Spider-Man: Far From Home brings the webslinger back to the forefront after a few adventures with the Avengers, and the result is something beyond expectations. (SPOILERS for AVENGERS: ENDGAME)
At this point there have been more films featuring Spider-Man than nearly any other superhero. From the Tobey Maguire/Sam Raimi films, to the animated Into the Spider-Verse, we’ve seen this character and plenty of his well known foes on the big screen quite a bit in the past 20 years. Marvel and Sony have been working together to bring the definitive version of the character to the big screen ever since his introduction to the MCU in Captain America: Civil War. The result has been a Peter Parker and Spider-Man that resonates with comic book and film fans alike. Tom Holland’s portrayal of the character has constantly been commended, and the stories surrounding the character have been top notch.
This week Marvel and Sony continue their Spider-Man saga with Far From Home, a post-Endgame tale that sees Peter adapting to the fallout of the major Avengers film. Peter is firmly comfortable with his role as Spider-Man, but doesn’t know how to deal with the loss of Tony Stark. When he goes on a class trip to Europe, he realizes that he could use this time to focus more on the Peter Parker side of his life, and hopefully begin to heal from the loss of Tony. His plans fall apart when Nick Fury shows up needing his help to fight a group of creatures from another planet called Elementals. Peter works with Fury and a hero from another planet named Quentin Beck to stop the Elementals, and hopefully still find time to enjoy his summer vacation.
The film does an excellent job at expanding on the core of the characters within Peter’s life. In a way the film is less about the action and the villains, and much more about Peter Parker, MJ, and the people Peter cares about. It takes it’s time to truly develop every character and give them a full story of their own. Even Flash Thompson, the bully that constantly derides Peter, has his own subplot that plays out perfectly, but only matters if you pay attention to the details of his scenes. The film is incredibly layered in ways that not many Marvel films have been, and as such it makes this one of the best sequels within the MCU.
Another highlight to the film is the way in which it truly raises the bar for Spider-Man and Peter Parker. We expect sequels to give greater threats, and in turn make the characters battle through larger obstacles, but a sequel truly succeeds when the challenges are on a physical and emotional level. Every challenge facing Peter in this story hits from both sides. He wants to hang out with MJ but can’t because he has Nick Fury dragging him away. He wants to not be Spider-Man on his trip, but he can’t shove it aside because he knows Tony would expect him to step up and fight. The film constantly finds ways of hitting Peter from every angle and in doing so it helps to create a Spider-Man story unlike what we’ve seen before.
The greatest thing about Spider-Man is the fact that he’s the guy who could be sick with the flu, need to study for a chemistry final, be in the middle of an argument with his girlfriend, and he has to jump out the window and stop a villain from blowing up a city. He’s the most human superhero in any and all comic books because the issues he faces more than anything are the issues of a regular kid. He doesn’t have to worry about hostile takeovers of a corporation he owns. He has to worry about finishing his chores. He’s not worried about the political landscape of his city. He’s worried about whether or not he has a date to the dance. He’s a perfect representation of what we would be like if we had his powers as a teenager, and that’s why he’s such a universally beloved hero.
Far From Home takes those universal elements of Peter Parker, dials them to 11 and then gives Spidey the biggest threat he’s had to face on his own yet. If he fails here, he not only dooms the people nearby the potential attacks, he fails Tony Stark, Nick Fury, Aunt May, and his friends. It’s the perfect way of telling a Spider-Man story, and continuing the MCU, post Endgame. By making sure that we remember the reason why we love these characters. It’s not always about the fact that they have these powers and awesome technology. It’s about who they are when the suits are gone, and they have nothing but their wits and their willpower. The hero that remains is the one that we come back for time and time again. Which is why we keep coming back to Spider-Man, no matter how many reboots or different takes there may be. When done even remotely well, he’s a great character. When done perfectly, he can carry an entire Cinematic Universe on his back. Just like Tony Stark.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently playing in theaters.
You can also check out Eric’s take on the film here!
Written by Alex Lancaster
(Alex is a life long film fan, and has dedicated his life to watching, making and obsessing over films. His favorite film is Big Fish, and he despises Avatar. He has a 5 year old son. And a bad habit of saying more than he needs to. Follow @alex5348 on Twitter)