watching the relationship grow in later films.
The movie’s one flaw is that, like other films in the MCU, it can’t really be enjoyed independently. Though the movie tries valiantly to recap “Avengers: Endgame,” I’m sure you’ll be at least a little confused if you haven’t seen that film. And if you haven’t seen films leading up to “Endgame,” that installment can also lead to some head-scratching.
It also helps to have seen “Captain Marvel,” though those references are less significant to the plot. On the flip side, too much exposure to either the Spider-Man comic books or one of the various cartoons will completely ruin the movie’s big plot twist.
Still, tie-ins aren’t always bad. There are two credit scenes, both with big enough plot significance that you absolutely have to stay and watch both of them, as is tradition with Marvel movies. They’re teasers for future movies, same as we’ve seen before, but they both feel more earth-shaking than the usual “hey, meet this new character.” There are big things coming in the future.
Thanks to “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” the MCU writers have got a lot to live up to in future movies.
Jenniffer Wardell is an award-winning movie critic and member of the Denver Film Critics Society. Find her on Twitter at @wardellwriter or drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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