FILM REVIEW | Spider-Man: Far From Home is far from what I expected says Lewis Pearce

After the breath-taking finale to Avengers: Endgame, our attention now turns to Spider-Man and the final instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Phase 3. Quite where Marvel will take us from here is yet to be determined, but the central dynamic to Far From Home is young Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his struggle adapting to life following ‘The Blip’ and the heart-breaking loss of the father-figure in his life.

I’m not someone who likes to theorise before going into a movie. I like to go in as fresh as possible to every film I can, but following the destruction left by Thanos and the introduction of the Multi-Verse teased in this films marketing, I had all these theories and ideas on where Marvel would go next. I could not have been more wrong.

Far From Home is completely different to the trailers, and is both a stronger and weaker film because of it. By completely swerving expectations, it delivers an often thrilling and surprising superhero flick but at the same time the twists and turns deliver mixed results, which left me entertained but ultimately unsatisfied.

In the wake of Thanos’ defeat, Peter Parker leaves Spider-Man at home for a class trip to Europe, where he can finally ask out MJ (Zendaya). But he’s soon approached by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to save the day with new hero Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

Seeing Jake Gyllenhaal, one of the best actors of our generation, in a Marvel movie is a real pleasure, and he is fantastic. No spoilers here, but his involvement is the biggest surprise from what is teased in the trailers and whilst it didn’t all work for me, Gyllenhaal keeps his character fresh and exciting at every turn and is the MVP of the movie.

Tom Holland continues to prove that he is the best Spider-Man we have ever seen on the big screen. He perfectly portrays the nerdy yet cheeky persona of Parker and is so insanely likeable in the role. Samuel L. Jackson is once again awesome as Nick Fury, whilst younger stars such as Zendaya and Jacob Batalon (playing Parker’s bestie Ned) really shine and grow following their introduction in Homecoming.

I’m a big fan of Spider-Man: Homecoming, but the film lacked spectacle or any big action sequences. Thankfully, Far From Home has learned from that film’s mistake, with set-piece after set-piece upping the ante and delivering some of the best Spidey action we’ve ever seen. The second half in particular is really impressive, expertly directed by the returning Jon Watts. There are a couple of scenes involving Mysterio so trippy and extraordinary, they will be remembered as some of the finest sequences in the entire MCU.

Yet in between these impressive action sequences is a film undeniably sweet and fun to watch, but awfully flat at times. It can be very funny, with an opening scene involving a Whitney Houston song and the whole story of Ned’s new girlfriend being personal favourites, but the joke rate is nowhere near as successful as Homecoming. At times, especially during the first half, it can drag and feel frustratingly slow.

No matter how you feel on the film as a whole, I cannot stress enough the importance of sitting through the credits. There are two credits scene, with the first being easily the best Marvel has ever done. It teases a tantalising third Spider-man film and features the most crowd-pleasing moment of the year. The second leaves more questions than answers, but hints at a new direction for Marvel and ties back in with Captain Marvel.

There is no denying the entertainment value of this new Spider-Man movie. Great performances, action and direction but with the high standard set by Endgame and my huge love of the Spider-Man character, I left wanting more. Despite some critics praising it as the best Spider-Man film yet, for me, it doesn’t come close to the brilliance of Spider-Man 2.

Verdict: Not as funny as homecoming but twice as action-packed, Far From Home is an inconsistent but enjoyable superhero adventure which will be remembered most for the sweet love story at its core, the introduction to Mysterio and THAT end credits scene.

Best Moment: Things get trippy for Spider-Man and Mysterio.

Rating: 7/10